Experts and leaders of industry are celebrating the fifth birthday of a pioneering course at the University of Exeter Business School.

CEO of Unilever helps mark the fifth birthday of the University of Exeter’s One Planet MBA

Experts and leaders of industry are celebrating the fifth birthday of a pioneering University of Exeter course which helps talented business professionals address the global challenges of our time.

Co-created in partnership with WWF, the One Planet MBA is a collaboration with leading FTSE 100 and other progressive organisations and allows participants to develop innovative business thinking and new business models.

The MBA, taught by experts from industry, was ranked earlier this year among the best MBA programmes in the world by CEO magazine, and is accredited by the Association of MBAs.

Paul Polman, the Chief Executive of Unilever is visiting staff and students to help them mark five years since the One Planet MBA was introduced. Mr Polman will speak to staff, alumni and graduands from the University and local business leaders on Saturday, 17 December about the challenges facing business in a world that is changing so rapidly. The occasion will also be marked with a celebratory dinner with a guest speech from Ken Webster, Head of Innovation at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

This year’s One Planet MBA participants come from 20 countries around the world, including Canada, the USA, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Nigeria.

Professor Nicolas Forsans, Director of the One Planet MBA programme, said: “Our students are ambitious and creative and our world leading One Planet MBA programme allows them to future proof their career by acquiring an innovative mindset for a world that is being transformed by digital and technology.

“The MBA helps people manage the fast pace of change in their organisations so they thrive in our ever-evolving economies. We look forward to helping hundreds of the world’s most talented people to the course in the years ahead.”

Paul Polman has been Chief Executive Officer since January 2009. Under his leadership Unilever has set out an ambitious vision to decouple growth from its environmental footprint while increasing its positive social impact. Mr Polman is also Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and serves on the Board of the UN Global Compact.

Stephanie Lindan moved from Texas, in the USA, to complete the MBA because she wanted to gain new skills and work in other parts of the world. Stephanie had spent ten years working in marketing and web development before relocating to Devon. Her MBA project has been to help energy suppliers make the most of data collected by new smart meters to lower energy costs and even out supply and demand.

“I was working in small and medium sized organisations in the public sector and I wanted to move to the next level so I can have a greater impact on what’s going on in the world,” Stephanie said.

“Completing the MBA has increased my global literacy, it means I’ve worked with people from all around the world and I don’t just get the Western, USA view of business. I’m now looking to stay in the UK.”

Date: 14 December 2016

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