Since its inception, IE Business School’s commitment to society has permeated every aspect of the school, as reflected by core program content, electives specialised in the field of corporate responsibility (CR), consolidated initiatives like the Chair in Corporate Ethics, funded by the IE Alumni Association, or the IE code of professional conduct, the result of a joint effort by professors, students and alumni. This commitment culminated in the creation of a dedicated department, Social Impact Management at IE, which now plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day fabric of the school.
IE addresses Social Impact Management from 3 essential angles:
Knowledge, generated by research, and transferred through teaching and events. Research is powered by social impact management centres at IE, including the PwC/IE Centre for Corporate Responsibility, PwC/IE Public Sector Centre, the IE Centre for Diversity, and the IE Centre for Eco-Intelligent Management. Lines of social impact knowledge generation include: corporate responsibility; social entrepreneurship; social investing; strategic/effective philanthropy; and sustainable development. Forums and seminars include the Social Responsibility Forum, a student-led initiative where world experts in CR and social entrepreneurship meet to analyze challenges and opportunities in their respective fields, and the Corporate Responsibility Tribune in collaboration with PwC and Expansion, aimed at bringing CR discussion to top-level management in European Companies.
The engagement of IE’s MBA students, alumni, established professionals, and other members of the IE community to implement knowledge. Engagement of students in CR activities starts with the admissions process and continues through initiatives like the Net Impact Chapter and EcologIE; clubs dedicated to Diversity, Entrepreneurship, and Women in Business; the Mentor Program; internships in NGOs; career support; and the CR Community at IE, that provides a platform for lifelong encounter and debate on social impact issues. Students may also opt for the Social Entrepreneurship Track, a specialization whereby MBA students develop a business plan for a social enterprise. From the first day of the MBA experience, these students are immersed in the process through entrepreneurship courses, electives, and support from an academic tutor and visiting social entrepreneurs. The social entrepreneurship mindset is further fomented among IE students by initiatives like the Social Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition, designed to foster projects with social or environmental impact as a central component of the enterprise. The competition is organized jointly with the Sumaq Alliance, formed by eight leading business schools from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world.
Outreach, via strategic collaborations and social entrepreneurial alliances and initiatives whereby IE members interact with the community. Outreach takes many forms, including alliances with organizations like the Global Compact – IE being part of the GC Principles for Responsible Business Education workgroup; the Sumaq-led 1st European-Ibero American Congress on Corporate Responsibility; and IE’s sponsorship of the EFMD CSR case study award, to name just a few.
In short, IE Business School’s drive to address social and environmental issues as one of the major challenges facing business organizations in the 21st century forms an integral part of the school’s strategic vision and future roadmap.