Applied Improv Theater: An MBA Must-Have

Thursday | January 21 | 2016 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 PM
Salon A, B

Author Dan Pink has stated that in our new, creative economy, “the Master of Fine Arts is the new MBA.” While this may be an extreme statement, its implications are powerful - you cannot excel in business without creativity. Today’s business graduates can look to the worlds of theater and improvisation to hone the skills regularly sought in today’s business arena: creativity, resiliency, agility, high tolerance for risk, collaborative awareness, and high levels of emotional intelligence. In this interactive workshop we will explore why integrating improv and theater based training into MBA programs is such an effective method to teach 21st century soft skills. Using top MBA programs who have already instituted such programs as an example, we will discuss precisely how improv training teaches these skills. As an introduction to the experiential nature of this work, we will also walk you through two sample sessions of “Applied Improv” workshops currently in use at the UC Davis MBA program and finally offer suggestions about how you can carry this learning back to your students.​


Joyful Simpson, Creativity Facilitator, University of California Davis​​