Top-Ranked Babson Accelerates Momentum with Appointment of Blank School Leadership
The world’s foremost college for entrepreneurship knows all about innovating and staying ahead of the competition.
For the 24th consecutive time, Babson College is the No. 1 undergraduate school for entrepreneurship, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“This is a tremendous honor and a testament to our continued leadership and innovation in entrepreneurship education,” said President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD. “In a year marked by turmoil and uncertainty, this is a moment of pride and celebration for the Babson community.”
Babson, though, never stands still. So, this is another moment for dramatic steps forward.
Those steps forward will be led by The Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership and its new leadership team, composed of Donna Levin, CEO, and Associate Professor Scott Taylor as the inaugural Arthur M. Blank Endowed Chair for Values-Based Leadership.
“This is Babson’s—and The Blank School’s—moment to make a global impact when the world needs it the most.”
Donna Levin, CEO, The Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership
Leading on Values-Based Leadership
“We can’t sit back and enjoy being No. 1,” Taylor said. “We’ve got to continue to do what we’ve always done, which is innovate and pivot and stretch ourselves. The generous gift from Arthur Blank gives us the resources to be able to do that in a much bigger way.”
Babson, Levin said, is in a unique position to lead.
“The world needs entrepreneurial leaders more than ever right now. Every single industry must be reimagined and rebuilt to survive in our new global climate,” she said. “With Babson’s expertise and reputation, The Blank School will educate and empower entrepreneurial leaders with an elevated set of skills and an enhanced mindset to lead that change. This is Babson’s—and The Blank School’s—moment to make a global impact when the world needs it the most.”
An accomplished entrepreneur and business leader with a broad and impressive portfolio of academic leadership credentials, Levin most recently served as the executive director of innovation and entrepreneurship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She co-founded Care.com, the largest online care destination in the world, and served as a senior lecturer and entrepreneur-in-residence at MIT Sloan School of Management.
‘Unleashing Human Potential’
As faculty chair of The Blank School, Taylor will direct a transdisciplinary approach to learning, incorporating faculty and divisions from across campus. The key to solving the most vexing challenges of our time, he says, is developing entrepreneurial leaders who understand the nature of relationships and can get the best out of people.
“If we can create a model for how we do that,” he said, “and we can then develop the capability to create those kinds of relations to bring out innovation and creativity, then we’re unleashing human potential to tackle these problems.”
Taylor has been part of the Babson community since 2014, serving as associate professor of organizational behavior. He brings a wealth of expertise and research around leadership, with an emphasis on emotional intelligence in organizations.
“We’ve got to continue to do what we’ve always done, which is innovate and pivot and stretch ourselves. The generous gift from Arthur Blank gives us the resources to be able to do that in a much bigger way.”
Scott Taylor, Arthur M. Blank Endowed Chair for Values-Based Leadership
More Academic Milestones
Babson’s vision for The Blank School is to advance and amplify values-driven entrepreneurial leadership on a global scale. Several programs and initiatives are already underway, including curriculum advancements, the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership Scholars program, and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Village.
This semester, the College has welcomed the first class of Blank School Scholars, six outstanding students and emerging entrepreneurial leaders who represent each of Arthur Blank’s core values.
This summer, The Blank School awarded its first certificate in the Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Social Sector program, in partnership with the Blank Family Foundation. The program—normally conducted at West Creek Ranch in Montana but delivered online for the first time because of the pandemic—uses entrepreneurial leadership principles to develop real-world solutions to important social issues. As shifting global circumstances present new problems to be solved, the program provides opportunities to impact the most pressing current concerns.
The heart of Babson’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is the Entrepreneurial Leadership Village (ELV), an innovative learning facility that brings the entire community together in new ways to create solutions and growth opportunities. Plans are underway to build the physical hub for the ELV on campus. Babson is designing and piloting virtual aspects of the ELV to extend its reach everywhere around the world.
Accelerating Entrepreneurial Leadership
The transformative $50 million gift by Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98 and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has fueled and accelerated the College’s strategic plan—even during the upheaval caused by the pandemic—to expand the focus to “own entrepreneurial leadership.”
Taylor, for one, says that objective is more than just words but a true action plan.
“I don’t think it’s just rhetoric to say we want to own entrepreneurial leadership. We do, on all facets,” Taylor said. “This just extends and builds on a foundation and a reputation I think we have already, but in exciting ways that are needed more than ever.”
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