On Friday, September 10, in Piazza Maggiore, the historic heart of the city of Bologna, more than 1,500 graduates-to-be of BBS’s University and Executive Master’s programs gathered, having waited for this moment after completing their studies in 2020 and 2021.
The 2020|2021 Graduation was, perhaps because of this waiting and because of everything that has happened in the last two years, something more than the key moment that it has always represented for the entire BBS Community. The 2020|2021 Graduation was a moment of profound union for all those who make up Bologna Business School. A celebration characterized by the joy of meeting again, with the strength of an important result under the signs of growth and new goals that the Alumni are ready to achieve together.
On this occasion, Dean Max Bergami spoke about the future and the role of BBS in helping to shape it, which represented not only the successful completion of the academic achievements of the School’s Alumni, but also the moment to celebrate an important anniversary: 20 years of Bologna Business School, whose activities began on September 12, 2001.
“It’s been two years in which we have struggled together,” said Max Bergami, who began his speech by joining the graduate students, descending from the stage, “We have never stopped believing in the future, because motivation is nothing more than the anticipation of future emotions. We believe in the future, and we believe in a future that can only be built together with others and this is what we try to do at Bologna Business School”.
The Dean of BBS then addressed the students, highlighting that this future-building is what he sees on a daily basis in their journey, noting how it is a common characteristic of our Alumni to continue to work and stay together even after the Master’s degree.
Dean Max Bergami then went on to outline the commitment of BBS to supporting new technologies and tackling the most important contemporary issues in terms of teaching, transforming the need to innovate in order to turn a complex situation into an opportunity for growth. Considering the future and oriented towards innovation is also the decision to create, together with the University of Bologna, the BBS Centre for Sustainability and Climate Change and to experiment on the occasion of the Ferrari Master’s Degree, with virtual reality teaching.
“BBS is not a Business School in which we only learn content,” stressed Max Bergami, “BBS is above all a Community in which learning is collective and relationships continue to strengthen over time. Today’s educational technologies offer us new opportunities that we must seize, but they can never replace the relationships between us, the sharing, discussion and experimentation”. And speaking of experimentation, the Dean explained how the role of the manager will evolve in this direction, inviting the Community of researchers, Alumni, companies, and institutions to have the ability to challenge themselves in order to find new ways of interpreting their roles, which are fundamental for our society. “Within this place in the world in which we are lucky enough to be, collaboration is a sport that succeeds particularly well,” said Max Bergami addressing the audience of students and Faculty, “That’s why we must face the challenges of the future, which include sustainability, artificial intelligence and global integration, staying united and compact and experimenting together.”
At the end of his speech, a final invitation: “Remain within BBS. Continue the conversation among yourselves, seize the opportunities that the BBS Alumni Association and the School offer you, create new opportunities yourselves, for you and for the Community: you are capable of it. Let us continue building the future and multiplying opportunities. For ourselves, for our loved ones, for work organizations and for society. That’s what Bologna Business School is here for, and we all are Bologna Business School.”
Immediately after Dean Max Bergami’s speech, an award ceremony was held for the faculty and students elected as the best of the two academic years. On behalf of the students, Yun Cheng, elected best student of the Global MBA 2020, spoke. Cheng told how her journey at Bologna Business School in a particular period such as 2020-2021 has been full of challenges, but still exciting. “During the lockdown I had confirmation that where there’s a will there’s a way and I managed not to stop, looking for solutions and taking opportunities to continue my academic journey even from home,” said Cheng, who succeeded in inspiring and worthily representing the audience gathered in Piazza Maggiore, with an invitation not so much and not only to get out of one’s comfort zone, a concept that is too often repeated, but to “live on the edge of the comfort zone” seeking “the right balance between fear and emotion”. “One day,” the young Alumna finally said, “we will be amazed at how far it is possible to go by always pushing one’s limits a little further and living a life without fear.”
After the proclamation by Francesco Ubertini, the Rector of the University of Bologna, the President of the Supervisory Board of BBS, Romano Prodi, closed the event spurring the Alumni: build a career like Eric Schmidt’s, Co-Founder of Schmidt Futures, and former CEO of Google, who was present for the conferral of an Honorary Degree. “It may not be identical in size,” said Prodi, “but your task is identical: to link the development of the economy and businesses to the world’s great knowledge sets.”