In 2022, the IMD Alumni and Development team continued their edifying collaboration with IMD’s global community of alumni. A mix of reunions, celebrations, and special events saw over one thousand of our alumni return to campus, and, thanks to the vibrant club offerings, over five thousand alumni were involved in IMD-themed events around the world.
Our community in numbers
alumni in 140 countries
Alumni engagement: so many highlights in 2022
A record number of MBA and EMBA graduation classes celebrated their reunion milestones in 2022 with 18 classes returning to campus. The reunions featured plenary sessions, led by IMD faculty, special class time, and an evening of celebration with the 2022 cohorts.
In September, alumni from all programs explored Our Shared Future during the International Alumni Symposium which featured former Irish president and current chair of The Elders, Mary Robinson.
On 7 and 8 October, almost 200 alumni came back to campus to celebrate the IMD MBA turn 50. This remarkable celebration shone a light on the extraordinary MBA journeys of its thousands of alumni, 50 of whom featured in 50 for 50, the book published to mark this milestone anniversary.
“The MBA50 was a fantastic experience – re-connecting with classmates and other IMD friends, as well as mixing with alumni across all the years. It reminded me what a difference the IMD MBA and its people have made in my life.”
Walter Lee, MBA 1993
Over 200 bespoke activities and events from Finland to Singapore
IMD’s global network of Alumni clubs continued to offer its members a wealth of opportunities to reconnect and engage in lifelong learning, as well as develop professional relationships and, of course, friendships. In 2022 alone, alumni clubs curated over 200 bespoke activities and events for the global alumni community.
The Saudi Arabia Alumni Club event in February where Jean-François Manzoni met with community members in Riyadh
In June, the Club of the Netherlands celebrated 30 years of existence at an event featuring. eleven speakers leading a debate on the World in 2050. August saw professor Karl Schmedders and Håkan Agneval, IMD alumnus and Wärtsilä President and CEO engage with the Finnish alumni community on the objectives and challenges of Europe’s energy transition. Professor Peter Vogel presented at the Hong Kong and Singapore Alumni Clubs’ special event ‘Opportunities for Asian-based family business’ held in September.
Community: connections, collaboration, and best practice sharing
Alumni Communities also strengthened the ties of the global alumni network through a myriad of online and in-person events.
The Alumni Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) further developed its Founder Series, an initiative that supports developing successful businesses through sharing best practices with aspiring entrepreneurs. The sessions included interviews with IMD MBA alumnus Tony Jamous, Oyster HR’s unicorn founder; Schuyler Wise, CEO, and co-founder of Switzerland’s first digital private bank; and Raffaello D’Andrea, founder of Kiva Systems and Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich. The community also strengthened its ties with EPFL, SICTIC, Verve Ventures, Fongit, Kellerhals Carrard via learning and networking sessions, with a specific focus on topics including economic climate challenges, managing company exits, the legal aspects of founder relationships, and entrepreneurship through acquisition.
A brand-new community was created at the end of 2022: the IMD Luxury 2050 Forum. This community exists to foster a more innovative, relevant, and environmentally and socially responsible luxury sector.
The TOGETHER community offered collaborative sessions on topics including sustainable ocean research, sustainable finance, and environmentally friendly production of hydrogen fuel.
International alumni association takes shape
The International Alumni Association, which will be launched in 2023, will support and connect IMD’s global alumni community and complement the clubs, classes, and communities. In 2022, its inaugural Board was appointed and is comprised of six members of the Alumni Community and three IMD Senior Staff.
Honors for an EMBA alumna
Growing up in Soweto, Sibongile Manganyi-Rath experienced first-hand the damaging impact of an underfunded healthcare system when aged 13, she was poorly treated and almost misdiagnosed at a state-run clinic.
She is now a businesswoman, having founded the Indigo Kulani Group (IKG), an infrastructure and real estate development company, aged just 26. But after completing her EMBA at IMD in 2018 and recalling her own experience as a teenager, she decided she could have the biggest impact by building a more inclusive and accessible healthcare system.
In 2022, Sibongile was honored in the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business’s 2022 Class of Influential Leaders for improving access to healthcare in low-income communities in South African townships.
Helping organizations hire talent from anywhere
Tony Jamous (MBA 2009) was born in Lebanon and moved to Paris, France as a teenager. His own experience of immigration, and his family’s roots in a country that continues to suffer significant economic and political upheaval, underpins his commitment to the potential of distributed work. As a result, he is a self-professed ‘future of work activist’.
He is the founder and CEO of global HR platform Oyster. Less than two years after its launch, Oyster was valued at more than $1 billion, officially making it a ‘unicorn.’ For Tony, such markers of accomplishment are secondary to his central priority.
“Helping organizations hire talent from anywhere will give new opportunities to workers living outside of the world’s wealthiest cities and reduce our impact on the climate,” says Tony.
Changing careers to help others succeed
Moving jobs to an educational NGO that helps people in China’s rural communities access higher education and training, gave Shalom Tang something his global corporate career could not offer him: purpose.
Having trained as a chemical engineer, Tang worked in Singapore before completing his MBA in 2008. He then worked for both Coca-Cola and Rovio in China.
Now, as Secretary General and Board Member of the Xin Hua Education Foundation (XHEF), he runs the signature Hope For Pearl project. Now a household name in China, Hope for Pearl sponsors high school students in the country’s most remote, often mountainous regions. The students complete their high school education with financial support and mentoring and then go on to complete university courses.
With courage and authenticity, female leaders can shine
Having started her career in Brazil, Carolina Berti completed her MBA in 2007, continuing to work for Dupont in a variety of roles across Switzerland and Spain. She then moved to RBI in Canada, where she has continued to steadily climb the ladder. Over those years, she said, she noticed her self-protective response to being in a male-dominated environment and decided to challenge it.
As a seasoned corporate leader with a global footprint, Carolina is aware of the pitfalls that can lead to women in business being fearful of unleashing their strategic creativity for fear of having their ideas considered ill-judged.
“My advice to female executives is don’t lose the opportunity to explore your vision and instincts through pressuring yourself to always be perfect and right,” said Carolina, Vice President Category Marketing Innovation at Restaurant Brands International (RBI), owner of the American fast-food chain Burger King and Canadian coffee shop and restaurant Tim Hortons.