2018: a Year at Bologna Business School

5 January 2019

Just a few days ago we welcomed 2019, a new year full of challenges and opportunities. A year, this, which also inherits the enthusiasm and commitment that have characterized the 12 months just spent at Bologna Business School, rich in opportunities for discussion and analysis on the main issues of management, business and sustainability.



Video Strategy, Cloud Governance and The Impact of the Procurement in the Company, were the first three workshops that opened the year at Bologna Business School. The BBS Career Service has also organized a meeting between our Alumni and the HR Managers of important companies of the territory, in order to receive direct answers to the questions that it is not usually possible to pose during a formal selection process.



Mario Calabresi, Director of La Repubblica, opened the Spring Edition of the Innovation Talks 2018. During his speech Stories of Organizational Innovation, he discussed about the change, necessary but often difficult to face, brought under his guidance in the heart of two pillars of the Italian printed media: La Stampa and La Repubblica.



Thanks to the collaboration with Michel Page International, the Alumni of the Executive Masters have had the opportunity to deepen the main aspects of the Executive Search activity, to understand how to build and enhance the relationship with a headhunter over time in order to improve their career and their own professional path. The attention paid by the BBS Career Service to professional development has also led our Alumni to immerse themselves in an intensive workshop designed to acquire the tools and skills needed to plan an effective career strategy.



The Marketing Manager of Amazon, Stefano Belletto, has opened the 2018 edition of MGIncontri, the series of events designed to enrich the training of the students of the BBS Master in Business Management.

Among the other activities of the month, the first two appointments of the Executive Learning Seminars were organized by the BBS Career Service and dedicated to the topics of financial investments and social recruiting. The Professional Speed Dates also gave way to the Full-time Masters Alumni to participate in short 30-minute meetings with professionals from major Search and Selection Companies.

One of the main events at the School has been the meeting with Michael Watras, President and CEO of Straightline and one of the world’s leading experts in strategic branding and corporate communication. During the Innovation Talk Brand Innovation for Boosting Growth, Watras presented to the Community of BBS his vision on possible future branding trajectories for Made in Italy.

BBS also proposed the workshop Smart Budget: digital tools to improve process efficiency, dedicated to the new tools for efficient management of the budgeting process.



Innovating means also giving oneself the possibility to fail. During the Innovation Talk The Value of Failure, the manager and entrepreneur Matteo Marzotto addressed the issue of failure as an opportunity for growth and transformation, retracing the lessons learned from those encountered along his professional and personal path.

In April 2018, Bologna Business School also had the honor of meeting Muhammad Yunus, creator of modern microcredit and appointed with the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2006. During the Master Lecture The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero Net Carbon Emissions, centered on the system of small loans that caused a real change of mentality in the banking world, the Bengali economist and banker told his vision for a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable future society.

A further note of internationality was given by the School’s participation in the exclusive Access EMBA event in Dubai, where the BBS Alumni who currently live and work in the UAE and the BBS Staff were able to meet during the Networking Aperitivo at the Dusit Thani Dubai Center.



In 2018, it was held the 6th edition of the BBS Sailing Experience – Stefano de Maria Trophy, established in 2013 to enhance networking among Executive Alumni. The regatta, a metaphor for an organizational team, is the annual opportunity for meeting and networking between participants of different programs and editions, to compete in a sporting challenge where to put into practice their aptitudes to teamwork and leadership skills.

The month of May has also hosted two Innovation Talks, dedicated to fintech and the new values of workers in human resources. How China is leading fintech innovation in mobile payments has been the title of the speech during which Candice Koo, Cofounder and Managing Director of CANCAN Global Payments and Promotions, presented the technological innovation applied to the world of finance and electronic payments that have made China one of the leading countries in that industry. Riccardo Rossini, Partner of Egon Zehnder, the largest private executive search company in the world, has instead talked about the transformations taking place in the labor market and their impact on talent recruiting practices. During the speech Market evolutions and their impact on talent: Egon Zehnder perspective, Rossini focused on the new generations of workers and their values.

Roberto Napoletano, Italian journalist and writer, met the BBS Community to discuss about the years of the great crisis that struck at the heart of Italy and Europe, experienced as director of the newspapers Il Messaggero and Il Sole 24 Ore and today summarized in his book The black swan and the white knight. Italian diary of the great crisis.

The Career Service of Bologna Business School has organized a Career Day entirely dedicated to the world of luxury, fashion and retail. A great networking opportunity for more than 100 students of our full-time masters who have had the opportunity to get in touch with the HR managers of Balenciaga, Berluti (LVMH), H&M, Kering Eyewear, Moleskine, Moncler, Patrizia Pepe and PVH (Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein). In addition, the fourth event within the Career Development Seminars cycle was dedicated to the delicate topic of wage negotiation during the recruiting process.

BBS Executive students had the opportunity to discuss the issue of Digital Manufacturing Transformation with Richard Soley, CEO of OMG and Executive Director of the Industrial Internet Consortium, responsible for the digital transformation strategies in more than 30 countries.

Bologna Buciness School also hosted Fabrizio Saccomanni, President of UniCredit, who, starting from his experience as a banker, economist and politician, shared his vision of the future for the banking sector during the Master Lecture Transforming the business model: a choice that can not be postponed by banks, dedicated to the BBS Community.



The last appointment with the Innovation Talks of the Spring Edition hosted Eric X. Li, a political scientist and Founder and Managing Director of Chengwei Capital, one of the largest private equity and venture capital companies in China. Soft Power is Dying – Softly is the title of the keynote speech during which he discussed the ability of persuasion of a political system, together with Romano Prodi, Chairman of the BBS Steering Committee.

Bologna Business School, partner of La Repubblica delle Idee, the festival of culture and politics of the newspaper La Repubblica which came in 2018 to its seventh edition, hosted at Villa Guastavillani the panel The new powerful of the world with Daniele Bellasio (Head of Foreign Affairs, La Repubblica), Tonia Mastrobuoni (Correspondent from Germany, La Repubblica), Bernardo Valli (Special Envoy to Paris, La Repubblica) and Vittorio Zucconi (Director, Radio Capital).

At Villa Guastavillani were also awarded the best young innovators of 2018, coming from the world of academic research and business. The eighth edition of the Young Innovators Award 2018, established by the Italian edition of MIT Technology Review, has been organized in collaboration with Bologna Business School.

In 2018, BBS also arrived in New York to discuss the heritage of luxury brands and their growth in the global market during the event Luxury, Heritage and Growth: a global challenge, hosted in the exclusive 84th Street Lamborghini Lounge.

In collaboration with the School of Legal Studies of the University of Bologna, BBS has also organized a seminar on the subject of the recent changes in European Union Labor Law, during which some of the best known European social experts intervened to provide an updated picture of what is happening at European level.

At Villa Guastavillani took place also the tenth edition of the Medici Summer School, organized by BBS in collaboration with HEC Paris and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The summer school for doctoral students and young researchers is designed to promote education and research in the field of organizational theory and related fields (economic sociology, management studies, strategy) and contribute to the development of enlightened practices in the management of business organizations.



The most important event of the year for our School, the Graduation 2018, has confirmed the race towards the international dimension of Bologna Business School, delivering the master’s degree to 500 young managers from Italy and all over the world. In the Aula Magna Santa Lucia in Bologna was held, in the presence of distinguished representatives of politics, business and academia, the ceremony that as usual gives way to two days dedicated to the celebration of the commitment of our graduates. The XII Reunion, the annual meeting of the lively BBS Community, was dedicated in the 2018 edition to the rebel talents and to the reflection on the main elements that are revolutionizing the industry, our approach to work and the interaction between people.




Returning from the summer break, the results for Italy of the first international survey on the theme of work-life balance and on the impact of national and organizational culture on the choices of reconciliation between the working and private life of workers, were presented at Villa Guastavillani.  The ISWAF (International Study of Work and Family) research, which involved over 35 countries worldwide, was curated at a national level by Professors Gabriele Morandin and Marcello Russo, both professors of the University of Bologna and co-directors of the Master in Human Resources & Organization at BBS.

The eighth edition of International Week was also held at BBS, an exchange between participants in the Executive MBA of 10 International Business Schools. An intense week of meetings and international exchanges, where managers and entrepreneurs have been able to analyze innovation and strategy in the business models of the successful Made in Italy companies of the automotive, design and agri-food sectors.



The theme of human resources and workers’ rights has been further developed in the context of two important BBS events. People, the (real) challenge, is the title of the interactive workshop proposed to discuss the topic of understanding and relationship between people in a professional environment. In collaboration with AIDP, the Italian Association for Personnel Management, it has been also organized the discussion panel The return of hot autumn – the issue of representativeness, moderated by the journalist Enzo Riboni.

The month of October also marked the return, for the third consecutive year, of the StartUp Ecosystem Day, the event conceived and organized by Bologna Business School to promote the sharing of ideas and projects among more than 40 startups operating in the sectors of Italian Excellence and the BBS Community. An opportunity to create synergies and attract the attention of institutional investors, managers and entrepreneurs.

At Villa Guastavillani took place also the Supply Chain Finance Congress, an event dedicated to innovative solutions for the optimization of working capital and access to subsidized credit, discussed through the experience of Academics, CPOs, Financial Directors and Credit Managers. BBS has also hosted an interactive workshop dedicated to the theme of Service Operations Management and to the changes that the world of production and logistics has to face in the post-crisis scenario, where the balance between efficiency, service and economy has become increasingly unstable.




Barbara Carfagna, Rai author and journalist, opened the Fall Edition of the 2018 Innovation Talks. On the occasion of her speech Datacracy, dedicated to the future of democracy at the dawn of the third phase of the internet, Barbara Carfagna shared her vision on the latest technological advances and their impact on society. Following, the second guest Alon Wolf, Director and Founder of Biorobotics and Biomechanics Lab at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, explained the main challenges that the field of robotics is facing in order to become part of our everyday life.

Massimo Moretti, Founder and CEO of WASP, a leading company in the field of 3D printing, was the third speaker of the Fall Edition Innovation Talks. During his intervention Maker Economy Starter Kit, Moretti presented the mission of WASP, the project to create an affordable house affordable to everyone and with low environmental impact, printed with an innovative technology capable of combining the oldest material, the clay, to the most modern knowledge.

Among the major events of 2018 in BBS, the Data Driven Strategic Marketing workshop, led by Martin Lindstrom, brand consultant and marketing guru, included by Time among the 100 most influential men in the world. Lindstrom has brought to Villa Guastavillani the topic of small data and its meaning, focusing on the search for trends and specific indications that can explain purchase decisions, characterized by their nature by an irrational component.



Stefano Venier, CEO of the Hera Group, and Davide Bollati, Chairman of Davines, closed the 2018 appointments in BBS with two Innovation Talks dedicated to sustainability.

Regeneration and Innovation for a new Shared Value has been the title of the speech given by Stefano Venier, during which he recounted the role of innovation, digitalization and data analysis in the development of the circular economy, fundamental for combining economic growth of the business with respect for environmental and social aspects. Davide Bollati has discussed with our Community the new business models based on sustainability, responsibility and transparency, starting from the experience of Davines, a BCorp operating in the Beauty sector, which represents Italian excellence in the world.




il 2018 di BBS


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