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Climate change: Why business schools are failing

IbyIMD+ Published 10 January 2023 in Sustainability • 5 min read

We are faced with an existential challenge that requires radical action. Tomorrow’s business leaders must learn to think critically about their role in society and how they will practice their craft in order to bring about change.

Business schools in the United States, Europe and elsewhere are putting climate change more centrally into their curriculum. This is good news. The market is the world’s most powerful organizing institution, and it must be brought to bear on this monumental challenge. Indeed, if there are no solutions coming from the market, there will likely be no solutions.

But there is also a problem. The guiding motivation behind this change is the scale of the market shift that climate change presents – as much as $26 trillion through 2030. In the face of such opportunity, the business curriculum is being geared towards the development of new products, services, and practices to realize profit opportunities. Yet that focus on the win-win ignores the eventual win-lose that must happen in some parts of the economy. Without the latter, the effort will not be enough.  

Climate change, in its truest sense, is a system breakdown. To fix a system breakdown, we need to fix the system that…

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