Announcing the Aspen Institute 2019 Ideas Worth Teaching Award Winners

Submitted by: Jaime Bettcher from The Aspen Institute Business & Society Program

Why is this important to Humanistic Management: The ten 2019 Ideas Worth Teaching Award-winning courses shine a bright light on the future of management education—and paint an aspirational picture for the future of business practices.

Ideas Worth Teaching – Aspen Institute

These courses:
1. Focus on business decision-making. They offer cutting-edge content to strengthen decisions that align with societal well-being. They equip students with new definitions of value, metrics for measuring societal impacts, and tools to build and argue a point of view contrary to old thinking about business.
2. Acknowledge public distrust of institutions. Instead of enacting a market-solves-all mindset, these courses are infused with a new sense of humility. While “restoring trust in business” is a time-worn sentiment, these courses require students to grapple with a deeper question: how might business be worthy of the public’s trust?
3. Recognize the limits of financial models and management ideas, to move beyond them. These courses ask students to build off quantitative and technical skills to develop the social cognition needed to make values-based decisions and lead in a complex, multi-layered world.
4. Embrace big ideas, such as justice, fairness, individual liberty, and power—and require students to grapple with uncomfortable questions about the tensions between these ideals and business practices.
5. Tap into the humanity and reality of business practice. Many of these courses are experiential—designed to embrace the lived experience of the students—and their own interactions with capitalism—and the experiences of other citizens, employees, and elected officials.
6. Question assumptions that are deeply rooted in business disciplines. By incorporating a cross-disciplinary view into the curriculum, students examine the very purpose of key business functions and learn how to find new solutions to complex problems.

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