OPEN Fellow – Professor Matt Gitsham



Associate Professor



First Name



Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School

Job Title

Director, Ashridge Centre for Business and Sustainability at Hult International Business School


Matt has led numerous research projects on business and sustainable development for over a decade at Ashridge. Recent projects include exploring CEO perspectives on the implications of sustainability for business leadership, how companies are embedding the SDGs, and corporate leadership on Modern Slavery (with the Ethical Trading Initiative). Matt has worked closely with networks including the UN Global Compact and Business in the Community, and companies including Unilever, IBM, HSBC, GSK, De Beers, Cemex and Pearson. Matt’s research has featured in the Economist, the FT and HBR.

Matt leads courses on Business and Global Society on the Hult MBA and Global Human Rights on the Hult undergraduate program, and he is a doctoral supervisor for the Ashridge Doctorate in Organisational Change. He has contributed to numerous executive education programmes for clients including Tesco, Bayer, Rolls Royce, Swarovski, Marks & Spencer and UK Senior Civil Servants.

Matt has also led work on the institutional integration of PRME within the business school in connection with helping prepare the school for EQUIS and AACSB accreditation. This has involved advising on connecting PRME with: the school’s mission and strategic goals and KPIs; course learning outcomes, curriculum design and assessment, and internal quality procedures assuring these; policy on diversity in student recruitment; research; and faculty recruitment and development. In particular Matt has led work designing new curriculum material to be integrated into mainstream compulsory course curricula across postgraduate management programmes.

Why am I an OPEN Fellow?

My work for more than a decade has been focused on accelerating the adoption of sustainable and responsible business through management education, primarily through Ashridge Business School, and subsequently also through Hult International Business School since the two institutions merged two years ago. OPEN appears to be an excellent mechanism for extending the opportunity to do more of this kind of work for a wider network of institutions.

Areas of Expertise

SDGs / sustainable development;Social sustainability issues;Environmental sustainability issues;Corporate sustainability;Strategy;Innovation;Entrepreneurship;Finance;Accounting;Economics;Circular economy;Responsible leadership;Governance & Ethics;Organisational behaviour;Change management;Operations management;Marketing;Emerging Markets / Base of Pyramid;International relations

My expertise in more detail

The particular focus of my work at Ashridge/Hult has been the connection between sustainability and organisational change and leadership in organisations – how does change happen, how can it be accelerated, and what’s the role of leadership in that? This ranges across environmental sustainability to international development and human rights and specific issues such as Modern Slavery. I have a particular interest in:

• What approaches to consulting and pedagogy can be most effective for accelerating organisational change for sustainability?

• What kinds of activities and institutional processes can be most supportive of accelerating organisational change for sustainability?

• What constellation of personal experiences have led to CEO and senior executive advocacy for sustainability?

• How can businesses collaborate with government and other actors to accelerate systemic change for sustainability?

My teaching work spans executive, postgraduate and undergraduate business education. In addition to my teaching and research work, I have also led work within my business school to institutionalise PRME and sustainability, particularly supporting the school in this regard as it approached EQUIS and AACSB accreditation.


I have a significant record of high profile practitioner publications as well as conference presentations etc. Please see my publications list on the Ashridge website:


Executive education workshops on what sustainability themes mean for mainstream managers in their particular roles

Executive education workshops for sustainability change agents on leading change for sustainability within their organisations

Postgraduate and undergraduate courses on Business and Global Society and Embedding Sustainability (can be tailored for specific industries – eg course on Embedding Sustainability in the Creative Industries)

Consulting support on institutionally embedding PRME and ethics, responsibility and sustainability in line with EQUIS and AACSB expectations.

%d bloggers like this: