March 1, 2022 - As we become confronted with the impact of climate change in increasingly severe forms, there is a strong global shift to tackle this challenge. Impacted by this trend, business education is bound to change to instill values around prioritizing our planet´s wellbeing.
Business education is not business as usual anymore. The external factors impacting it have multiplied significantly in the past two years and will lead to its complete transformation.
To help you navigate this fast-changing landscape and ease your journey in 2022 and beyond, we published a trend report with the key trends that will impact business education.
We predict ten trends, split into three categories, influencing business education in all institutions and organizations. Societal trends, like climate action, that will challenge the purpose of business education, industry trends that will change the way it is taught and tech trends that will open new avenues and make the transformation of business education possible. Keep reading or download our 38-page Business education trend report 2022 in full.
Climate action must become a priority
The planet warming up as a result of human activity is changing our climate in dangerous ways, rendering it unsuitable for sustaining life as we know. The main culprit of human activity is burning fossil fuels such as carbon dioxide (CO2).
The consequences of climate change are dire and include, depending on the extent of global warming, more frequent and intense weather events (heatwaves, drought, storms) affecting people´s livelihoods as well as water and food sources; melting glaciers leading to rising sea levels and putting coastal settlements at risk of submerging; warming oceans and perturbed ecosystems, leading to loss of plant and animal species; overall increased poverty and displacement, etc.
According to leading scientists, in order to prevent the worst consequences of climate change, it is vital to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C by 2030. How can that be done? By leading human activity that is carbon neutral and educating people on how to do that.
With these consequences looming on the horizon, society is looking up to governments but also businesses and institutions to become part of the solution.
That is why, the need to tackle climate change will question the very purpose of business education. The paradigm underpinning how businesses should operate will focus not only on profit, but also on people and planet to the same extent.
Business education should be driven by the need to lead environmentally-friendly businesses
Business education, whether lead in organizations or higher education institutions, should include programs for people to learn how to lead carbon neutral business activities.
Adding mandatory sustainability courses is a great start. The training can consist of, but should not be limited to, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which includes Climate action as goal #13 or the basics of what is and why is action against climate change crucial for the future business and human life as we know it.
Starting from this knowledge and the values that come with it that must be instilled first, learning programs that are actionable for specific functions such as product development, finance, marketing or human resources should be devised. The end goal is to form business talents in all areas that will lead thriving businesses mindful of our planet.
How can virtual and hybrid learning reduce your CO2 footprint ?
"The medium is the message," the French philosopher Michel Foucault once said. It is not only the content of your learning programs that will have an impact but also the way learning is conveyed. Virtual or hybrid teaching and training methods can be of tremendous help. They will support climate action by reducing the carbon footprint, and embed sustainable practice into your organization or institution´s DNA leading to a sustainability-driven internal culture. But how can virtual and hybrid models specifically support your goals?
1. Travelling decreases dramatically
Planes are significant producers of carbon dioxide (CO2) as they burning fuel and are among the means of public transportation that contributes to global warming the most. Virtual and hybrid learning will make travelling a rare occurrence for both learners and instructors.
2. Classroom space & utilities needs decline
It is not only travelling that is high energy consuming. Building maintenance and utilities such as water, electricity and heat account for an increased carbon footprint. Virtual and hybrid learning would significantly reduce all these needs.
3. Paper use diminishes
The stacks of papers and books required in virtual and hybrid learning are drastically reduced. This in turn will mean less paper and reduced deforestation. Saving trees means that more CO2 will be removed from the air through photosynthesis.
How Barco University expanded its training while reducing CO2 by 461 tons
Barco University – our company’s learning & development division – implemented two virtual classrooms and one virtual hybrid classroom using weConnect in 2019.
- After the first 16 months of use, these are the results :
- Number of learners: 1170 learners
- Number of course hours: 3700 hours
- Number of flying kilometers saved: 2 million = 50 trips around the globe
- Quantity of CO2 saved: 461 tons.
This is just one of the ten trends the will impact business education across all organizations and institutions in 2022 and in the years to come. Would you like to find out what lies ahead in the future of business education? Then read all the trends to stay ahead of the curve in our brand new 38-page report.