Social impact research at IMD

elea Chair for Social Innovation

Professor Vanina Farber holds the elea Chair for Social Innovation and leads the IMD elea Center for Social Innovation, which inspires and encourages leaders in business, government and civil society to create social innovation, new solutions that benefit global society by addressing social and environmental needs more efficiently and effectively than current policies and businesses.

The elea Chair is supported by a donation from the elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization which was founded by Peter Wuffli, the former Chairman of the Board of IMD.

Debiopharm Chair of Family Philanthropy

Professor Peter Vogel holds the Debiopharm Chair of Family Philanthropy, which aims to facilitate the creation of best practices and will be the source of methodology to strengthen the analysis, decision-making processes, evaluation criteria, and governance in the area of family philanthropy. 

Global Board Center

The Global Board Center, under the leadership of Professor Didier Cossin, conducts research related to corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and stewardship. The research focuses on stewardship and fostering organizations to have long-term positive social impact while creating economic value for all.

Social impact teaching at IMD

While issues of responsible leadership are integrated in all our courses, IMD offers several programs and courses that specifically address issues of social and environmental impact. 

CLEAR (Cultivating Leadership Energy through Awareness and Reflection): The mindfulness-focused program for senior executives consists of three modules over a ten-month period held in Lausanne, Champéry (Switzerland), and Bali (Indonesia). The aim of the program is to accelerate the ability of participating executives to unleash energy and engagement across their organizations to enhance business results and deepen the positive impacts on society. The module in Bali explores how business leaders can contribute to positive societal impacts through hands-on engagement activities and via consulting with a social enterprise.

MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (MBA):  All MBA participants take a required course called Business and Society. The course addresses the role of business in our global society and aims to equip students to make decisions that lead to positive impact for business, communities and people – as well as for our global environment.

Movers, Shakers, Preachers & Pragmatists is an MBA elective course covering the economic, business and ethical implications of a broad range of important managerial and policy decisions. The purpose is to deliberate on fundamental dilemmas and to recognize, confirm or question your own moral compass.

Social Innovation is another MBA elective course about purposeful for-profit business approaches to addressing social and environmental challenges. The course objective is to explore how purpose and sustainability can be the source of innovation of business models. Students learn about the role that purpose can play in motivating social innovation and the different opportunities that businesses have to enable social innovation.

Also, all MBA and EMBA participants receive exposure to corporate responsibility issues through Discovery Expeditions that take them to emerging markets.