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Future Of The MBA In 2018: Female Empowerment, Clean Energy & Artificial Intelligence

After 2017 felt somewhat wrapped in turmoil, the MBA in 2018 will prepare b-school students to lead the world of the future

Wed Jan 10 2018

2017 at times resembled Tom Hanks in Castaway; lost, helpless, and worryingly unkempt.

It felt like a year-long tempest, with protectionist politics holding globalization beneath the waves, drowning; Hurricane Harvey revealing the ubiquitous, insidious extent of female harassment in the workplace; a cloud of smog descending after Donald Trump pulled America out of the Paris Climate Agreement; and the investigation into Russian meddling in the US election showing the malevolent potential of technology.

2018 though, offers the chance for MBA students to show that globalization can be a force for good, female empowerment is more important than ever before, and the onus is on corporations to harness their responsibility for sustainable management.

“When I see the students […] studying with international professors and peers, they elevate their global mindset. It makes them more business savvy, more practical,” says Peter Hill, senior director of career development at Hult International Business School.

“It would be great if business education as a whole continued down this track as the payoffs are immense.”

Of course, by forcing students from all over the world to work together on projects and case studies, there will be disagreements. But part of leadership development comes from that. Being able to collaborate with individuals from different industries and countries, with different personalities, is vital for the development of a global mindset.


For global leaders to come to the fore, MBA programs need to focus more specifically on the aspects of long-term career development in the new year, says Jane Barrett, co-founder of career development company, The Career Farm.

“In a rapidly changing workplace active career development is a life-long skill both for [students], but also as a competency for leading a team. Giving students a structure to consider their career and help their staff develop is crucial,” she says.

Jane also believes that in order to develop and maintain success, leaders need mentors throughout their own development process. “There is a real need to show how to identify these key players and engage the as well as providing the same framework to help others,” she adds.

Female Empowerment

Mentorship is a prominent feature of the Cass Global Women’s Leadership Program Scholarship—which offers four female MBA candidates a 50% discount on tuition for each of Cass Business School’s four MBA programs.

The scholarship highlights the importance for 2018 to be another year in which female leadership programs in business continue to excel.

“The number of women in top management roles is disproportionately low compared to the numbers at entry and middle-management levels,” explains Dr. Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer, director of the Cass Global Women’s Leadership Program Scholarship.

“Yet it is at that level where they truly could make a difference; there is strong evidence that top management team diversity affects decision-making quality positively,” she adds.

But the effort has to be universal, Canan says, as it is equally as important to include male colleagues in the gender inequality conversation, and explain how collaboratively they can help change the “organizational factors” that form the divide. “After all, these cohorts are the leaders of the future,” Canan says.


Clean Energy

Being a leader of the future is a key mantra for the clean energy sector, an industry in which Luca Piccardi works, an MBA graduate from Copenhagen Business School.

He is a contract manager for Denmark’s leading clean energy firm, Ørsted, and, he says, “there is a need to realize that the drastic changes in the environment and the global ecosystem can have disastrous effects both economically and socially, worldwide.”

“MBA programs should therefore focus on creating and fostering a mentality of change within each specific area—from finance to supply chain—by engaging with alumni and professors who most feel the drive for change,” he continues.

For Luca, the MBA can play an important role in pushing the clean energy and sustainable development agenda. “MBAs can leverage the virtuous cycle by promoting and encouraging the development of ideas within the industry,” he says.

Artificial Intelligence

Innovating in the clean energy sector, or any sector for that matter, now requires a keen understanding of technology. The power of AI to propel company development is prominent wherever you look in the business world.

Indeed, that is the basis of the work Alessandro Vitale does, an MBA graduate from MIP Politecnico di Milano, who launched two Artificial Intelligence startups after graduating.

He highlights the power of the technology in a quote from Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, in the Harvard Business Review—“Over the next decade, AI won’t replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who don’t."

He continues by explaining that it will be key for MBA programs to provide students with the “tools to navigate the AI landscape”, as they attempt to train the future batch of tech-savvy leaders.

“First, they have to be able to distinguish what is already feasible or upcoming in AI, from what is just marketing or fake news,” he adds.

“Then, being able to define strategies and innovations to rethink their companies and industries from inside, by leveraging the power of AI.”

Finally, he notes, it will be important to execute and lead change, moving your company culture forward and bringing the rest of the workforce up to speed on the potential of the technology.

“Managers capable of finding common ground between their business, their people, and AI, will design out future,” he concludes.

“It’s a big challenge, but one that MBAs can and should take on.”

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School




On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.




On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.




On Campus


I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London




On Campus


The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.




On Campus


The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather




On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.




On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.




On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.




On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society