George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Business for a Better World Initiative Selected for 2019 AACSB ‘Innovations that Inspire’ Award

Written by Rachel Chasin on .

Honey Bee Initiative

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) selected George Mason University School of Business’ Business for a Better World Initiative as one of its 2019 Innovations that Inspire. Through its Center for Prosperity, People, and the Planet, this initiative provides the foundations for students to become leaders who will “understand the business, social, legal, political and cultural landscapes of the organizations within which they work.”

“Leaders from all sectors across the globe have issued a clarion call to businesses to demonstrate not only profit but evidence of service to a social and/or environmental mission. To be successful, these businesses will need employees and partners who share a passion for a triple bottom line and for addressing some of our most vexing challenges, often referred to as sustainable development goals or wicked problems,” says Lisa M. Gring-Pemble, George Mason University director of Global Impact and Engagement and co-founder of the Honey Bee Initiative. “George Mason University’s School of Business is uniquely poised to educate students to be leaders in the business for global good space.

Recently, 30 George Mason students returned from a trip to Columbia where they helped families reestablish beekeeping operations in areas where many hives have been destroyed by pesticides and other causes. The objective is to develop and empower the farming communities through beekeeping, so that they can become self-sufficient over the long run. More than 80 percent of the beneficiaries of the program, in which students help establish hives of stingless bees, are women.

The Business for a Better World Initiative has also enhanced Northern Virginia’s ecosystem through its Honey Bee Initiative. The Honey Bee Initiative educates students and the surrounding community on the importance of bee sustainability and how to best manage and take care of a hive. In March, the Honey Bee Initiative organized a bee release at Valley View Farm Apiary in Delaplane, Virginia, and the Farm will continue to work collaboratively with Mason to research bees.

“Business schools that engage across disciplines and with industry, inside and outside the traditional bounds of business and management, exemplify AACSB’s vision for the future of business education,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “We are honored to recognize George Mason University School of Business as they lead by example — emphasizing their own areas of expertise and embracing collaborative approaches — all while addressing critical issues to drive social change.”

The AACSB is a global nonprofit, which was founded in 1916, and helps universities prepare students in becoming great business leaders. The School of Business’s Initiative was among 21 winners and is accredited by AASCB in both business and accounting.