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An Inspiring Learning Expedition to Slovenia
JANUARY 11, 2022
Making a positive impact is EDHEC’s primary focus and building a Global MBA programme that allows candidates to study sustainability is part of that mission. Read on to learn more of how our current cohort travelled to Slovenia studying Sustainability.
EDHEC’s Global MBA curriculum is powered by integrated learning journeys. Whether on campus in Nice or in countries around the world, EDHEC MBA candidates are enriched with the world’s leading industry and business trends—sustainability being among them.
“EDHEC’s Global MBA has always been invested in helping our students learn about responsible business and sustainability,” said Sandra Richez, Programme Director of the EDHEC Global MBA. “The theme of sustainability seemed natural to us, especially given that positive impact is one of the core values expressed in EDHEC Business School’s 2025 strategic plan.”
Studying sustainability, social impact, ethics, and principled leadership is integrated into the EDHEC MBA curriculum. So, how are our current participants studying it? This year, it was accomplished first-hand with a learning expedition to Slovenia.
For 10 days, the entire Global MBA class explored Slovenia, an eco-leader in Europe and #9 in the UNSDG Index which measures a country’s commitment and success in implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students visited Ljubljana, among the top eight most sustainable cities, as well as Bled, Kranj, Koper, Idrija, and Anhovo.
Each day of the journey was filled with enriching activities from company visits to walking tours, cultural experiences to wine tastings and even partaking in sustainability challenges sourced from leading local firms. Students attended lectures at the prestigious IEDC-Bled School of Management and even enjoyed a gala dinner at beautiful Bled Castle. The trip had one concrete goal: to learn more about companies and cultures that are making an impact through sustainability initiatives.
Julian Boucherat was one of the trip participants and is a member of the current MBA cohort. “I had never been to Slovenia, and I had no idea what to expect from this trip,” he said. “I believe that is what allowed me to discover such a beautiful country.”
“Slovenia is not a country where just the government is engaged in sustainability, but also the companies and citizens. Spending quality time in the country and talking with Slovenian people, you realise that sustainability is ingrained within the culture.”
Getting out into the field and seeing first-hand how business leaders are already taking action to ensure a sustainable future is one way that EDHEC is preparing its students to act on COP26 climate change targets. During their time in Slovenia, MBAs visited the sites of local businesses, like:
However, the learning didn’t stop at company visits. Studying sustainability stretched beyond in lectures, discussions, and conferences with inspiring leaders like Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, a joint recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, who shared the compelling science and need for action to exceed COP26 carbon reduction goals. Vice-Mayor of Ljubljana and professor of Urban Design, Prof. Janez Koželj presented how his city has been transformed based on sustainable goals. Presentations, lectures, conferences and business cases explored a broad range of topics such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), green city mobility, sustainable finance, low carbon energy, circular economy, sustainable design, and digitalisation.
The highlight of EDHEC’s sustainability learning expedition is business challenges that engage MBAs to work on real consulting projects with local companies on current issues. For example, MBAs were able to consult for Petrol d.d. As the biggest oil and gas company in Eastern Europe, Petrol was facing a steep sustainable target: education.
“Consulting in Slovenia allowed me to discover what companies are doing to evolve, how they power the country and change the minds of their customers,” he said. “Working for Petrol, our consulting project was to brainstorm new ways how the company can educate its customers and employees about their carbon footprint. They shared their internal initiatives with us as well as their long-term strategy to install a network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the country.”
After 10 days in Slovenia, EDHEC’s MBAs were inspired by both the country and the positive impact local and national sustainability efforts have already made. Activities, like discussing ecology on an eco-tour around the capital Ljubljana or learning about ecological farming with a biodynamic wine grower or working on sustainable consulting projects, shed light on sustainability efforts across industries and their positive impact.
“This trip opened my eyes to how forward-thinking Slovenia is, especially for a country that I knew so little about before,” Julian said. “Schools like IEDC in Slovenia are teaching and moulding students who will export their CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] knowledge around the world. I wholeheartedly recommend MBA students visit this country and even make it a priority as future leaders to follow Slovenia's sustainable business practices in their own companies."
Sustainability, social impact and ethics are integrated into the EDHEC Global MBA curriculum, keeping in line with our mission to make a positive impact. Gain practical experience through learning expeditions to countries and companies leading the way in making a sustainable impact.