The Business of Business is Saving the Planet


  • Paul M. Klein


As an AACSB accredited institution, we are required to demonstrate how learning occurs and what steps must be taken to ensure learning. As experiential learning is understood as an engaged learning process, where students “learn by doing” and by reflecting on the experience, creating these opportunities can take many forms. As the AACSB , is encouraging and really urging member institutions, consistent with accreditation standards, to educate future business leaders, so that they understand the importance of making a positive impact on society and understand that to mean something beyond acts of service, charity or benevolence. Toward that end, students should have the opportunity to engage in course activities that position them to address some of our most vexing social challenges.

In this paper, the work of business students in addressing sometimes daunting societal problems will be examined. This is the focus of a specialized certificate program in which students pursue, in addition to their major, a Certificate of Professional Leadership in Ethics (CPLE). Specifically, the work that is done in this capstone course provides students with the opportunity to consider social challenges such as the future of juvenile detention, how we might best prepare individuals to build careers in the emerging green economy, what the fundamentals of a municipal climate action plan might be, creating a community benefit trust for communities that have endured the challenges of living with poor air quality and the dual challenges of homelessness (housing insecurity) and affordable housing.