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MWB: The master degree of world benefit

If you want to change the world, you might want to start with the next generation of leaders. And as OpenIDEO is popular in several schools, maybe there's one that can start the Masters of World Benefit program.

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Imagine this: the young leaders of tomorrow no longer have the three letters 'MBA' printed on their business cards, but in stead have MWB. They have gone through an extensive Master-level course, teaching them not only how to run a profitable business, but to make that also profitable and beneficial to societies and our environment.

As Timo pointed out in the comments, the job of CCO (Chief Caring Officer) as proposed by Avi, is of course held by people with an MWB.

Also, as Kirk suggested, it should be good to capitalize on the relationships between educational institutions and companies to further develop and spread this new degree.

This is a short concept, open for discussion and builds. It's inspired by a comment of James on my TEE concept.

Get the title into circulation
As I understood from the comment from Beau, the Weatherhead School of Management is already integrating design and sustainability into its curriculum. I think this is an important start: getting the thinking around shared value into the minds of future (business) leaders. To start with, it would be nice if graduates of MBA programs would also get the MWB title. Maybe not officially recognised yet, but with some out there, there could be a case made to get the title an official standing.

Next thing is to have some partner companies (maybe in the search for fellow), add this title to job descriptions as a 'nice-to-have' requirement. Even though this may not be suitable yet, as there are no MWB title-holders, it gives a signal to the market that this is something to take seriously. It will add to the aspirational value of the title.

Building a curriculum
As for the curriculum, design thinking should be part of it. And sustainability. I really like the thinking of Umair Haque and the late Ray Anderson, so I think it's good to integrate that into the course, maybe through a guest lecture.
As suggested by several in the comments, there are some great disruptive institutions out there. Kaos Pilots were mentioned, and also Knowmads. It would be great to integrate some of their content into the course. What makes these change makers successful, would be the leading question for that. 
Another educational disruptor mentioned is the Khan Academy. Maybe there could be a series of courses, with tests etcetera, delivered through Coursera for example, that would give students credits with which they can finalise the MWB/MBA program in a shorter time. Say 50 - 75% of total credits?
For those not familiar with Coursera, it delivers free university level courses online.

Photo courtesy of Thirty30 Photography on Flickr

How does your concept celebrate, identify or inspire for-profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit?

Case studies should be used during the cause, making tomorrow's leaders familiar with the great companies that innovate for world benefit, and learn from it. Also, promoting the MWB title, and making it as attractive for students and employers as possible, will help.

How will your concept help us create or leverage stories of world benefit that are sticky and shareable?

Not sure, but having many young students aim for a certain degree could help. Other than that, this concept is open to suggestions and builds.

What will it take to scale your concept so that its reach is global and widespread?

Commitment from a few leading business schools to start this program.


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In the global world (outside U.S) certification and training carry a lot of weight. That means that offering this type of program (and certification) will be highly valued and can make a real difference. People (i.e. key stakeholders) will listen when interacting with individuals who have some form of certification. I know this from my own experience as Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco and the certification programs we run in Latin America.

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