, Singapore

Meet INSEAD’s new chairman of the board

Find out how Andreas Jacobs plans to bring “business as a force for good”.

Andreas Jacobs, the new Chairman of the Board of Directors at INSEAD, wants the school to be able to attract more scholars and students from emerging markets. With diversity as one of the core values of INSEAD, Andreas says the school’s social permeability must be a priority. He further explains that it should also be possible for the talented son or daughter of a farmer in Indonesia or in Africa to study at INSEAD, as those are the ‘markets of the future’. “It is in our interest to ensure that these markets have enough great leaders who are equipped to create value for their countries,” he says.

Andreas supports INSEAD Dean Ilian Mihov’s motif “Business as a Force for Good’’ as it nurture growth, prosperity and personal development. He reiterates that INSEAD is committed to educating responsible global leaders who can lead across cultures.

Singapore Business Review recently caught up with Andreas as he talked about his future plans and directions in one of the world's largest graduate business schools.

SBR: What makes you excited about your new position?

It is a great honour to be appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for INSEAD. Over the years, the school has gone from strength to strength and developed into a truly global educational institution. As an INSEAD alumnus, I am very excited to be joining INSEAD as part of this inspiring and pioneering global community of scholars and practitioners dedicated to transforming executives into business leaders.

SBR: What three goals are you focused on?

1. To further grow the quality of the school

Since its inception and first MBA intake in 1959 in Fontainebleau, France, the school has been committed to providing a unique multicultural learning environment that brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world. Our ability to provide a diverse, multi-cultural experience, expert faculty, and innovative research and programmes is second to none.

2. To invest in the future of the school

INSEAD’s three integrated campuses – in Europe, Asia and Abu Dhabi – allow us to be physically present in three distinct business and cultural environments, benefiting from different views on the ground.

INSEAD continues its ongoing commitment to meet the demand for excellent management education in Asia with the addition of its Leadership Development Centre on the school’s Asia campus in Singapore. In parallel, we are investing significantly in Europe, developing our Europe campus in Fontainebleau to keep attracting high quality executive education participants, degree students, and top researchers. With the campus in Abu Dhabi, we will continue our distinctive strategy of growing as the Middle East market is ready for our offer.

In addition to our programmes on these three campuses, INSEAD participates in the academic partnerships with leading business schools around the world. In Asia, INSEAD partners with School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai.

We are investing in the digital links that connect our campuses, the data that informs our research and the innovations that will bring our research into the classroom for first-class leadership education.

3. To continue engaging the alumni community worldwide

INSEAD Alumni are the school's ambassadors in over 171 countries around the world, working in management and leadership roles and influencing corporations and organisations across all sectors. Their activities and accomplishments help to cement the school's reputation. The support from the alumni created a virtuous circle, whereby INSEAD can realize its mission and aims and enhance its reputation; and alumni can benefit from INSEAD's standing in the global market place as The Business School for the World.

SBR: What will you do differently in this position?

My first goal is to build on the great leadership of my predecessor Franz Humer and to acquaint myself with all key stakeholders of INSEAD. What I would see aims at the very beginning of my first 100 days in this new position as one of my aims is to build a bridge between the strategic nature of the Board’s perspective and decisions, and those of the day to day running of the school.

SBR: What previous positions prepared you for this one and how?

I come from a family company that has ”entrepreneurship” among its core values, “Entrepreneurship” is also one of the core values of Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products, in which we have a major stake and for which I serve as Chairman.

INSEAD has been entrepreneurial since day one; this is a great match with my own values. In an ever changing world everything is about exploring new horizons, continuous learning, cooperating across cultures and taking personal initiative. In such a dynamic environment business education is vital. INSEAD’s mission of promoting a learning environment that brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world, promoting management education and develop leaders and entrepreneurs who create value for their organisations is the right response in this environment.I pursued an MBA from INSEAD (MBA 90’) which was a life changing experience for me. The challenging yet rewarding position as Chairman of INSEAD will allow me to give back to the school.

SBR: What changes are you planning for?

The entire world of business is changing, and every industry is being affected. The business education category is no different. INSEAD is well prepared for many of these changes with three global campuses and a world class faculty. We will have to be ready to move quickly into new areas and new ways of education as they develop ensuring that our courses remain as vibrant and exciting as they have always being, ensuring that we attract the best students in the world.

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