25 young change-makers from Germany, Hungary, Finland and England. Deep insights into the sustainability activities and strategies of large corporations as well as into the founder stories of innovative social startups. Own business ideas and pitch training. Connectedness with body, one’s own vision and with nature. Group work, networking and international exchange:
From July 05 to 09, CASM and CBS International Business School hosted the digital "Future Sustainability Manager" Summer School as part of the Erasmus+ ISSUE project. A varied program based on the pillars 'Knowledge', 'Mindset' & 'Action' made the group grow together quickly even online and took the students on a learning journey beyond their normal lecture routine.
Forward-looking Topics & Innovative Learning Formats
Already in June, all participants got access to information, recorded sessions, various live panels and a first group work through an online platform over four weeks. Topics included the circular economy, the purpose economy and the emergence of a new civilisation through social entrepreneurship.
The one-week online Summer School in July gave students interesting insights into the topics of sustainable management, systems thinking and sustainable innovation. Start-up speed dating, collaboration boards and a sustainability escape game brought innovation and variety to the digital learning format.
“For me personally, the Summer School was a great experience. I got many new insights and sharpened my personal profile.”
Manuela Maurmann, Master student Sustainable Management at CBS International Business School sums up her experience as follows: “For me, one of the key takeaways is certainly that many companies, large and small, have understood the need for sustainability and are working on implementing it in the long term. Change is being driven by sustainability-oriented start-ups entering the market. Also very instructive was the exercise within the small groups. You could see that an idea can mature into a solid business model within two days. For me personally, the Summer School was a great experience. I got many new insights and sharpened my personal profile.”
Connection to Yourself, the Group and Nature: Sustainability starts with your own Mindset
The program kicked off with a half-day "Walkaboutyou" in nature, which aims at a deep engagement with oneself and works with methods from Theory-U and mindfulness training. In addition, morning meditation exercises, journal reflections and evening yoga sessions framed the program. If you want to create impact for your surroundings, you need to reflect on yourself and your motivation internally as well. The embedding of mindfulness and reflections left participants with very positive impressions and experiences: "This offering was really empowering and super positive and purpose-giving."
Business Ideas with a Positive Impact
In the second half of the program, students worked together in small international groups on sustainable business ideas. They developed prototypes and pitched their ideas to a panel of experts. From a holistic learning platform, a consumerism tracking app or a fair fashion café, inspiring ideas emerged. The jury rewarded the best pitch, as well as the best impact idea.
“A key takeaway for me was to see how well it can work to get innovative and forward-looking ideas off the ground with other people in a relatively short time.”
Rina Veenhues, CBS student in our M.A. Sustainable Management program especially valued the international exchange: “A key takeaway for me was to see how well it can work to get innovative and forward-looking ideas off the ground with other people in a relatively short time. Most of all, how fun and inspiring it is to talk to people about a topic that is so important to all of us, because everyone brings a different perspective. The exchange with students from other countries for sure was one of many highlights. The collaboration with these interested people was great and, above all, perceiving others' perspectives on the topic of sustainability.”
After many months of studying online, meeting in "local groups" was also one of the highlights for the participating CBS students. Together we picnicked in the campus garden with self-harvested salad from the CBS raised beds, exchanged ideas and discussed one or the other sustainability fun fact over a card game.