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Future Forward: Imagining WSB 10 Years Out

By Betsy Lundgren

October 23, 2018

Imagine what business education might look like 10 years from now. Will students and instructors still convene in a traditional classroom? Which new majors will exist, and which will have gone away? How will today’s business curriculum have evolved to meet the needs of students, professionals, and industry?

These questions, and many others like them, floated among groups of Wisconsin School of Business faculty, staff, students, and partners at a visioning session in early October titled #WSB10YearsOut and hosted by WSB’s educational innovation team.

A group of WSB faculty and staff brainstorm ideas at their table.
Chris Dakes, director of educational innovation and learning design, leads a group through the #10YearsOut visioning session.

Using a recent report A Collective Vision for Business Education from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) as a springboard, the collaborative, fast-paced session employed design thinking techniques to engage WSB voices around the future of business education in a rapidly changing higher education environment.

Facilitators Suzanne Dove, assistant dean for educational innovation, Chris Dakes and Ron Cramer of the educational innovations team, and John Surdyk, director of the Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship (INSITE), led more than 30 participants through brainstorming and idea generation to imagine unexpected solutions that might drive business education in the coming decade. In small groups, participants then took these solutions and developed low-resolution prototypes, deploying everything from pipe cleaners to construction paper to visually depict future innovations for WSB.

“These are exciting times for business education and for the Wisconsin School of Business,” says Dove. “There’s no doubt in my mind that our School will continue to grow and flourish as a place where amazing students, faculty, staff, alumni, and companies come together; where inspiring innovations and collaborations will be born; and where we will find a platform that enables each of us to make a difference.”

Dove and her co-facilitators have already provided a summary of the session’s outcomes to WSB leadership, who plan to share it with candidates for the WSB dean position. Others across the School are interested in holding similar events for Wisconsin BBA students so that they can also participate in a design thinking workshop and contribute to the future of WSB.

These conversations paint a long-term vision for how WSB might lead, inspire, and innovate in the next ten years, offering the opportunity for Business Badgers to help move the School together forward.