Educating Future Business Leaders
Future of Business Education Conference Fordham
Succeeding in business has always required a certain ability to deal with the unknown, a skill that has become critical as business leaders navigate the challenges of the global pandemic.

Adaptability was the theme of the Future of Business Education conference held virtually in October, which explored timely issues such as workplace diversity, racial justice, and equitable recruitment practices.

Keynote speaker Jacqui Canney, global chief people officer at advertising firm WPP, said the pandemic cast a spotlight on racial inequality in the business world, one of many challenges that can be used to catalyze meaningful change.

“A reckoning is already here, from the global pandemic to the uprising for racial justice to the climate crisis. The uncertainty makes it all the more important for us to accelerate our plans for the future,” she said.

A panel moderated by Greg Minson, FCRH ’98, global COO, MBD Real Estate at Goldman Sachs, addressed how university–industry partnerships can prepare students to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce.

“I’m a firm believer in the school of life,” Minson said. “Providing our students with the ability to practically apply what they learn in the classroom is a critical part of their education.”

The panelists agreed that carefully balanced partnerships between universities and companies can deliver valuable benefits to students–including practical experience, research and job opportunities, and more. During the recruitment process, such experiences can reveal much about a job candidate, along with questions about their interests and hobbies. The top two nonacademic characteristics that make a candidate stand out most? Creativity and curiosity.

To ensure greater workforce diversity, EY uses a “blind scanning” recruitment strategy, explained panelist Jag Chana, a marketing leader in the firm’s U.K. financial services group. “We don’t have information about schools and colleges on the CV. That’s helped in the selection process. I think it’s a more fair approach.”

In a panel moderated by Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of the Gabelli School, leaders from business schools in Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom discussed the principle of business with purpose—and how it was tested during the pandemic.

“We quickly focused on purpose,” explained Peter Tufano, Ph.D., dean of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. “I challenged our entire community: if we’ve been speaking these words, how are we going to demonstrate to the world that we really mean them?”

Among his institution’s response efforts were organizing more than 100 firms and seven universities to “supercharge” global COVID-19 recovery efforts and opening its doors on campus to provide temporary housing for the city’s displaced homeless.

Dean Donna Rapaccioli black and white photo
Dean Donna Rapaccioli
Jacqui Canney black and white photo
Jacqui Canney
Greg Minson black and white photo
Greg Minson
Jag Chana black and white photo
Jag Chana
Peter Tufano black and white photo
Peter Tufano