In Search of the Next Big B-School Idea

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on July 15, 2010

Got a good idea about how to change management education? A really good idea?

There might be $50,000 in it for you.

That’s how much the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) is offering for the best response to the question, “What one idea would improve graduate management education?”

For its Ideas to Innovation Challenge, GMAC is seeking “ideas that are achievable, easily understood and able to demonstrate measurable results within a one- to three-year time frame,” according to a press release from the council.

Aspiring business education visionaries can submit their ideas—limited to a maximum of three paragraphs—on GMAC’s Management Education for Tomorrow (MET) Fund website. Ideas will be accepted from July 21 to October 8.

Allen Brandt, director of the MET Fund, says he wants to include ideas from people who aren’t normally involved in discussions about management education. “We decided not to go the traditional route of putting out a call for grants. It’s too easy to get the same type of things,” he says. One source of ideas that isn’t traditionally tapped is the community of b-school students themselves. He explains, “Every student is out there thinking, ‘God, if I were running it, I would have done x.’”

A panel of educators and business leaders will evaluate the ideas and name the winners in mid-December. In addition to that $50,000 top prize, MET will award four second-place prizes of $25,000 each and ten third-place prizes of $10,000.

Brandt told Bloomberg Businessweek that a number of top corporate executives will be among the judges. Signed on so far are Rona Fairhead, CEO of the Financial Times Group, Jack Maree, CEO of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group, and Arif Maqvi, CEO and founder of Abraaj Capital, a Dubai-based private equity firm.

The best proposals will be posted on the MET Fund's website and GMAC will ask b-schools and nonprofits to consider ways to implement them. "Next year, we'll encourage schools and programs to take one of those ideas or combinations or pieces [of an idea] and propose how you might implement it, and how could the MET Fund supply funding to make this happen," Brandt says.

We can't offer you anything close to $50,000, or even 50 cents, but what's your big idea?

--Zachary Tracer

Reader Comments

Shauna Liu

July 25, 2010 9:10 PM

HAHAHA...seriously though, why would anyone publish their great idea here? Thanks for the article though...

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Read daily reports from BusinessWeek editors and reporters Louis Lavelle, Geoff Gloeckler, Alison Damast and Francesca Di Meglio and boost your chances of getting into your best-fit B-school.

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