University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Executive Summary

Partnering for Success: Advancing Sustainability Research and Education in India

While sustainable economic development is a global challenge, this issue is particularly acute in India where a growing population, youth unemployment, and environmental degradation are matched by an increasing demand for reliable energy, clean water, sanitation services, and educational and economic opportunities. Within this context, two leaders in sustainability, the Kenan-Flagler Business School (KFBS) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), will partner in in two initiatives to develop the knowledge and talent to promote sustainability defined here as economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental stewardship.

Rising Stars Initiative: A reciprocal faculty-in-residence program for KFBS and IIMB junior faculty and doctoral students -coupled with an annual mini grant competition-, open to young faculty across India, will bolster academics’ capacity to conduct research and create knowledge in the rapidly evolving discipline of sustainable business strategy.

Knowledge Impact Initiative: KFBS and IIMB will share existing exemplar sustainability curricula and collaborate to create new course materials. In addition, experts in action-learning will develop and run an innovative course in which KFBS and IIMB MBA students will provide business consulting to microentrepreneurs in the Bangalore area. The newly developed research and curricular innovations will be widely shared in webinars and resources made available on a designated website. The two initiatives will culminate in an “Advancing Sustainability Research & Education Symposium” at IIMB where educators will discuss research strategies, share best practices in sustainability curriculum development and create an action plan for future collaborative efforts.The aim of the project is to dispel the presumed opposition between equity and excellence in higher education and make a compelling case for how diversity and excellence reinforce one another and are essential to innovation and progress in multicultural democratic societies.