Faculty & Staff Spotlight

Sacred Heart University Sustainability Platform

Sacred Heart University launches sustainability platform

On Saturday, 9 October, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg (SHU) launched its newest project–the “Sustainability in Action” Leadership Platform–at the KlimaExpo in the presence of economy minister Franz Fayot.

A holistic approach to sustainability

The platform–which hopes to enable participants to “think differently” and creatively. It includes on-site academic courses and a new postgraduate Certificate in Sustainability and Social Impact.

The online Mini-MBeA SHU offers is accessible to anyone, all over the world. Professor Marcus Mueller, who oversees the programme, reckons that the mini-MBeA will attract more executives, as the format offers “a good handle on the complexity of sustainability” in all aspects of business.

Unlike other existing sustainability programmes in Luxembourg and abroad, the SHU platform approaches the challenges of today and tomorrow in a holistic way, he said speaking to Delano ahead of the launch. “We are building bridges between theory and practice, across disciplines, across generations present and future, across stakeholders–governments, industries, consumers–and we bridge the gap between Luxembourg and the world.”

By sharing their tools–such as building self-confidence and encouraging creative thinking–and showing their application on the whole value chain of a business, Sustainability in Action aims to give its students the knowledge needed to become “ambassadors of change” in their current or future organisations.

The selection of candidates will also play an important part in the programme: there needs to be “diversity in terms of seniority, gender, disciplines, industries,” to incite enriching and transformative interactions, Muller said.

A shift in mentalities

“The business models will change–they have to. Those who want to proactively change now will be the winners, and those who just wait for regulation to happen–they will die,” said Mueller.

The current way of approaching climate change by solely “creating fear, offering island solutions and controlling carbon footprints,” is not going to help the world, he said. Fear eventually begets the numbness of citizens, whereas stimulating the participants of the programme to be communicative and creative will provide solutions that can be implemented in industries later on.

Through the classes, supported and taught by both local and international partners, such as B Lab or Luxinnovation, among many others, the programme aims to use the tools those organisations have already proven to be applicable, and introduce them into Luxembourg’s wider ecosystem (for graduates of the certificate) and international organisations (for graduates of the mini-MBeA).

Changing angles

Though Mueller acknowledges the importance of cutting carbon emissions and implementing new restrictions on industries, he believes that only coming up with new ideas, technologies and innovative solutions that “bring profit” will have a big enough impact. Only economically viable ideas that are also sustainable will interest larger industries and governments, he said.

“There is still a lot of resistance at the executive levels,” said Mueller. “The next generation needs people in the second and third level to plant the seed and show the people of the organisation” how to approach and adopt the change in mentality.

And so, through the launching of their new leadership platform, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg aims to cut fearmongering from the agenda and provide new tools to its participants to confidently approach not just the “Why?” of climate change and the economy but also mainly the “How?” of creating sustainable businesses.

Dr Marcus Mueller

Sacred Heart University Luxembourg creates new sustainability program

Because sustainable development is something that companies increasingly find they must not only reckon with but espouse, many professionals now realise they require training and development to get up to speed as to how business, sustainability, and the environment interact.

Last weekend marked the inauguration of a new graduate-level program from Sacred Heart University Luxembourg that will give students a clear overview of some of the most pertinent intersections of sustainability and business. The inauguration was introduced by Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot at KlimaExpo 2021, which took place from October 9-11 at LuxExpo the Box.

The Sustainability in Action Leadership Platform is a natural extension of the central role that care plays in the university’s mission, explains Dr Marcus Muller, the Department of Management professor who has overseen its creation. The program is unique in the world, he says, as there are very few graduate-level business programs that focus on sustainability. Those that do exist tend to have a global outlook and lack a strong connection to the local business community.

“The Sustainability in Action Leadership Platform is a combination of international and local content and expertise. The program will work closely with local partners such as Luxinnovation, +ImpaKT, and Seismic.”

Sacred Heart University Luxembourg has been building up a strong base for this program. For several years, the university has been incorporating sustainability topics into graduate courses such as finance or accounting. Later, they began offering entire courses on how the corporate world and the transition to a more circular economy are increasingly connected.

“The program is highly flexible and allows students to combine content to suit their needs. The goal is to provide a wide view of sustainability while making sure that newly acquired competencies are applicable to the outside world. Students prepare an action plan they bring to their activity outside of class, whether that is their jobs or their private lives.”

Because of the broad overview of the material, the collaborative nature of the platform, and the ability of students to choose courses that match their needs, the program has a wide range of utility.

“Everyone from young professionals, executives, to government officials can benefit. We build a foundation enabling people to find their own way. We truly see ourselves as a platform where students also learn from each other and are not subjected to top-down lectures.”

Interested parties can already register for courses or the certificate program since the university offers rolling enrollment. Only the online mini MBeA (Master in Benefit Administration), will officially be launched in quarter 2022

Because teamwork and learning from other students, most of whom come from diverse professional and geographical backgrounds, are central to the program, students often stay connected long after they have completed their work at Sacred Heart University Luxembourg, says Dr Muller.

“We have a very strong network of alumni all around the world. We do care and keep caring about these people who are willing to drive impactful change through education”

SHU Luxembourg and ICDN

SHU, Luxembourg features on IDCN Partner Summer Newsletter June, 2021

Sacred Heart University, Luxembourg is proud to be featured on IDCN (International Career Dual Network) Partner Newsletter June, 2021 as their new corporate member. To support the vision of life long learning aimed by both the organizations, an article by our EMBA Student Johanna Sorrentino has been published.

SHU luxembourg icdn newsletter
SHU luxembourg icdn newsletter
Martha J. Crawford in Forbes

Martha J. Crawford in Fortune, Forbes & Entrepreneur

AS SEEN IN FORTUNE, FORBES & ENTREPRENEUR
FAIRFIELD/WESTCHESTER | BUSINESS LEADERS
SHAPING TOMORROW’S TECH AND BUSINESS LEADERS

Sacred Heart University’s Jack Welch College of Business & Technology is pioneering the powerful convergence of business and technology education.

Martha J. Crawford
Dean Crawford at Sacred Heart University West Campus, the former GE headquarters.
It’s a recurring theme: By the time other schools are noticing industry trends, Sacred Heart University’s Jack Welch College of Business & Technology (WCBT) has already implemented them into the curriculum. One such trend is the inevitable junction of business and technology — a global movement for which WCBT is leading the charge.
“We’ve merged our faculties of computer science, engineering, and all facer of business into one school so that students can interact on diverse teams and are prepared for the rapid and continuous intersection of these industries,” says Dean Martha Crawford, Ph.D., who joined WCBT in August 2019 after a three-year stint at Harvard Business School and a 20-year career as a chief technology officer for leading technology companies in France.
Housed in the former GE global headquarters, WCBT’s state-of-the-art learning labs, active-learning cohorts, and startup incubators immerse students in real-world environments that foster organic growth. From day one, WCBT students are ingrained with an entrepreneurial mindset, a strategy Crawford says future-proofs students for industry evolutions that will inevitably occur throughout their careers.
“For students to cope and thrive in a rapidly changing wodd, they need to have the entrepreneurial ability to navigate complex challenges and a critical thinking toolkit to face never-before-seen ethical issues,” says Crawford.
With the rise of cyber hacking, fake news, and AI integration, tomorrow’s leaders must be wired with a strong ethical reasoning framework.

“As Catholic university, our mission is values-based. Our diverse faculty shares a common commitment to teaching business as a vector for positive social impact. We teach students to pay attention to not just shareholders, but all stakeholders — the suppliers, distributors, and society at large that will be impacted by business decisions,” says Crawford.
This ethical foundation is a university-wide orientation that was tested — and that prevailed — during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the first hints of the virus began circulating, Sacred Heart University was among the nation’s first institutions, and the first in Connecticut, to transition online in early March 2020.
“We saw the COVID hurricane coming and took immediate action to protect our community. Our senior leadership team unanimously voted to go online, and we started the next day,” says Crawford. To pull that off, the university relied on its own entrepreneurial flexibility to pivot and pioneer the road not yet traveled. “It was difficult for a few weeks, but everybody was on board,” says Crawford.
“By fall semester, our SHUFlex system allowed us to safely bring students back to campus for in-person dasses: she continues. “Thaes what I love about Sacred Heart University. We are entrepreneurial and agile. We go out of our way to meta¬phorically hold the door open for others. We don’t just teach our values; we live them.”

Globally Minded

Since 1991, Sacred Heart University’s Jack Welch College of Business & Technology has operated an MBA campus in Luxembourg. The digital integration of the campus provides all students invaluable international perspectives and networking opportunities. The Luxembourg campus is pioneering the integration of B-Corp and sustainability initiatives into the curriculum and offers unique executive education programs. Sacred Heart University also operates a campus in Dingle, Ireland.

SHULU Private Equity Event

Sacred Heart University Luxembourg – “The 30-Year Bridge: Executive Education & Private Equity”

Wish you knew more about Private Equity? Here’s your opportunity to…

  • Learn about the evolution of the Private Equity market
  • Listen to panelist’s stories about how Private Equity education changed their careers
  • Discover what the industry will look like in the future

With:

  • Aissata COULIBALY, EY Private Equity Associate Partner, SHULU Board of
    Regents Member
  • Jens HOELLERMANN, SHULU Private Equity, Professor & InTabulis
    Managing Partner
  • Christine IMPENS, SHULU MBA Alumna & Finance Manager Three Hills Capital Partners
  • Erica LECLERCQ, SHULU Full Time MBA Program Manager
  • Stephane PESCH, Luxembourg Private Equity & Venture Capital Association LPEA, CEO

Live streamed event on April 28th, 2021 from 6 to 7 pm.

Entrepreneur-in-Residence Mentors Students with Big Ideas

Ventures are open to everyone, not only business majors

When a student or professor in Sacred Heart University’s community has a brilliant idea for a new product or service but doesn’t know how to turn the thought into a plan, it’s time to see Richard Guha, SHU’s entrepreneur-in-residence. Even while most University business and classes are being conducted online during the pandemic, Guha is still available to mentor inspired Pioneers.

Richard Guha Over the last 28 years of Guha’s distinguished 45-year career, he has engaged with startups as founder, board member, CEO, mentor and investor. Several of the startups in which he has been involved have had multi-million-dollar exits—meaning the business was acquired or, rarely, it issued an initial public stock offering—and one currently has a $1 billion valuation.

“When classes are in session on campus, I walk around and chat with students,” Guha said. “As I develop a rapport with them, they gain the courage to ask questions and talk to me about ideas that have been floating around in their heads.” Without the current ability to chat informally with students, he’s reminding them that they can still reach out to him during this time.

Guha’s mission as SHU’s entrepreneur-in-residence has three components. The first is encouragement of students’ curiosity about new ideas and possibilities. “I want them to come to me even if they are just curious about being an entrepreneur. You can even come talk if you don’t have any ideas but want to find out what’s involved in being an entrepreneur,” Guha said.

The second component is guidance. Guha teaches students how to execute the next steps for pursuing their venture. He guides them through negotiating the legal structure and finding a lawyer who will work with them for free or inexpensively, setting up their books, developing a plan or product road map, marketing their business and hiring the right people when the time comes. “I won’t do the work for them, but I help them do it themselves. If there is something they cannot do, I help them find someone who can work with them.”

Third, Guha helps introduce his clients to those in the industry who may be able to help with investments and business set-up to get them on their way.

Entrepreneurship is not only for business majors. “Whatever your degree is, you can apply it to being entrepreneurial,” said Guha. All experience is relevant. “Don’t think that your life has to be linear. Just because you want to do something different than what you’ve done so far, doesn’t mean that you don’t have the experience to make it work.”

Don’t let a fear of failure get in your way, he advised. “I’ve mentored students who went off and did something entrepreneurial for a year or two after college, and either it failed, or they lost interest. When they joined a large corporation, they went into a higher-level position than they would have straight out of university.” Corporations value the experience gained from being an entrepreneur, even if one fails. “There is nothing wrong with trial and error. As an entrepreneur, you are the CEO, the chief innovator and the chief marketing officer. The things you learn are more relevant than you realize.”

People with entrepreneurial spirit are excellent assets to the innovation within companies—often called intrapreneuring—because they come up with new ideas for new businesses within the corporation. Nonprofit organizations also offer opportunities for entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs.

Wilder Rumpf ’20, who carried a double major in finance and economics at Sacred Heart, consulted with Guha for over a year while forming FinTron, a broker-dealer business currently developing a banking and investing app for people between the ages of 18 and 39. “FinTron has gone on to raise more than a half a million dollars in just under a year,” said Rumpf, noting that he also owes special thanks to Professor Mark Ritter and late Professor John Gerlach.

“Richard is a wonderful mentor with an endless Rolodex of connections. He provided me with industry insight, connections to resources and a friendly face during some tough times I’ve faced as a founder,” said Rumpf, who plans to launch FinTron this summer.

“Richard has given me great advice on what direction to take with my business endeavors and what I can do to proceed,” said Caitlin Golynker ’23, a business management and finance major at Sacred Heart. “He possesses connections in various fields that can help your idea progress and give you the ability to collect more information on your idea.”

Tobi Aminu ’20, who graduated with a degree in finance and plans to continue his education in Sacred Heart’s MBA program, has spent a great amount of time with Guha preparing business plans for his venture. “I feel like a sponge whenever I speak with Mr. Guha,” said Aminu. “His wisdom is endless and I know I will benefit from this opportunity.”

“The Sacred Heart community is lucky to have someone with Richard’s depth of business acumen and experience, who is available to help create the entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” said Martha Crawford, dean of the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology. “Anyone with an inkling of an idea should spend some time talking to Richard. He’s an invaluable resource to our students and faculty.”

Guha also often serves as a judge and mentor for startup weekends, much like Techstars and Sacred Heart’s virtual startup weekends. Participants often contact Guha after the weekend is over, seeking advice on how to move their business plan forward.

The goal of the entrepreneur-in-residence program is to produce Sacred Heart alumni with an entrepreneurial frame of mind who believe there are no boundaries to what they can accomplish.

Anyone from Sacred Heart can reach out to Guha at Richard@guha.us at any time, even if it’s just to talk about what entrepreneurship entails.