In view of the awe-inspiring advances in science and technology the humanities need to rejuvenate itself to drive new insight and meaning into our human existence and contribution to the world. The metaphor of “adjacent possible” can be used to describe how societal transformation occur as incremental steps into new rooms that slowly lead us from our current trajectory into an adjacent one where new possibilities await. If humanists took the notion of adjacent possible into their thinking, a vast new neural network of thought exchanges, one combining with another, and another, will emerge. The result is likely to spark new energy and life into humanistic thinking and, hopefully, answers to big questions about the future of our shared civilization and planet.
Having taught at five business schools over several decades and served as Dean of two, I have come to a conclusion: The educational institutions where our future business leaders are being trained must be recalibrated and transformed dramatically.
Business education today is anachronistic in both how it is conducted and what its content focuses on. Our brick institutions have in no way caught up with what today’s technologies make possible in terms of virtual learning and individualized, customized instruction. More importantly, business education needs to evolve once again, revising its goals to educate leaders of the future who have a new set of skills: sustainable global thinking, entrepreneurial and innovative talents, and decision-making based on practical wisdom.
Full text in my 2 July 2014 article “The Renaissance We Need in Business Education” in Harvard Business Review.