For the first time, the School of Management’s global commitment is expanding to another school within Yale — the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
Through its participation in the Global Network for Advanced Management — an international business school partnership founded in 2012 by SOM Dean Edward Snyder — the SOM has hosted and sent students to participating business schools for week-long programs, called Global Network Weeks. Though in previous installations only Yale students at the SOM have been eligible to participate in Global Network Weeks, during the first three weeks of March, students from F&ES will travel to Costa Rica and the Philippines for GNAM Weeks that focus on sustainability.
Co-Director of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale Bradford Gentry said that collaboration between the SOM and F&ES will enable students to innovate new solutions to problems.
“[There are] lots of different worldviews and a lot of need to figure out how companies embedded in these resource systems — that scientists work on — can continue to have access to them when we have more people and more wealth and therefore more pressure on the resources,” Gentry said.
SOM Director of Global Initiatives Camino de Paz said these locations were chosen as destinations for F&ES students because the GNAM programs there are focusing on important sustainability issues. The program in the Philippines will focus on ecotourism and the one in Costa Rica will center on the challenges of doing business in Latin America.
She also said that though 158 students at the SOM will be participating in worldwide Global Network programming, 15 F&ES students will be traveling to Costa Rica and two F&ES students will be traveling to the Philippines.
Although this will be the first global partnership between the two schools, students at the SOM and F&ES have been collaborating since the creation of a joint degree over 30 years ago, CBEY Program Director Stuart DeCew said. Founded eight years ago, CBEY strengthened these connections by providing the schools with a network of leading experts working at the intersections of business and the environment.
Furthermore, SOM Associate Dean David Bach said since 2012 F&ES has been involved with the GNAM in different ways on campus, such as offering an online GNAM course on natural capital.
Bach said F&ES has also contributed to forming GNAM Weeks through its own involvement with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a partnership of environmentally conscious companies that will be the first non-member school to host a GNAM Week in Geneva this year.
The benefits of including F&ES students in the GNAM Week classes, he said, will be similar to the benefits of interdisciplinary education at Yale.
“I think here at Yale we like having students from different backgrounds in the room together because students at a different professional school ask different questions,” he said. “At many other schools, this doesn’t happen because they are de facto stand alone schools. I think the F&ES students will ask tough questions of the MBA students and will add a different perspective, especially for modules pertaining to sustainability.”
Nina Lagpacan FES ’16, who will be attending the trip to the Philippines, said that she never thought of herself working in the private sector before coming to Yale because she had an automatic assumption that all big business was bad. But after attending classes on the intersection between business and sustainability, she said she realized that more impact and change is possible in the private sector.
Timila Dhakhwa FES ’16, who will be attending the week in Costa Rica, said the trip is very relevant to her as a native of Nepal because her home country has a lot of natural resources, and could benefit from the intervention of innovative business models that seek to preserve the environment.
Dhakhwa also said there should be a greater push by the SOM and F&ES to incorporate more classes and lectures on topics similar to the GNAM programs, because there is a high level of interest among students, even for those not receiving the joint SOM-FES degree.
Sarah Bolthrunis SOM ’16 FES ’16, who is going to Geneva for the Global Network Week led by the WBCSD, said she expects many students will not have a lot of background in environmental issues and that the programming will be more of an introduction to sustainable development.
Roughly 650 students worldwide will be participating in March’s GNAM Weeks.