See the strong ties bringing the INSEAD community closer than ever before
For the sustained success and growth of our alumni, we are pleased to offer a range of lifelong learning options. And, in typical INSEAD style, the school, together with the INSEAD Alumni Association (IAA) transformed the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity both to innovate and to expand. In close collaboration with the IAA, they delivered over 60 webinars and interactive workshops in 2019/2020. They also organised INSEAD’s first ever Summer Learning Festival, featuring popular faculty, expert alumni and outside specialists as speakers, and engaging more than 50,000 friends and former students across the globe. The IAA sponsored an additional five webinars to support National Alumni Associations and Global Clubs in delivering online events.
We held the first ever alumni “pop- up programme” in digital format, using other digital innovations including a digital video platform with exclusive access to all previous lifelong learning recordings. In collaboration with our Career Development Centre colleagues, we also launched iLink – a new peer-to- peer advising and mentoring service exclusively for alumni and students. The platform, available on MyINSEAD and easy to navigate, facilitates targeted networking and meaningful connections.
Not content with resting on our laurels, we have pledged to make even more advances in lifelong learning in 2020/2021, including 20 webinars, four more digital pop-up programmes, a “hybrid” Alumni Forum Europe (replacing the event originally scheduled for June 2020 in Munich) and many smaller workshop- style events.
Every year, thousands of alumni come home to INSEAD to celebrate milestone reunions. In September 2019, we had no idea that 2019/2020 would prove to be an exception when we were preparing to welcome some 6,000 alumni back to our campuses. Events went to plan in September, October and November, respectively, for: the MBA’18J&D day (Fontainebleau); the MBA’74, MBA’79, MBA’84J&D and MBA’89J&D weekend (Fontainebleau); and the MBA’04J&D and TIEMBA weekend (Singapore).
Fast-forward to June 2020 and the emotions were very similar, even though the format showed a marked contrast. We would like to thank all the members of MBA’15J&D and MBA’10J&D who made our pilot Digital Reunion such a success. The weekend programme included the usual updates from the Deans, a faculty session with Professors Jennifer and Gianpiero Petriglieri, and much- anticipated class meetings.
Global INSEAD Day, of course, is always a multi-location celebration with near-simultaneous events throughout the world on or around the school’s “birthday” of 12 September each year. After the usual fun and festivities of 2019, the event went wholly digital for 2020 and the number of locations increased exponentially, to include alumni homes from Sydney to Singapore and San Francisco, as the virtual event travelled around the world. With 7,000 registrations, “Global INSEAD Day: The Digital Edition” allowed us to toast the 60th birthday of the INSEAD Alumni Association together – once again in record numbers.
Similarly, the INSEAD Alumni Recognition Awards could not be presented in person this year but the list of winners in 2019/2020 is as impressive as ever – yet more cause for pride in our close-knit yet far-flung community.
Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, 3,332 donors gave to the school and the total amount in gifts and pledges reached €76.6 million, the highest since the start of the INSEAD Campaign: A Force for Good.
This result led us to reach our Campaign goal of €250 million, three years ahead of time. And it was not the only reason that made this year special. We set a new record with the largest gift ever from an alumnus and his wife that is amongst the top 20 largest gifts in the world made to any business school. The €60 million gift will enable us to establish an endowed fund of €40 million for the school’s research and a further €20 million in current funds to secure full ownership of the land on which our Europe Campus stands.
Gifts at this level have a transformational impact. The €40 million research fund will have a major influence on advancing the school’s academic excellence. A long-term, stable and flexible resource for research, the fund will allow the school to ensure that the yearly returns benefit faculty across all levels and disciplines, thereby increasing our impact on business and society through new and relevant knowledge in multiple areas.
Research in emerging domains received a significant boost through the establishment of the endowed Octapharma Chair in Decision Neuroscience. Healthcare management research, particularly important in the current context, also received a substantial pledge of support.
27 February 2020 was a historic day in our journey as the Business School for the World when INSEAD opened its state-of-the-art facility in San Francisco. The Hub, dedicated to connecting people, ideas and businesses from all over the world, would not have been possible without the generous donations from our alumni. While we recognised the Founding Donors for their key contributions, we were also grateful to all donors who participated in the project by naming a desk or a virtual brick.
With the Force for Good Campaign well underway, we reached 42% toward our 50% participation goal as INSEAD alumni, students, faculty and staff rallied together to support the school. MBA and TIEMBA reunions continued the tradition of giving back to the school through class gift campaigns. Their gifts made a tangible impact on the Dean’s Fund, scholarships and other projects.
Despite the unusual environment, MBA students maintained the Robin Hood tradition of fundraising for a scholarship that is to be awarded in the next class. This year, more than half of the students made a Robin Hood gift, with the ’20Js raising a total of €23,526 and the ’20Ds collecting €18,217.
INSEAD faculty, all of whom participated in pro bono teaching this year, created a Faculty Fund in support of the school, with gifts totalling €2.4 million to date.
Due to the pandemic, we had to postpone the much anticipated Giving Day 2020, originally scheduled for March. However, in June, our alumni community rallied to support the school, yielding the best Giving Day results ever. A total of 2,164 donors raised €2.3 million, enabling the school to address its strategic priorities and urgent needs.
As the Campaign moves forward, unrestricted giving will be more important than ever as we realise INSEAD’s mission to develop the next generation of responsible business leaders.