Mobilising Business-schools for Adaptation (MBA)
Given the need to diversify the private sector actors who are mobilising action and investment into adaptation and resilience, business schools present a unique opportunity to leverage their role of knowledge brokers as pre-existing, trusted partners of private sector stakeholders. They are a key source of private sector talent and recruitment; they provide safe spaces for the private sector to learn and create a common understanding on the latest resilience science; and they can help broker the key bodies of knowledge from which the private sector draws evidence and thought-leadership into their own decision making and eventual capital deployment.
In the initial phase, GRP in collaboration with UNDP is working with Yale School of Management, IMD Business School, Saïd Business School at Oxford, and Cape Town Graduate School of Business.
The purpose of the partnership between business schools and GRP is to create a safe space for different stakeholders to engage, build and exchange knowledge frameworks around the business and investment case for resilience, business models, innovation, and adaptation. There is a unique opportunity to align the private sector, business schools, the public sector around resilience, climate change and adaptation, to be more reflective of not only the planetary emergency that society and business are facing but also the systemic solutions.
The partnership with the business schools has so far been one of co-creation, and the intention is to continue to work closely and chart the way forward together. Building trust is of the essence.
This initiative has four main activities:
- Undertaking research with faculty, graduates, and undergraduates into specific issues, including financial models, risk and cost of capital, technical solutions, business models, or climate change effects on business. This will ensure continuous creation of insights into evidence and proof of resilience and adaptation, and will help businesses both become more resilient as businesses (e.g., resilient value chains are important for food production) as well as adapt their business models to be strategic about being in the business of resilience (the solutions the planet needs to tackle climate change). Its initial focus will be to increase the flow of appropriately-costed capital to project around the world that enhance and bring about societal and climate resilience.
- Creating case studies of examples of scalable, investable and sustainable projects that enhance adaptation and resilience in their systems, and using these to influence ways of thinking at both the student and capital allocator level. This includes facilitating closer connections between climate scientists, business school faculty and students, and capital investment decision makers. This with a view to create a more nuanced and deeper understanding of crucial impact issues such as undervalued global south resilience, loss and damage articulation, learning from failure and mobilising capital where resilience, adaptation and sustainability thinking is integrated.
- Designing, operating and curating internships across MBA, MPhil and MSc programs focused on locally led global south projects through the UNDP and GRP pipelines. These are combined with other types of support in leadership training already provided by GRP. This will support the projects with essential skills and expertise, transfer skills in both directions, and expose the students to the reality of not only climate and resilience issues, but also the market conditions in the global south.
- Collaboration around thought leadership. Building on the above, and the closer linkages formed between the different stakeholders, collaborate on thought leadership.