The course is open to doctoral students in any management, organisation theory, or strategy-related PhD programme at a business school.

Sustainability boost from Global PhD Course and alumni

22 January 2024

The article at a glance

Business Schools for Climate Leadership, a consortium that includes Cambridge Judge Business School, offers a new online Global PhD course open to doctoral students at business schools.

Category: News Programme news

Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BS4CL), a consortium that includes Cambridge Judge Business School, has organised a new online Global PhD course that begins on 25 January and is open to doctoral students in any management, organisation theory, or strategy-related PhD programme at a business school.

In addition, BS4CL recently held its first Alumni Champions Meeting, which aims to maximise the sustainability efforts of each member business school through collaboration.

Global PhD course prepares students for future climate challenges

The new Global PhD course consists of 10 online sessions running from 25 January to 28 March, which are taught by expert faculty from within the BS4CL network and other leading scholars in the field of climate transition and management studies.

“The purpose of this global PhD course is to prepare the next generation of scholars to generate impactful, in-depth knowledge about and approaches to the challenges that organisations are currently facing as they navigate the climate transition,” say the organisers.

Participants will be connected with fellow PhD students from around the world, which will help create a professional network to support research and hopefully lead to collaborative projects on organising for the climate transition.

Cambridge Judge faculty sharing expertise to drive climate transition innovation

Jennifer Howard-Grenville.
Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville

For Cambridge Judge, Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies, is one of 3 programme coordinators along with colleagues from IESE and Oxford Saïd.

“This new course is offered to PhD students from any business school globally. Our aim is to help develop the next generation of scholars who can contribute to research and practice through evidence-based approaches to how the climate transition can be achieved, and accelerated, by businesses and other organisations,” says Jen.

Response to the course has been very positive. Organisers have offered acceptances to more than 120 students who will join all sessions of the course online, and each student has a faculty facilitator who can support them should they wish to take the course for credit at their home institution. At Cambridge Judge, PhD candidate Tirza Gapp is helping with the course logistics.

The BS4CL steering group also includes Chris Coleridge, Management Practice Associate Professor at Cambridge Judge, who co-founded a Cambridge-based net zero accelerator called Carbon13.

“The climate crisis can be understood through many lenses, including those of science and economics,” says Chris. “We’re used to thinking about these ‘big picture’ levers when we want ‘big change’.  But the way society organises its efforts to drive scientific and economic solutions is through organisations – so it is a vital component of our response to the climate emergency to ground our understanding of ‘how to respond’ in robust organisational and strategic theory. This course provides that grounding and could not be more timely.”

Eight initial business schools joined by new international clusters

Chris Coleridge.
Dr Chris Coleridge

BS4CL was established at the time of the COP26 climate-change summit in Glasgow in 2021 as a research and thought leadership partnership between 8 leading European business schools with the idea to collaborate in generating and disseminating actionable insights and recommendations for climate leadership.

The 8 initial business schools – Cambridge Judge Business School, HEC Paris, IE Business School, IESE Business School, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), INSEAD, London Business School, and Oxford Saïd Business School – were joined by a cluster of business schools in Africa at COP27 in Egypt in 2022 and a cluster of business schools from the Middle East at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in late 2023.

How providing alumni with sustainable insights can maximise impact

The 8 initial members have about 500,000 alumni, so the idea of the first Alumni Champions Meeting held on 12 December was to create a ripple effect through our community on sustainability issues. This will be followed by the next practitioners conference to be held in spring 2024 at INSEAD. The goal is to maximise impact of each school’s own initiatives related to sustainability and climate change through interconnection and coordination, including translating research into actionable insights to distribute to alumni. Areas for collaboration include the circular economy and climate finance, and the group plans to explore the possibility of a journal or other communications channel to keep alumni informed of new initiatives.