Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society
Transforming business education to ensure that leaders and organisations benefit society and the environment.
During the course of 2019/2020, the Hoffmann Institute engaged with and supported 79 faculty members across all nine of the school’s academic areas. It financed 31 research projects, and two INSEAD articles were recognised by the Financial Times for “best in class” research with a positive impact on society: Professor Pierre Chandon’s study of healthy eating nudges; and Professor Matthew Lee’s investigation of how female entrepreneurs can overcome gender bias.
Although Hoffmann Institute support is available for any field of research, it is particularly associated with four of the school’s interdisciplinary faculty groups: the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Centre for the Study of Wealth Inequality; the Humanitarian Research Group; the INSEAD Gender Initiative; and the Healthcare Management Initiative.
Currently, 31% of all MBA core courses include some sustainability content and the Hoffmann Institute is working with faculty to explore how to integrate sustainability into further courses across all programmes. In addition, the Institute supported or led several extra-curricular learning opportunities. Most notable was the COVID-19 Innovation Competition, in which student teams competed to devise the best business venture to turn a force majeure into a Force for Good (see Degree Programmes section of this report). At the Executive Education level, the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme (associated with the INSEAD Social Impact Initiative) added 61 new names to its global network, which now constitutes 800 graduates.
As the rolling global lockdown began, the Hoffmann Institute stepped in to orchestrate all components of the INSEAD community – from student and alumni clubs to research groups – in creating a series of topical webinars. INSEAD Conversations: Navigating the Global Pandemic began with “Coordinating Pharma and Medtech Supplies for COVID-19” in March and continued for the rest of the academic year with titles designed to offer practical help to a world navigating a pandemic. Recordings are available for all to learn from via the INSEAD website. The Hoffmann Institute also played a key role in the first INSEAD Summer Learning Festival, which had much content devoted to business as a force for good. The Hoffmann Institute worked with the Lifelong Learning Team to help deliver 60 webinars with 20,000 live participants in 2019/2020.
In January 2020, for the second year in a row, The Hoffmann Institute was in Davos as a partner of the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Tent, where we welcomed 300+ people for conversations. This came soon after our own on-campus SDG Week in October 2019 with 1,300+ sign-ups to 14 events in Fontainebleau and Singapore. January 2020 ended with the Business and Society Annual Forum on Health convened by the Hoffmann Institute as part of our partnership with ChangeNow, the largest impact gathering in the world.
In addition, the Hoffmann Institute is a co-founder of the Community Impact Challenge, an INSEAD alumni-driven, long-term initiative launched in December 2019. Based on the 17 UN-identified SDGs, its mission is to run a series of global events to raise awareness and change behaviour. So far, campaigns have centred on reusable plastics and sustainable food habits.
The Hoffmann Institute has worked with departments across the school on initiatives including the first INSEAD Procurement Policy, which incorporates key components of business ethics, the environment and sustainability. We also worked once again with business sustainability rating agency EcoVadis, and achieved a rating of 63/100 in their assessment. Not only does this put INSEAD in the top 10% of all ranked organisations; it also represents a huge improvement on our own score of 38/100 in 2014.
Finally, the Hoffmann Institute is supporting the school’s ongoing drive to demonstrate best practice in Equity Diversity and Inclusion. Through the INSEAD Gender Initiative and the Task-force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion we are working to ensure that INSEAD really does walk the talk in this most important of issues.