2016 Faculty Pioneer Awards: Recipients Announced!

For nearly two decades, the Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Awards have recognized faculty who are at the vanguard of teaching about the business and society interface.

This year’s distinguished award recipients are innovative business professors teaching (at the MBA level) about the most pressing “grand challenges” faced by our society and environment today: climate change, inequality, global health, financial inclusion, human rights, resource scarcity, economic development and much more.

Syllabi for these award-winning courses and additional details about the teaching approaches and faculty are available by clicking on the headshots below.

Faculty Pioneer Award recipients will be recognized at Aspen’s Management Education Roundtable in Pocantico Hills, New York on Oct. 26-27. This invite-only gathering will bring together approximately twenty-five faculty and deans from leading business programs to discuss how to best tackle our world’s grand challenges within higher education.

 2016 Recepients Full page baner text image-shorter.3



Babson College

Course: Solving Big Problems



Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Courses: Strategies for Sustainable Development Part I: Enterprise Integration and Part II: Market Transformation



Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Course: Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid



Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Course: Large-Scale Social Change: Social Movements



Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Course: Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford: The Future of Work


Jonathan CookDr. Ngao MotseiMorris MthombeniProfessor Margie SutherlandAnthony Wilson-Prangley

Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria

Course: Human Behavior and Performance in South Africa


about the 2016 awards


This year, we accepted nominations of business school faculty who are teaching (at the graduate level) about business practices that help corporations confront society’s “grand challenges.”

In the public conversation about big problems—climate, inequality, global health—fields like engineering, design, and technology get deserved attention. But we believe that every one of our grand challenges is deeply affected by the rules of private enterprise, the everyday choices of investors and managers, and the business-fueled demands of consumers in developed markets.

What kinds of teaching prompt students to think differently about their role—and the role of the corporation—in the issues of our day? What frameworks and metrics give future leaders “room” to make business decisions that will lead to progress? How can business school disciplines—especially in the core curriculum—best contribute? These are the questions that guided our selection process for this year’s Awards.

For more information, please read the full call for nominations.

Eligibility: Nominees must teach at the graduate level in a business school and syllabi submitted as part of the nomination process must be for a graduate-level course.

Nomination Procedure: This year we accepted self-nominations as well as traditional peer-nominations. For each nomination, a letter of support was required from a faculty member or dean, and another (new this year!) from a student.

Selection Process: Aspen Institute staff, together with a small group of academic advisors, selected this year’s award recipients.

Questions? Contact us at: FPAwards@aspeninstitute.org

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