Have you seen the Prezi on “CoopBSchool” posted on occupymba.com? It outlines the author’s vision of a business school for the 99% “aimed at meeting human needs in a just, sustainable manner, instead of meeting the needs of the few and the rich at the expense of everyone else (and, at best, greenwashing the mess).”
It’s a bold vision, and I have enjoyed comparing and contrasting the author’s business school wishlist against the BGI reality: I think you’ll be amazed at how well we stack up. I certainly was!
Here’s the author’s must-have list:
- Commitment to changing the world through business
- Sustainability integrated throughout the curriculum
- Focus on sustainable business, social entrepreneurship, environmental justice, local living economies
- Modular, scalable, affordable, practical, experiential
- Democratically managed
- Worker and learner owned
- Lifelong membership in a learning community
- No closed book management, closed door offices, deep hierarchies, elitism, highly paid executives, secretive investments
- Practicing what they preach
- (And a handful of others – check out the link for the full list.)
The CoopBSchool dream is a virtual alter ego for the BGI reality. We were founded to “change business for good” through a fully integrated sustainability curriculum, which includes social justice, environmental responsibility, and other values we seem to share with the author. And the learning community I’ve seen and experienced at BGI is like no other, including faculty and staff. We all learn from each other, a key element in any thriving school, business, or society.
With all this similarity, I started to ask myself “what’s different and why?”
- We’re not a worker-owned cooperative. We’re a 501(c)3 non-profit.
- We’re not as affordable as any of us would like AND we’re about half the price of the top-tier schools, roughly comparable in price to many public MBA programs.
- We’re not yet a B Corp, but we should be.
I’d love to hear comments from current and former BGI students about what you think about the CoopBSchool vision, how well we match up with it – and whether it’s even a good account of what we are/should be striving for.
And for those who are not currently affiliated with BGI, I encourage you to check out the CoopBSchool vision, and then check us out. It’s exciting to be this close to the dream!
Jill Bamurg is a co-founder of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute who currently serves as core faculty after many years as Dean of Academic Affairs.