In 2002, a dream was born: a sustainable MBA program dedicated to addressing the problems that mainstream MBA programs were busy creating.
The mission of the school, then known as the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) program: “To prepare students from diverse backgrounds to build enterprises that are financially successful, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.” As we noted at the time, “We fulfill this mission in two ways: by preparing our own students and by helping other business schools integrate sustainability into the heart of their programs.”
Today, thanks in part to the pioneering efforts of BGI, the concept of “sustainable business” has been widely heralded by both the business education establishment and the wider business community. While many institutions are now beginning to address sustainability in their MBA programs, only a handful of schools have completely rewritten their MBA curriculum to build sustainability into every single course. BGI led the pack in 2002, and its successor, Pinchot University, leads the pack today.
What has become increasingly apparent is that a focus on sustainability alone will not be sufficient. A more radical approach to transformational leadership will be required to avoid the threats of climate change, widespread shortages of resources, and deadly conflict over inequities in the global distribution of wealth.
In 2014, BGI was renamed Pinchot University in honor of two of our founders, Gifford and Libba Pinchot, and Gifford’s grandfather, the founder of the US Forest Service. Our new mission: “To prepare learners from diverse backgrounds to design, lead and evolve enterprises that contribute to the common good.”