It is our mission to provide a learning platform for individuals and organizations to thrive by co-creating viable business solutions for our planet and its people. Enabling business to become a powerful driving force to create a world where everybody “lives well and within the limits of the planet” (WBCSD) is the single biggest educational challenge for business schools in the coming decades. To achieve this multi-dimensional transformation, we build our educational approach on the three cornerstones: responsibility, sustainability and entrepreneurship.
BSL main activities include teaching and research. We deliver the undergraduate (BBA), graduate (Masters), postgraduate (E/MBA) as well as doctorate programs (DBA). The MBA in Sustainable Business is a unique program in Switzerland combining MBA education with a deep dive in business sustainability through the BSL – University of St. Gallen joint degree in Sustainable Business. This program blends two programs into one, the E/MBA and the Diploma in Sustainable Business, resulting in a holistic learning experience. The BSL DBA program is a first of its kind program in sustainable business, co-created with 4 other universities. Our doctorate program develops case studies based on the Business Sustainability Typology BST (Dyllick & Muff).
BSL focuses on applied research mainly in the domains of enabling organizations to become positive contributors to society. The main research activities are in the following areas:
- The GAPFRAME (www.gapframe.org) – a tool designed to give practical support to everyone working towards a sustainable and safe future. This tool provides a view of the current state of the world from the perspective of a country, region, issue and sustainability dimension, and includes a dashboard of related priority issues to close the gap to the safe space. The GAPFRAME provides a concrete starting point for strategic discussion on sustainability and an effective decision-making tool to help business, government and education to focus on priority issues.
- The Competency Assessment for Responsible Leadership CARL (www.carl-test.org) – an assessment test that provides a pragmatic and rapid way to determine the state of existing Responsible Leadership competencies of individuals and groups.
- The Collaboratory – an open-space, creative method for hosting meaningful conversations where various stakeholders tap into the collective intelligence to generate solutions to complex problems (https://www.bsl-lausanne.ch/the-collaboratory-practice/
- The Business Sustainability Typology – a framework that offers a practical approach to evaluate different levels of integration of sustainability in business. As such, it provides an answer to the difficult question of what business sustainability actually means and how to differentiate between beginning, intermediate and advanced levels in business practice (http://www.truebusinesssustainability.org/the-typology).
Business School Lausanne operates as a self-organization structure with a distributed power model. While we have no managers in the house, we energize multiple roles with passion, enthusiasm, professionalism, and responsibility. We have chosen to use Holocracy as our “operating system” to facilitate our journey to become an impactful self-organized institution.
Holocracy proposes a hierarchy of work (not people and power). People fill and energize different roles in different circles and are held fully responsible for those roles and the accountabilities enlisted within the roles. Members of the organization are fully empowered to prioritize their work by doing their best in fulfilling the role purpose always within the context of the broader organization’s purpose or mission.
1987: Foundation by John Hobbs
1996: Award of accreditation by ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs) for BBA and MBA program
1996: Launch of the Executive MBA program
1997: BSL becomes member of the Lemania Group of Schools
2004: ISO 9001 Certification
2006: Reaffirmation of ACBSP accreditation for BBA, MBA and DBA
2006: Commitment to UN Global Compact ten principles
2008: Appointment of Dr. Katrin Muff as Dean
2008: Membership of Delta Mu Delta
2009: BSL restructures the MBA programs, begins online collaboration with Harvard Business Publishing, offers seminars for business professionals
2009: BSL’s MBA program is ranked 40 among top European Business Schools
2010: BSL becomes a member of EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development)
2010: BSL launches new Master’s programs
2010: BSL joins PRME
2011: In collaboration with the University of St. Gallen, BSL launches a post-graduate Diploma program in Sustainable Business
2012: Restructuring of the BBA program to include sustainability in each module
2012: BSL is elected to the Swiss business school in the exclusive business school network of the Kofi Annan Business School Foundation
2012: Award of accreditation by ACBSP for Master’s programs
2014: BSL becomes the first university worldwide to pass the audit to become an organization of the Economy for the Common Good (Gemeinwohlökonomie)
2015: BSL adopts Holacracy as its operational management system to become a self-organizing and responsive learning organization