CKGSB Rep at UN Panel: Social Innovation in School’s DNA

July 01, 2015

Social innovation has been engineered into CKGSB’s DNA since the school’s founding, CKGSB Americas Chief Representative Greg Marchi told attendees at United Nations Global Compact conference on responsible management education.

Sharing CKGSB’s efforts in social innovation since its very outset, CKGSB Americas Chief Representative Greg Marchi took part in a panel discussion at a conference convened by the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative of the United Nations Global Compact.

The 2015 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education—6th PRME Assembly brought together more than 300 leaders of responsible management education and business, including deans, university presidents, professors, business school accreditation bodies and students, as well as representatives from the UN, government, civil society and corporate sustainability thought leaders.

Marchi spoke as part of a panel discussion on “Accelerating Implementation of Responsible Management Education (RME)”.


CKGSB Americas Chief Representative Greg Marchi speaks at the 2015 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education—6th PRME Assembly in New York on June 23, 2015.

Founded in 2002 by a generous donation from the Li Ka Shing Foundation, CKGSB is a little bit different than traditional universities and business schools, Marchi said. “If anyone knows Li Ka-shing, he is very focused on social responsibility and the issues around what PRME is all about.”

Marchi spoke about the school’s goal to develop a new generation of leaders who can compete with compassion and empathy. “The unique thing about our school is that we focus on the top level of executive education. The majority of our students are senior business executives from around the world. They already have a tremendous amount of wealth when they come to the school—and they also have a tremendous amount of ability to impact social change. When we founded the school, we built social innovation into the DNA of our school. It was built in and encouraged by Li Ka-shing himself,” Marchi said.

The majority of CKGSB’s alumni in China are CEOs, chairmans and presidents of some of the leading private businesses in China, Marchi explained. “As a matter of fact, Mr. Liang Xinjun, the CEO of Fosun, who spoke this morning, is an alumnus of CKGSB as is his boss, Mr. Guo Guangchang, the Chairman of Fosun. In addition, Mr. Jack Ma, whom you probably know from Alibaba, is another alumnus,” Marchi said.

From its founding, CKGSB began with a Philanthropy Fund and a Philanthropy Committee. “[The Philanthropy Committee] is a very disciplined committee that includes faculty, administration and alumni. Their mission is to build the most influential on-campus platform for social innovation in China,” Marchi said.

Marchi also outlined:

  • CKGSB’s Center for Responsible Business to research business and social issues as they specifically relate to China’s evolving situation.
  • A Global Humanitarians Committee underway to facilitate in-depth discussions and to aid business leaders in navigating the intersection of culture, value and businesses.
  • An in-depth Case Center that faculty members are encouraged to update continually with cases on business and society issues.


CKGSB Americas Chief Representative Greg Marchi takes part in a panel discussion on Accelerating Implementation of Responsible Management Education in New York.

Marchi also shared some of the initiatives that CKGSB students have accomplished over the short period of time that the school has been in existence.

He highlighted:

  • The more than $100 million donated by CKGSB alumni and students to help in the rebuilding efforts following two major earthquakes in China in the last 10 years.
  • The CKGSB Children’s Library Project, created by CKGSB alumni and the Philanthropy Committee, which has built more than 680 children’s libraries across the country benefiting more than a quarter of a million people in 30 provinces, municipalities and regions in China.
  • The CKGSB Art Education Project and the CKGSB Music Plan Project to improve the art education environment at schools for migrant children and assist these children to better migrate into local communities in receiving cities.
  • The Green Alliance for Sustainable Development Project launched jointly by the Alumni Association with the World Wide Fund for Nature. Green offices were established by CKGSB alumni’s businesses, and knowledge about environmental protection and biodiversity was spread among the public to advocate the reduction of pollution and wasteful spending and to promote socially innovative sustainable projects. 

“It’s been really amazing and it shows you what a combination of time, effort and money can do,” Marchi said. “When we teach our students about business, it’s not necessarily how to do business, it’s why to do business. It’s not the creation of wealth, it’s the application of wealth.”

Marchi added that CKGSB’s curricula are specifically designed to teach students that philanthropy is not just about contributing money, but contributing time as well. “All our EMBA students, who in most cases have huge companies to run, have to put in 48 hours of community service throughout their 16-month EMBA program in order to graduate to get their degree,” Marchi said.

Marchi admitted that there are many challenges ahead in China, but said that CKGSB will continue to teach its students to fulfill corporate and individual social responsibilities. “While China is moving along, there’s a long way to go. At our school and among our alumni, we are trying to do the best we can and to make these efforts count,” he said.

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