Challenging the Status Quo: Do We Need a Climate Revolution in Business School Research?

François Ortalo-Magné speaks to Chris Caldwell of United Renewables

François Ortalo-Magné speaks to Chris Caldwell of United Renewables

François Ortalo-Magné speaks to Chris Caldwell of United Renewables

DOUGLAS, Isle of Man, May 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and businesses have a crucial role to play in addressing it. But how can we ensure that academic research is directed towards sustainability outcomes without sacrificing academic freedom and curiosity? In a thought-provoking article, Christopher Caldwell, CEO and Clean Energy Entrepreneur, challenges us to resist the temptation to demand sustainability outcomes from academia and instead protect the freedom to be curious.

Caldwell draws inspiration from his interview with François Ortalo-Magné, the Dean of London Business School, who believes that academic freedom and curiosity are essential to impactful research. Instead of redirecting all funding towards sustainability, we must protect the values that lead to great thinking and breakthroughs. Caldwell cites the example of Keith Thomas, a researcher who spent 15 years reading what interested him before publishing his classic work, “Religion and the Decline of Magic”. Similarly, impactful research on sustainability is the result of long-term academic freedom and curiosity.

Protecting academic freedom and curiosity doesn't mean ignoring sustainability, however. Caldwell acknowledges the need for leaders to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of leadership education, and argues that sustainability should be part of the MBA curriculum to prepare leaders for the future.

In this inspiring article, Caldwell challenges us to trust in the power of curiosity and academic freedom to drive meaningful change. We need more Keith Thomases in the world, and we must resist the urge to force sustainability outcomes from academia. By protecting academic freedom and curiosity, we can pave the way for breakthroughs that may have far-reaching impacts in the future. The article “Do We Need A Climate Revolution In Business School Research?” is available for reading at here.

Caldwell is an entrepreneur and founder of United Renewables, a green energy firm working across wind, solar, tidal and anaerobic technologies with a special interest in serving island communities. He is also a growing authority in the digital climate debate, as host of the podcast Conversations on Climate.

Conversations on Climate is a joint production of United Renewables and the London Business School Alumni Energy Club.

Episode 1 of Season 2 of the Conversations on Climate Podcast, featuring François Ortalo-Magné Dean of the of London Business School, is available here.

Conversations on Climate brings world-leading thinkers from business and academia together to share their expertise on the subject of climate change. Previous guests include Sir Andrew Likierman, Julio Dal Poz, Professor Jean-Pierre Benoît, Professor IoannouTara Schmidt, Professor Dan Cable, Professor Zoe Chance and Professor Lynda Gratton.

All previous episodes can be found here. Related articles can be found here.

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