Student and Graduate Publishing

Shannon Springer: We need to recognise our inter-connectedness in business

Friday, 25 October 2013 14:32

Shannon Springer – Exeter University Business School – One Planet MBA


The One Planet MBA is an unique partnership between the World Wildlife Fund, University of Exeter and a dozen corporates. An African proverb is that if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.

Integrating sustainability into business management is not niche. Waves to protest have spread across the world, triggered by the Occupy Wall Street. Boston students walked out of classes – 70 from the business course did this, to protest the bias in the economic course. They just couldn’t subscribe to the idea of infinite growth on a finite planet. They wanted different questions – ones that they could address now our economic system is broken.

We’re in a triple crisis: economic, social and environmental. Business schools are talking about the economy in a way that is devoid of any critical conversation about sustainability and human well-being. Despite our social media connections, we are failing to see the fundamental interconnectedness of our lives.

There’s an Iranian entrepreneur on the course who finds it hard to plan two years ahead, when he has no idea what his country will be like in two years…

A global business festival like this should be producing the change agents who will help re-imagine our system of business. The Maldives is a fragile democracy, feeling the threat of rising sea levels, but which is working internationally to address these interconnected issues.

We have power to harness the positive good and the positive impact happening out there and spread it. And it’s happening now.