On August 21, the incoming Weatherhead School of Management MBA class of 2020 met for the first in a year-long series of workshops centered on Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB), Appreciative Inquiry, and Sustainable Value Creation. These workshops will help create a common shared foundation of learning for this year’s new MBA students.
The students were hosted by an esteemed group of Weatherhead professors including Ron Fry, Professor, Organizational Behavior; Chris Laszlo, Professor, Organizational Behavior; and David Cooperrider, Distinguished University Professor, Fairmount Santrol | David L. Cooperrider Professor of Appreciative Inquiry, Char and Chuck Fowler Professor of Business as an Agent of World Benefit, and Faculty Director, Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit.
Professor Cooperrider started the day with a inspiring presentation on how business has emerged as one of the most positive forces for betterment in the world. He shared the story about how Appreciative Inquiry and Business as an Agent of World Benefit began at Case Western Reserve University, and the Center’s role in the founding of the UN Global Compact at the United Nations.
Professor Fry then led the students in an Appreciative Inquiry activity where they asked each other questions about high points in their lives and positive visions for the future, before sharing some responses with the whole group.
The group was honored to have J. Lyell Clarke, III, President and CEO of Clarke and a Fowler Center Advisory Board member, present a stirring presentation about his company’s journey to embedded sustainable and greater purpose. (Click here to see a photo.)
Professor Laszlo offered remarks and then moderated a panel of special Weatherhead guests, including Karen Braun, PhD, Professor, Accountancy; Diana Bilimoria, PhD, KeyBank Professor and Chair and Professor, Organizational Behavior; and Michael Goldberg, Assistant Professor, Design and Innovation. Each spoke about "business for good" in their own fields.
Participants said that the three hours flew by and that the biggest impact came from hearing directly from a business leader who has made Business as an Agent of World Benefit and Appreciative Inquiry a part of his company's DNA.
The new class of MBA students can look forward to workshops over the academic year, including the capstone workshop on November 13, with a full panel of local business leaders.
Visit the Fowler Center website to learn more: https://weatherhead.case.edu/centers/fowler/.