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December 2012

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For more information on the MET Fund and Ideas to Innovation Challenge, go to

Innovative Ideas Becoming Reality

With the presentation of an oversized check from the GMAC Management Education for Tomorrow Fund, the University of Botswana Faculty of Business recently launched its effort to start graduate and executive programs in business.

The UB Faculty of Business was one of 12 schools and organizations worldwide awarded funding to improve management education in the GMAC MET Fund’s Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Challenge. Through the i2i Challenge, the GMAC MET Fund awarded US$262,500 in early 2011 for the top 20 ideas to improve management education and then awarded more than US$7.1 million to turn the ideas into reality.

Ben Glover, regional director for GMAC Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, presented an oversized check to professor Kgomotso Moahi, chairman of the committee of deans and vice chancellors, University of Botswana, at a late-November event in Gaborone, Botswana. 

“Through the MET Fund’s i2i Challenge, GMAC is investing in—and giving back to— management education and the institutions where it is taught. We are working with schools to innovate and, through innovation, to foster new ways to develop the next generation of business leaders,” he said.

Other grant winners announced in April and updates on their projects:

  • ESADE, Barcelona: A Global Integrative Module will pose a problem to teams of students from different schools on different continents, who must address it from social, political, managerial, and economic dimensions.  A task force has been formed, the ESADE intranet has been deemed adequate to host the platform, and potential partner schools have been identified and contacted.
  • Net Impact: Projects for Good, an international network of top graduate business schools, undergraduate campuses and professionals, will match non-profit organizations in need of innovative ideas and business solutions with teams of interested MBA students. After researching top programs, Net Impact has developed a comprehensive list of business and technical requirements for the portal and decided that the defining characteristics for the projects should be simple, straightforward, and scalable; and that resources will be posted for students and organizations so both sides have clear expectations for projects.
  • S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai: Abhyudaya, which means “development and prosperity for all,” is a year-long program in which first-year MBA students mentor underprivileged children in Mumbai’s K-West Ward. It started in in 2008 and has grown this year to 229 Sitaras, or children, and 229 mentors, who have undergone training and workshops, as well as academic study of issues related to poverty.
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – ALTIS, Milan: Partnering with Tangaza College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is launching an executive MBA in social entrepreneurship in Nairobi, Kenya. The two colleges have drafted the official document to launch the program in June 2013, which is being submitted to their academic boards. The university brought together directors and vice-chancellors of five African universities to define how to best develop social entrepreneurs in their specific context. Ahead of schedule, ALTIS has identified the Catholic Institute of Business and Technology (CIBT) of Accra, Ghana, as a second location to host the program.
  • The University of Texas Tyler: The university will illustrate concepts discussed in graduate management coursework with video feeds from a factory in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Some 15 videos have been produced, and seven have been evaluated.
  • SUNY Empire State College SUNY Empire State College will develop a program to award American Council on Education (ACE) graduate-level credit toward an MBA for relevant military training and replace a traditional introductory MBA course with one specifically designed to serve veterans transitioning to civilian life and business leadership. The MBA faculty has started matching ACE’s graduate credit recommendations against the MBA curriculum to identify eligibility for MBA degree credit. The faculty has started developing the Leading in a Civilian Context course.
  • Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management: An online, cloud-based Management Education Collaboration Network (MECNET) will allow business faculty to share ideas and best practices. The school conducted a worldwide survey to determine business school and faculty attitudes toward collaborative learning networks and developed and released a vendor request for information. A paper was presented at the Sloan technology conference in Las Vegas in July.
  • University of California San Diego Rady School of Management: This project will create a virtual campus to foster collaboration across graduate management programs internationally. Students will be able to navigate an online, interactive environment that will offer opportunities to receive coaching and attend seminars and other group learning activities. After conducting due diligence, Rady started to develop a virtual environment in both Open Simulator (OpenSim) and Unity 3D platforms. Rady is working with Tycoon Systems, which has developed a “Green Car Industry” business simulation, to offer the simulation as a cross-university global business simulation competition among teams made up of MBA students worldwide. 
  • University of South Florida St. Petersburg: USFSP will offer an expedited MBA program for veterans, emphasizing the importance of corporate social responsibility. USFSP has focused on marketing and recruiting for the program, with 10 veterans completing the GMAT preparation or Essential refresher courses. The program expects to have a full cohort of 20 students by summer 2013.

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