IESE MBA Jubilee: A global celebration

International key players join the tour

27/08/2015 Barcelona

Sir Martin Sorrell
Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP’s CEO, shares what keeps him awake at night: “the bottom line” / Photo: Iñigo Alcañiz

1964 marked the launch of the IESE MBA. A full-time, two-year program. The first of its kind in Europe. Hard to imagine that only a year had passed from the the first Harvard-IESE Committee meeting. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its MBA, IESE has organized a series of commemorative, inspirational events across the planet, featuring master classes on management and values from some of the world’s most renowned names in business. Let’s look back at some of the tour’s highlights.

London: hundreds of alumni joined us at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Guest speaker Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP’s CEO told us what keeps him awake at night: "the bottom line". He went on to identify ten trends that will shape managerial practices and be crucial to competitiveness in the future, including the shift in economic power, the dominance of web giants, engagement with social responsibility, and a disconnection between income and profits. Watch video

Munich: this event that also celebrated the opening of IESE’s new campus in Munich. Franz M. Haniel, chairman of Haniel Group’s Supervisory Board, described six basic attributes that make a great leader. These being: the ability to anticipate change, the courage to break with the past, the generosity to build an environment of trust and cooperation, and the empathy to understand others’ ambitions, great leadership requires a sense of responsibility and a willingness to "follow the three As: anticipate, adapt, act", according to Haniel. The all-knowing superhero leader, he added, is a thing of the past. "It’s time for us to move away from traditional concepts and practices." Watch video

Tokyo: guest speaker Ken Shibusawa, CEO of Shibusawa and Company, began his talk with a discussion of Japan’s prospects of returning to growth in the near future. Rejecting the gloomy outlook that seems to be the norm in Japan, he identified 2020 as the year in which opportunities will arise in the country. Not only due to the effect of the Olympic Games, but also because one generation will be making way for another. The challenge the next generation faces, he said, is to find a model for sustainable growth, "which has been a ‘side issue’ for the last 30 years" and will require the creation of new systems. Watch video

Sao Paulo: in his keynote address, José Formoso, CEO of Embratel, shared how to successfully navigate periods of change. Positivity, connectivity and, in particular, people are crucial elements. Innovation is key to a company’s survival when it comes to operating. "During difficult times", he declared, "there are always opportunities. What makes the difference is focusing on the right track." Watch video

Miami: held in the Four Seasons Hotel, distinguished cardiologist Valentín Fuster opened the IESE Miami Business Summit. In his speech, he called for individuals to act to promote healthy lifestyles. "You can do much more than those in government. It’s all about leadership and motivation", he said. He then backed up his assertion with details of the many initiatives he has been involved in. The summit, in which some of Latin America’s leading business executives participated, also featured analyses of the region’s business situation, growth in its banking sector, and the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship. Watch video

A glowing past, present and even brighter future

Innovation, courage, entrepreneurship, action, willingness and empathy. All have formed part of the IESE MBA’s DNA since the launch 50 years ago. They are values that have underpinned its development and major achievements. Two landmarks are the creation of the world’s first bilingual MBA program in 1980 and international expansion through groundbreaking activities with the finest international schools in New York, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Nairobi.

The IESE MBA is firmly established as one of the most prestigious programs in existence, with the Financial Times ranking it seventh in the world and third in Europe. Much more importantly, however, the program has been acclaimed by its students. The MBA’s alumni network boasts more than 10,000 active members, who contribute to the institution and play an essential role in molding the program’s identity.

Events to mark the MBA’s 50th anniversary will continue around the world until 2016.

Further information on the anniversary