In September, Heather McGowan MBA’01, one of my former students and a leading voice on the future of work, shared a fascinating presentation at Babson Connect: Worldwide. She noted that “in the past, we learned once in order to work. In the future, we must work in order to continuously learn.” Her words are timely as we explore lifelong learning in this issue of Babson Magazine and promulgate a strategic plan that prepares Babson College to thrive in a changing environment.
As the world and workplace rapidly evolve, the need for education and ongoing learning will continue to increase in tandem. The essential and growing need for knowledge is a bright spot for colleges and universities during a period of disruption in higher education. It also presents a unique opportunity for Babson to capitalize on our strengths and extend our leadership in entrepreneurship education. The future of work requires that we dynamically solve problems and forge opportunities to create social and economic value.
Babson, across all phases of the learning continuum, educates entrepreneurial leaders who are nimble, opportunity-driven, innovative, and growth-oriented. They are collaborative problem-solvers who possess qualities and skills that make them particularly valuable in a fast-paced and constantly changing marketplace.
Babson recently announced a groundbreaking collaboration with The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to advance and amplify values-driven entrepreneurial leadership on a global scale. Through a $50 million gift, the largest ever awarded by the Blank Family Foundation and the largest single gift in the College’s history, Babson will establish the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The development of this new school within the College requires all Babson disciplines to lead change, solve problems, and create sustainable value across business and society.
At the start of our second century, this is a major investment in the role of entrepreneurial leadership to improve the human condition. Babson has long been ranked No. 1 in entrepreneurship education, and this gift generates unparalleled energy and momentum for our continued leadership and innovation. Our strategic plan and the vision of Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98—both of which we will explore in detail in our next issue—solidify Babson’s position at the forefront of the field.
The world is changing. Entrepreneurial leaders are more important than ever. Babson College has an important role to play, and we are envisioning and investing in concrete ways to create ongoing value for our community.
Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD