february, 2021

thu04feb(feb 4)09:45fri05(feb 5)22:002021 EFMD Conference for Deans & Directors GeneralFinding Balance in Pursuit of Excellence09:45 - 22:00 (5) CET Location: Madrid, Spain

Event Details

Each year, more than 350 deans and directors general from around the world meet at this two-day event to exchange about the future of business education, share best practices and get an update on new trends.

These business school leaders from around the world discuss pursuing opportunities and meeting expectations in different regions of the world as well as managing an ever-growing array of stakeholders. Attendees seek to place themselves in the evolving relationship between higher education, companies and governments. Ultimately, leaders debate how business education can address the challenges of society.

If you were unable to attend the 2020 EFMD Conference for Deans and Directors General that took place at SDA Bocconi School of Management on 13-14 February, where nearly 400 deans from business schools around the world met to network and discuss under the theme “Managing Impact”, we hope you will be able to join us in 2021.

Target Group

This event is by invitation only, for those with chief executive officer (top management of the institution) responsibility and authority in EFMD member business schools and centres. Directors of non-member schools can be invited at the discretion of the organisers.

Strategic Partner:


Thursday 4 February


Walk from hotel to school

10:00 – 14:00


10:15 – 11:00

Optional Pre-Conference Session

  • Sangeet Chowfla, President & Chief Executive Officer, GMAC® – Graduate Management Admission Council®, US

11:00 – 12:30

Optional Pre-Conference Session
The EFMD Quality Services Team will report during this optional plenary session on the current status and the latest developments of EFMD accreditations. Through this session, Deans and Directors will also learn about the future objectives of the EFMD accreditations.
It should be noted that this is not a standard accreditation seminar; explanations on Standards & Criteria or Processes are NOT the main objective of this session.

  • Alfons Sauquet, Director, Quality Services & EQUIS, EFMD
  • David Asch, Senior Advisor, EQUIS, EFMD
  • Bob Galliers, Senior Advisor, EQUIS & EPAS, EFMD
  • Susan Hart, Associate Director, EQUIS, EFMD
  • Piet Naudé, Director, EDAF, EFMD
  • Michael Osbaldeston, Senior Advisor, EQUIS & EDAF, EFMD
  • Keith Pond, Director, EOCCS, EFMD
  • Martin Schader, Senior Advisor, EQUIS, EFMD
  • Barbara Sporn, Director EPAS, EFMD
  • Jens Peter Tøndel, Senior Advisor, EPAS, EFMD

12:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 14:15

Welcome Address

  • Representative IE Business School, ES
  • Eric Cornuel, President, EFMD & EFMD Global Network

14:15 – 15:15

EFMD Updates – Special 50th Anniversary

  • Eric Cornuel, President, EFMD & EFMD Global Network

15:15 – 15:30

Setting the Scene

  • Chairperson: Martin Boehm, Dean, IE Business School, ES

15:30 – 16:15

Coffee break

16:15 – 17:45

Plenary Panel I – Diversity
Aim: identifying dilemmas linked to diversity in institutions and discuss different ways of dealing with them. For business schools the diversity challenges lie in gender balance, students nationality faculty, governance, internationalisation, multi-languages, scope of the institution, amongst others. How can schools best deal with them?

17:45 – 18:30

Walk to Eurostar hotel

18:30 – 21:00

Drinks & dinner at Eurostar hotel

Friday 5 February


Walk from Eurostar hotel to school

09:00 – 10:30

Plenary Panel II – Several Models of Talent Development and Retention
Aim: What can business schools learn from a very successful company in terms of talent development and retention? On the other hand, how do business schools deal with talent and retention? What is their understanding, how do they attract talent, develop and retain it?

10:30 – 11:15

Coffee break

11:15 – 12:30

Breakout series A – Internal Management Issues

A1 — Balancing in Pursuit of Excellence – Research
Aim: how to promote research excellence, to build a strong research culture and to find the right model for your school.

  • Moderated by Nils Stieglitz, President and CEO, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, DE

A2 — Balancing in Pursuit of Excellence – Teaching
Aim: how to promote teaching excellence in executive education or for undergraduate education whether you have 5 000 or 20 000 students? What is the current context of teaching?

  • Moderated by Martin Boehm, Dean, IE Business School, ES

A3 — Balancing in Pursuit of Excellence – Pay, Compensation & Retention
Aim: challenges, constraints and solutions business schools are facing when it comes to academic freedom, mobility, compensation and retention.

  • Moderated by Winfried Ruigrok, Dean, Executive School of Management, Technology and Law, University of St. Gallen, CH

A4 — Balancing in Pursuit of Excellence – Executive Education
Aim: how can you create connections between executive education and the rest of your activities? How can you make sure your faculty teach on both sides and that you connect your executive education contacts to the rest of the institution?

  • Moderated by Tereza Martinez, Head of Executive Education, IE Business School, ES

A5 — Balancing in Pursuit of Excellence – Digitalisation
Aim: understanding internal challenges of digitalisation.

12:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:15

Workshops series B – Relationship with Different Stakeholders

B1 — Entrepreneurship
Aim: best practices in entrepreneurship.

  • Moderated by Gunther Friedl, Dean, TUM School of Management, DE

B2 — Alumni
Aim: best practices in alumni relationships and activities.

B3 — Societal Impact
Aim: best practices of schools which stand out when it comes to their impact towards society.

  • Moderated by Piet Naudé, Director EDAF, EFMD and Director, University of Stellenbosch Business School, ZA

B4 — Fundraising
Aim: best practices in the field and explanation of what is linked to receiving some large donations.

15:15 – 16:00

Coffee break

16:00 – 17:30

Plenary III – Design of Space
Aim: what is the impact of the design of a classroom on teaching and the new way of learning? What are some of the existing tensions when it comes to a design idea versus an academic reality? Are schools sufficiently eloquent to formulate ideas or needs? Are architects client friendly?

17:30 – 17:45

Conclusion session

  • Chairperson: Martin Boehm, Dean, IE Business School, ES

17:45 – 18:00

Presentation of next year’s venue


Walk to conference hotel Eurostar


Bus from Eurostar hotel to dinner venue

19:30 – 22:00

Dinner at Palacio Neptuno — Calle de Cervantes, 42, 28014, Madrid


Bus back to Eurostar hotel


Madrid, Spain


4 (Thursday) 09:45 - 5 (Friday) 22:00 CET


IE Business School

Paseo de la Castellana, 259, 28046 Madrid