2024 EFMD Annual Conference

18 June 2024

Bologna Business School hosted the EFMD Global Annual Conference, an international association dedicated to the development and improvement of management programs and recognized as an accrediting agency for Master and Business Schools.

Sunday , June 9, the evening was dedicated to welcoming international guests in the spaces of the 16th-century Villa Guastavillani, now projected into the future: 600 business schools delegates from all over the world had a preview visit to the new BBS Campus. The campus, surrounded by greenery and in compliance with the highest standards of sustainability – a 27.5 million euro investment – enchanted the international audience, to whom Dean Bergami told about the future of BBS: “You learn together with others, it was like that a thousand years ago and it still is today.”

Bologna Business School was recognized as a “higest riser” in the latest annual ranking of European business schools compiled by the Financial Times, having climbed 24 positions in one year. This achievement is the latest addition to EQUIS accreditation, which is reserved for the top 1% of international schools.

The two-day meeting took place in the magnificent setting of the classrooms of Santa Lucia, the Department of History Cultures Civilizations (DISCI) and the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (LILEC) of the University of Bologna.

Meeting topic, Navigating geopolitical tensions, AI and promoting a human-centered future.

On Monday 10, in the Aula Magna of Santa Lucia, after institutional greetings, Eric Cornuel, President of EFMD, together with Massimo Bergami, Dean of Bologna Business School, and Marion Debruyne, Dean of Vlerick Business School, welcomed the many guests from many business schools around the world.

Key moments of the day, among the many speeches by global experts, the opening of the session with Benedetto Vigna, CEO of Ferrari who gave a brilliant speech in the Aula Magna entitled The future of the firm: the CEO perspective, followed by a dialogue between Kevin Scott, CTO Microsoft and our Dean Max Bergami on the topic AI and the future of work.

The day continued with a set of breakout sessions dedicated to different declinations of the guiding theme “Human Centered Future”, and then closed with a plenary meeting, Global conflicts and their impact on business schools. Romano Prodi, former EU President; Alec Ross, Distinguished Professor BBS and former Senior Officer in the Obama administration dialogued with Bo Xu, representative of Asian business schools in Europe. Marion Debruyne moderated a fascinating debate in which three top speakers expressed their views on the global geopolitical situation and the impact it has and will have on the world of business schools.

Before a dinner in the history-rich venue of Palazzo Re Enzo, the 2024 EFMD and EFMD Global Network Annual General Assemblies was held, also in the former church of Santa Lucia, which was followed by the awards ceremony for new members of Equis, EFMD Accretitated, EDAF, CLIP, EOCCS and BSIS.

Tuesday, June 11, opened the session with an important excursus on Artificial intelligence and its ethical implication by Professor of Theology and Ethics, Robotics and AI, Advisor to the Pope and member of the UN Commission AI Paolo Benanti.

This was followed by breakout sessions with talks on the topic of sustainability, and, before concluding with greetings from the Deans of the business schools involved, Jennifer Howard-Granville, Diageo Professor in Organization Studies at Cambridge Judge Business School gave a talk on The role of business schools in building a human-centered future in planar session in the Aula Magna of Saint Lucia.

A challenging and exciting experience for Bologna Business School, which brought the city of Bologna and the School to the center of an international network of the highest value.


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