The One Planet Business Education Framework

We believe strongly in diversity of approach by business educators around the world and fully recognise that contexts differ widely.

As such, we have developed a principle-based One Planet Business Education Framework made up of 8 Key Principles to which we expect any partner organisation of OPEN for Business to adhere, but to interpret intelligently based on their individual context:


PRINCIPLE ONE: Recognise that we live and do business on One Planet

Planet Earth is a finite ecological system of which the economy is a sub-system.


PRINCIPLE TWO: Put values, ethics and responsibility at the core

Educate business leaders to have a strong sense of personal and organisational purpose in the service of society, locally and globally, including stewardship of the natural environment.


PRINCIPLE THREE: Embrace a systems approach

Reflect the real context of business in a globalised economy, by:

  • Teaching the skills to manage and lead in the context of complexity and ambiguity
  • Ensure a sound understanding of the systems in which business operates and therefore of the sustainability challenges:
    • Ecology – basic environmental science (ecosystems, climate change, natural resources), interactions and interdependencies of natural and human systems
    • Geopolitics & Economics – G7/G20, BRICS, N11s and frontier economies, financial capitalism, state capitalism and new development paradigms, international trade regulation (including WTO and carbon trading)
    • Society – human rights, ageing population, health & wellbeing, eradicating poverty, income inequality, gender equality


PRINCIPLE FOUR: Equip business leaders with the skills and knowledge to develop One Planet Businesses

Specific balance and focus of content may be context-specific, but examples include:

  • How to develop solutions-oriented business models based on societal needs, environmental constraints and cradle-to-cradle principles
  • How to create learning organisations
  • Change management, innovation and entrepreneurship skills
  • Collaboration, partnering and stakeholder engagement skills
  • Appreciation of disruptive technologies, e.g. IoT, 3D printing, AI & machine learning
  • How to develop new performance measurement systems including narrative and metrics for social, ecological and financial accounting
  • How to develop new standards for responsible management of natural, human, social, manufactured and financial capitals


PRINCIPLE FIVE: Contribute to the world by aligning to the SDGs

Contribute both locally and globally, through:

  • Conceptual and empirical research as well as student projects and the convening of multi-stakeholder dialogues
  • Ensure student awareness and understanding of the SDGs and the business opportunities they create, especially in food & agriculture, cities, energy & materials, health & wellbeing


PRINCIPLE SIX: Offer an environment and student experience conducive to learning 

This will be achieved through providing:

  • Diversity of cultures and gender balance in students, faculty and other contributors, through recruitment and exchanges with other institutions, as well as partnership with external stakeholders
  • Real-life case studies and assignments by engaging with businesses and other stakeholders
  • Co-creation with students, through interactive sessions, tapping into the wealth of students’ own experiences and the co-development of the curriculum


PRINCIPLE SEVEN: Develop both current and future leaders

This will be achieved through a focus on:

  • Self awareness, personal development, critical reflection on their practice
  • Experiential learning
  • Life-long learning and shared learning through:
    • Alumni community co-ordination
    • Executive education programmes


PRINCIPLE EIGHT: Lead by example

Partner organisations must live by the principles that they teach, particularly in terms of ethics, governance, stakeholder engagement and operational footprint.


A summary of these principles can be downloaded here.

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