FOME 2022: Global business schools address universal challenges in management education

Delegates from twelve leading global business schools converged on the University of Melbourne on 15-18 November to discuss the future of management education at the 2022 Future of Management Education (FOME) Alliance Annual Conference.

Many guests attended in person at the University of Melbourne campus, while some delegates participated online, reflecting the flexible collaborative nature of hyflex education which is a key focus of the FOME Alliance.

This year the key themes were: impact, sustainability, innovation and technology and their relationship with the future of management education.

Professor Nasser Spear, FOME Chair and academic at the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne, said it was a valuable opportunity for leading business schools from around the globe to share ideas and learnings about universal challenges.

“As educators in business and management, we are confronting similar challenges, so the Conference is an important way for us to exchange notes and thoughts. We want to move forward together and ensure the industry is well placed to educate new generations of leaders,” said Prof Spear.

“Technology and digital innovations were a big focus of our discussions, but we couldn’t ignore other factors that are affecting how we adopt technologies and reform classrooms. The urgent need for sustainability in our practices was a big topic for this conference, as were geopolitics, changing business models, investments in education, and the public’s expectation for institutional accountability,” said Prof Spear.

The conference opened with a plenary address by Sir Ronald Cohen, international philanthropist and social innovator, and the Enterprise Professor Rosemary Addis AM, director and strategist for innovation in impact and sustainability at the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne.

Two people on screens talking to an audience
Prof Rosemary Addis and Sir Ronald Cohen discuss sustainability at the opening event.

Sir Cohen and Prof Addis spoke about the importance of sustainable and impactful practices in organisations, including in tertiary institutions. These themes were continued in workshops, discussions, and activities over four days.

In one session, participants discussed ways business schools could use the combined reach of the FOME Alliance to have a wider impact on the industry.

Board members about to sign a document.
Prof Nasser Spear (FOME Chair), Dean Sharon Hodgson (Ivey), Dean Paul Kofman (Melbourne), Professor Rick Smith (Johns Hopkins), Professor Enzo Peruffo (FOME Deputy Chair). Online – Dean Francisco Veloso (Imperial), Dean Raffaele Oriani (Luiss), Dean Kar Yan Tam (HKUST), Dean Bert De Reych (Singapore Management University), Provost Harald Overby (BI – Norway).

There was an opportunity to learn from industry with a guest presentation from Ms Helen Anderson, Telstra Head of Leadership and Capability at Telstra Australia.

In another session participants were invited to get hands on and build with solar technology using kits from Solar Buddy, an organisation that pledges to fight energy poverty.

People building an electronic model
Delegates constructed solar kits from Solar Buddy.

There was time to recognise best practice throughout the year with awards given to schools that had demonstrated innovation in learning design.

Winners of awards for innovation in learning design (Vlerick, EDHEC, and ESMT)
Winners of awards for innovation in learning design (Vlerick, EDHEC, and ESMT)

Of course, there were also plenty of opportunities to catch up at venues around the city of Melbourne and discuss everything that had been learned throughout the year.

Professor Paul Kofman, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne, who was also a participant at the Conference, said more discussions were needed about sustainable business practice, and business education needs.

“As a leading provider of business education, our Faculty wants to remain on the forefront of digital learning and assessment. The FOME Alliance is leading the industry in ideas and conversations about technology and its effect on learning about management, so we’re delighted to have hosted the 2022 FOME Conference,” said Prof Kofman.

The FOME Alliance is a vibrant and evolving partnership of like-minded leading business schools with a shared vision to catalyze digital innovation in business education. Learn more about FOME.

People smiling and having drinks beside a river.
Delegates of the 2022 FOME Conference beside the Yarra River, Melbourne.

Photos by Tania Temple