Build STEM Skills, but Don’t Neglect the Humanities


The recent debate about AI and the fantastic achievements of Science, Technology, Engineering Math (STEM) inspire awe.  In this 24 June 2015 blog for Harvard Business Review I argue for the need to add MA – Management and the Arts – to STEM, forming STEMMA.  I conclude with this claim:

“Our capacities for ethical decision-making, compassion, and creativity must also grow, along with our appreciation for humans’ need for connection, accomplishment, and meaning. Humans are not robots and neurons are not digital switches. It is through the humanities that we will increasingly recognize and build on what humans still uniquely are.”

Full story in my 24 June 2015 article in Harvard Business ReviewBuild STEM Skills, but Don’t Neglect the Humanities.”

On Moore’s law


The chasm between how the STEM field flourishes and our progress as humans is shocking and sad, is one of the claims I make in the blog Extending Moore’s Law to Claiming Our Humanity. Another is that we can learn a lot from the advances in STEM, because they teach us lessons about our humanity.

This 8 June 2015 blog  is but one of the contributions from public intellectuals to fuel the debate before, during and after the 7th Global Drucker Forum in Wien 5-6 November 2015. As a member of the steering committee I have the privilege to be be part of the discussion about what theme makes most sense given current circumstances in the world.

Over the last year the exponential developments in our knowledge about the genome, neuron and atom as well as equally staggering advances in artificial intelligence, and famous peoples’ warnings about it, have taken much space in the media and popular culture. What used to be confined to the domain of fantasy and science fiction is becoming creativity and ordinary science.

Almost 1/2 Century ago the renowned Peter Drucker said that the major questions about technology are not technical but human questions, and that is the theme of this years Drucker Forum: Claiming Our Humanity – Managing in the Digital Age.

In my blog I am using the famous “Moore’s law” from IT to wish for equal advanced in the Humanities: Just imagine if our capacities to be open-minded and free from dogma, preconception, conscious of our opinions and judgments, reflective of our actions and aware of our place in the social and natural worlds would double every 18 months.

Full story in my 8 June 2015 article “Extending Moore’s Law to Claiming Our Humanity,” at Drucker Society Europe.

Into Africa


Over the last few years my business schools, JIBS, has developed close relationships with two Eastern African countries, Ethiopia and Rwanda, to help increases their long-term “economic complexity” and thereby create widespread prosperity. At JIBS we call it our “Into Africa” strategic initiative and our means is higher education, especially PhD education.

In the latest issue of AACSB‘s BizEd magazine, I contributed an article about what we do and how we plan to increase our African engagement. I call it The PhD Effect:

Last week a group of JIBS faculty and JIBS PhD candidates from Rwanda contributed to the 1st Conference in Kigali on Recent Trends in Economic Development, Finance and Management Research in Eastern Africa, co-hosted by JIBS and our partners in University of Rwanda.

The conference included some 70 paper presentations and attracted 200 contributors from several East African countries. Following this initiative, I took part of the 1st Business and Economic Regional Summit, again hosted by University of Rwanda and JIBS. At the end of the summit five business schools deans signed a MOU on The Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Development Initiative, which includes research collaboration, policy advice, education and private sector development in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda (see photo below). JIBS has the pleasure and privilege to coordinate these activities and for us that means a further boost to our Into Africa strategic initiative. In fact it just became Into Africa 2.0.

2015-05-08 Signing the Entrepreneurship and Innovation for DevelopmentInitiative (EID)

All of this is in line with JIBS three guiding principles: International at Heart – Entrepreneurial in Mind – Responsible in Action.


Reflections on the future of business schools and elephants


Higher Education today is like the parable of the 3 blind men and the elephant; there is an elephant in the room—and it’s a good thing; and we need to make changes of an elephantine nature.

Full text in my 28 January 2015 guest blog for European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) “Reflections on the future of business schools and elephants.

EFMD is a management development network serving over 800 member organisations from academia, business, public service and consultancy in 81 countries. It is a unique forum for information, research, networking and debate on innovation and best practice in management development.