2025 EFMD Deans Conference

thu13feb(feb 13)10:30fri14(feb 14)22:002025 EFMD Deans ConferenceLeading in times of disruptionLocation:Marriott Hotel Lisbon

Event Details

The 2025 Deans Conference will be held on 13-14 February at the Marriott Hotel Lisbon. The conference theme is: Leading in times of disruption

The conference will provide a forum for business school leaders to convene in a trusted environment to discuss the most prominent topics in business education and exchange best practices to address present and future challenges.

In light of the significant shifts in business education trends and societal demands, it is ever-important that deans and directors gather to share key insights to help optimise schools’ objectives and reflect upon the future of education, research, and industry partnerships.

Target Group

This event is reserved for the Deans or Director General of the entire institution, with the management school’s overall responsibility for representing member and non-member schools in the EFMD network.

Strategic Partner:


“The EFMD Deans conference is an excellent opportunity to engage and collaborate with peers from around the world. I have always come back richer after each of these conferences.”

– Himanshu Rai, Director, Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIMI)

“An invaluable opportunity to catch up on the strategic developments shaping the present and future of business education, research and practice; while connecting with a global network of colleagues and peers.”

– Caitlin Byrne, Pro Vice Chancellor (Business), Griffith University, Griffith Business School


Register here


Thursday 13 February

10:00 – 14:00

Registration & welcome coffee

10:30 – 11:00

EFMD newcomers’ optional pre-conference session
During this optional plenary session, new Deans or Directors General, as well as first-time conference attendees, can meet peers who are also new to this conference.

  • Friedemann Schulze-Fielitz, Director, Business School Services, EFMD Global

11:00 – 12:30

EFMD Quality Services Optional Pre-Conference Session
During this optional plenary session, the EFMD Quality Services Team will report on the current status and latest developments in EFMD accreditations.
During this session, Deans and Directors will also learn about the future goals of the EFMD accreditations.
It should be noted that this is not your typical accreditation seminar; explaining Standards & Criteria or Processes is NOT the primary goal of this session.

  • François Bonvalet, Director BSIS, EFMD Global
  • Piet Naudé, Director EDAF, EFMD Global
  • Keith Pond, Director EOCCS, EFMD Global
  • Alfons Sauquet, Director Quality Services & EQUIS, EFMD Global
  • Barbara Sporn, Director EFMD Programme Accreditation, EFMD Global


12:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 14:30

Welcome address

  • Eric Cornuel, President, EFMD Global
  • Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon, PT
  • Isabel Capeloa Gil, Rector and Professor, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, PT

14:30 – 14:45

Setting the scene

  • Chairperson: Filipe Santos,  Dean, Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics @Universidade Católica Portuguesa, PT

14:45 – 15:30

Plenary I – The evolving business school: Navigating market dynamics and other disruptions
Aim: Join us for an insightful exploration into the evolving landscape of business schools. This session will focus on the widespread disruptions and organisational challenges reshaping business education. We will examine the current state of business schools, their identities, and their curricula, offering a comprehensive overview of the key issues and trends driving change in this critical sector.

  • Moderated by Filipe Santos,  Dean, Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics @Universidade Católica Portuguesa, PT

15:30 – 16:00

Insights from the top: Deans commentary on plenary I
Aim: Gain additional insights as deans offer their perspectives on the evolving trends in business schools. This session will explore the shifting educational landscape and provide a thoughtful analysis of the key points discussed in the previous keynote address. Join us for an in-depth discussion on how these trends are reshaping the future of business education.

  • Moderated by Filipe Santos,  Dean, Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics @Universidade Católica Portuguesa, PT

16:00 – 16:45

Coffee break

16:45 – 18:00

Plenary II – Crisis management round table: Insights from deans
Aim: Explore effective strategies for approaching crises as a leader. This session will look at current trends, best practices, and provide concrete examples of successful crisis management, with a specific focus on handling demonstrations as a dean of a business school. Learn how to manage both internal and external communications during a crisis, and hear detailed case studies that illustrate what actions were taken and why they were effective. Join us for a comprehensive discussion on leading through challenging times.

  • Moderated by Matt Symonds,  Editor in chief, BlueSky Thinking, PT


Walk across the street to Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics @ Universidade Católica Portuguesa

18:30 – 21:00

Drinks & dinner at Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics @ Universidade Católica Portuguesa


Walk back across the street to the Lisbon Marriott Hotel

Friday 14 February


Registration and welcome coffee

09:00 – 10:15

Plenary III – AI Integration: Improving productivity in business school
Aim: Discover the transformative power of AI across various levels of the value chain within business schools. This session will explore how AI enhances executive education, staffing, workflow management, and back-office operations to boost productivity. We will present real-world use cases from the business school environment, detailing successful implementations. Additionally, we will examine cases from other sectors, highlighting their relevance and positive outcomes for business schools. Join us to learn how AI can revolutionise operations and drive efficiency in the academic setting.

  • Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, US
  • Moderated by Joy Jones, CEO, Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC™), US

10:15 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:15

Breakout series A

A1 — Mental health matters: An open discussion with Deans
Aim: Join an open discussion session to share and learn best practices for addressing topics such as toxicity in academic leadership. Hear from an expert speaker and explore survival strategies for deans facing challenging environments. Gain valuable insights and practical tools to thrive in your role.

  • Moderated by Himanshu Rai, Director, Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIMI), IN

A2 — Should business schools be political?
Aim: Join us for a thought-provoking session delving into the complexities of political engagement within business schools. Explore the questions surrounding whether business school deans should publicly take sides in political matters, and to what extent academic institutions should maintain neutrality in the face of societal issues.
Discuss strategies for addressing protests within the academic community and the ethical considerations that arise when donors associated with unethical behavior have contributed to the school. Reflect on the implications of retaining a donor’s name on the school and the potential need for change in light of evolving ethical standards.

  • Moderated by Martin Boehm, Rector, EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht, DE

A3 — Bridging borders: The impact of geographical fragmentation on business schools and international students
Aim: Business schools face significant challenges in managing the vulnerabilities associated with internationalisation amid geopolitical instability and regulatory changes. Hear real-world examples from deans who have successfully navigated these issues and gain insights to enhance the resilience and inclusivity of your institution.

  • André Spicer, Executive Dean, Bayes Business School, City and St George’s, University of London, UK
  • Moderated by Delphine Manceau, Dean, NEOMA Business School, FR

A4 — Reimagining campus life: Strengthening our communities
Aim: The pandemic has fundamentally altered the dynamics of campus life, challenging business schools to rebuild strong, vibrant communities. This session explores innovative strategies to foster a sense of belonging and engagement without relying solely on physical presence. Key discussion points include:
·       Virtual Engagement: Leveraging technology to maintain and enhance community connections.
·       Hybrid Models: Creating a balance between online and on-campus activities.
·       Innovative Programs: Developing initiatives that promote inclusivity and collaboration.
·       Best Practices: Success stories from schools that have effectively rebuilt their communities post-pandemic.
Join us to discover effective approaches for nurturing a resilient and cohesive community in the new educational landscape.

  • Gina Grandy, Dean & Professor, University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business, CA
  • Moderated by Yolande Chan, Dean and James McGill Professor, McGill University, Desautels Faculty of Management, CA

12:15 – 13:45


13:45 – 15:00

Breakout series B

B1 — The rankings debate: Value, impact, and inequality
Aim: Business school rankings are a hotly debated topic, with opinions ranging from their indispensable value to their perceived irrelevance and potential for inequality. This session will feature commentary from representatives of major rankings organizations as well as business schools, providing a multifaceted view on:
·       The Good: Benefits and positive impacts of rankings on business schools and students.
·       The Bad: Criticisms and potential negative consequences of current ranking systems.
·       The Pointless: Arguments on why rankings may be seen as irrelevant or misleading.
·       Inequality Issues: Examination of how ranking criteria can perpetuate or mitigate inequality among institutions.
Join us for a thought-provoking discussion to better understand the complexities and implications of business school rankings.

  • Moderated by Ines Drieselmann, Vice President, Alumni & Career, IE University, ES

B2 — How to deal with faculty: An interactive workshop
Aim: Join us for an interactive and engaging session where we explore effective strategies for managing tenure faculty who may be underperforming. As a Dean, navigating the complexities of faculty management can be challenging. Still, with insights and best practices shared by experienced peers, you will gain valuable tips and suggestions on how to address this issue.

  • Moderated by Julia Bennell, Dean, Leeds University Business School @ University of Leeds, UK

15:00 – 15:45

Coffee break

15:45 – 16:45

Plenary IV – Leading in times of disruption
Aim: The closing plenary aims to inspire and provide participants with food for thought from a top speaker.

  • Moderated by Filipe Santos, Dean, Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics @ Universidade Católica Portuguesa, PT

16:45 – 17:00

Closing remarks by the Chair

17:00 – 17:10

Presentation of next year’s venue

19:00 – 19:30

Bus transfer to SUD Lisboa

19:30 – 22:00

Drinks and Dinner at SUD Lisboa Pavilhão Poente ao lado do MAAT, Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa, Portugal


Bus transfer to Lisbon Marriott Hotel

Practical information

Conference fees

Early Bird Fee until 14 November 2024 included:

  • EFMD Full member: 1200€ X 23% VAT = 1476€ (including VAT)
  • EFMD Affiliated member: 1200€ X 23% VAT = 1476€ (including VAT)
  • EFMD non-member: 1500€ X 23% VAT = 1845€ (including VAT)

Conference Fee from 15 November 2024:

  • EFMD Full member: 1550€ X 23% VAT = 1906,50€ (including VAT)
  • EFMD Affiliated member: 1550€ X 23% VAT = 1906,50€ (including VAT)
  • EFMD non-member: 1950€ X 23% VAT = 2398,50€ (including VAT)

Cancellation policy for registrations

Cancellations must be confirmed in writing. If EFMD receives notice of your withdrawal before 10/01/2025, an administrative cancellation fee of (75€ plus 23% VAT) will be charged. Thereafter, we regret that we are unable to refund any fees.

Please note that if we haven’t received your payment (or proof of payment) before January 30, 2025, your name will not be added to the participants’ list.

Conference hotel information


EFMD has reserved bedrooms at a preferential rate at the beautiful four-star Lisbon Marriott Hotel for the conference duration (from 11 February to 14 February). All rooms will be released and subject to availability on 4 January 2025. We advise you to book yours at your earliest convenience.

The Lisbon Marriott Hotel offers revitalized bedrooms, each boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies. Experience the comfort and elegance of Marriott bedding, ensuring a restful stay before a meeting or a busy day of exploring nearby and easily accessible Lisbon’s historic attractions, main football stadiums, and cultural must-sees.
Explore the burgeoning brunch scene and sample the most authentic Portuguese dishes at Citrus Restaurant Grill. Savour our cocktails, wine, and local sangria on the terrace of Tapas & Tiles Cafe Terrace overlooking our garden and outdoor pool. Your immersive Portuguese experience awaits at Lisbon Marriott Hotel, strategically located between the Lisbon airport and the city centre.

Lisbon Marriott Hotel
Avenida dos Combatentes 45
Lisbon, Portugal 1600-042


Cancellation policy

The individual attendees will make reservations for the event via the Hotel’s secured reservation link.
Reservations must be guaranteed by a method of payment at the time of booking.
All reservations will be made, modified or cancelled by individuals on-line.
Reservations must be made on or before the cutoff date of 04/01/2025 in order to be eligible for the group rate.
Any reservations made after the cutoff date shall be at the Hotel’s then current available rate.

Payment and Cancellation Policy: Until 04/01/2025, no cancellation penalties will be applied.
Starting from 05/01/2025, the reservation will be charged in full to the guest’s credit card for the entire length of the stay, and this payment is non-refundable.
The charge will be processed on 05/01/2025 on their credit card.

Credit Card Responsibility: Lisbon Marriott Hotel is not responsible for accommodation bookings released due to invalid credit card details or insufficient credit card funds.

Venue & contact


Lisbon Marriott Hotel
Avenida dos Combatentes 45
Lisbon, Portugal 1600-042

Contact for questions :

For questions regarding the programme and overall event:
Delphine Hauspy

For questions regarding registration and accommodation:
Eliska Vinsova

For questions regarding exhibitors:
Hansol Park

Direction to reach Lisbon or the Lisbon Marriott Hotel


Arriving by plane

Humberto Delgado Airport, informally Lisbon Airport and previously Portela Airport, is an international airport located seven kilometres northeast of the city centre of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Lisbon Airport is Lisbon’s main and only international airport.
It is located some 6km from the Marriott Hotel by taxi.

The airport is connected to the metro network, but without a direct line to Marriott Hotel.

The fastest way to get to the Lisbon Marriott Hotel from Lisbon Airport is by taxi, which with regular traffic should take 10-15 min. A typical journey from the airport to Marriott Hotel will cost €10 to €12. Uber and Bolt platforms are also available in Lisbon and are less expensive.

Arriving by Train

Train travel to Lisbon is easy and accessible. Several trains arrive from international points of departure to Lisbon at Santa Apolónia station, close to all the traditional neighbourhoods and Terreiro do Paço. If you would like to add a unique architectural experience to your arrival, get off at Gare do Oriente (the station before), whose Calatrava-designed architecture impress even those who see it every day.

The cheapest way to get to the Lisbon Marriott Hotel from Santa Apolónia is the subway. There is a direct line from Santa Apolónia Station to Jardim Zoológico station, which costs €1 – €6 and takes 27 min. Jardim Zoológico Station station is 10 minute’s walk from the Marriott Hotel.

The fastest way to get to the Lisbon Marriott Hotel from Santa Apolónia station or Gare do Oriente is to take a taxi which takes 7 min and costs €12 – €15.
Uber and Bolt platforms are also available in Lisbon and are less expensive.


For questions regarding the programme and overall event:
Delphine Hauspy


For questions regarding registration and accommodation:
Eliska Vinsova


For questions regarding exhibitors:
Lenka Dvorackova



Marriott Hotel Lisbon


Marriott Hotel Lisbon

Avenida dos Combatentes 45, Lisbon, Portugal, 1600-042


february 13 (thursday) 10:30 - february 14 (friday) 22:00