Diversity, Innovation and Social Justice.
At Monarch, we have over 30 nationalities present within the student body and teaching faculty. With this diversity comes a variety of views and counter views. Different ways of thinking are compared and contrasted by the very fact that the people with these views are from different cultures and have different experiences and expectations. Academic discourse as a result becomes more robust and more interesting when a myriad of views are present. It is a belief at Monarch that as a global community we become healthier the more interaction we have through this diversity.
In today’s world there are many forces at work that would like to silence the voices of diversity. Viewpoints and people that are seen as being different than ourselves are held as suspect and not to be trusted. As academics, we must fight against these impulses both in society and in ourselves. We must continually strive to open up our understanding of the world around us and towards those who interact with us who are different from ourselves. The great religions of the world remind us that the things that make us similar far outweigh the things that make us different. There is only one humanity.
Technological development enables the world to be more globally oriented. In specific, this is enhanced through the application of internet technologies. In fact, Monarch Business School Switzerland is a product of these very technologies and its academic model could not have existed even as little as 15 years ago. Internet technologies have enabled a new generation of students, professors and administrators to reach across geographic, political, economic and social boundaries and to affect each other like never before. For example, a student from Africa can have a classmate from the Ukraine in a course facilitated by a Professor from Singapore who reports to administrators from Switzerland. And this can happen without traveling vast distances to do so. Truly a remarkable achievement in education. There are challenges for everyone but the model has the potential of providing vast rewards.
Innovation is a product of the interaction of diverse views brought to bear on a specific challenge. And it is this desire and need for innovation that stirs the human consciousness. There is no better place to foster solutions to global challenges than in the academic environment. As a business school we are able to bring our specific skills to economic and social problems to enable innovation to take place. The message for all is that we can have a real and concrete effect on the world by way of academic research and innovation fostered by our diversity of understanding.
The stated values of Monarch are: opportunity, academic freedom, encouragement, honesty and social responsibility. Social responsibility means more than simply considering sustainability, or, making products and services that have a minimal negative impact on society. The social responsibility of business in the large sense is to consider how we can improve society and enhance social justice for all through shared economic advancement. It means developing products, services and programs that have the greatest amount of social integrity for all stakeholders. We must continuously and ceaselessly strive to both minimize social and environmental harm as well as maximize the social benefit of our actions. Only by having a strong focus on social justice as a product of our effort and keeping in consideration all people as worthy of that social justice can business ensure its rightful place in society.
Businesses have the tools needed to push forward the agenda of social justice. Business people have the necessary skills to enable this to happen. Diversity and innovation are the catalysts that can move social justice forward toward a more equitable world. As we move into 2016 we need to remind ourselves that individually we make up a small element of the larger social fabric. But through a shared understanding many small and important steps can come together to produce significant change.
And so for 2016, I wish for all of you that you become the social change that you wish to see. That you use your skills learned at Monarch as leaders of your communities to make that happen in your personal, economic and social lives. Together, we can move the important concept of social justice and social equity forward and create a strong globally diverse tapestry.
Dean of the Faculty
Monarch Business School Switzerland