Between the first and second core periods of the International MBA curriculum, students explore – through a series of presentations from outside experts,  interactive workshops, design thinking, and group work – the challenges and opportunities of global change through a 1 week module: Change in Action.

During the 3rd edition of the Change in Action module, around 440 students of the November 2010 intake of the International MBA program have taken part in a project aimed at developing sustainable energy solutions for the Monkey Point community in Nicaragua. 

This module will focus on the Base of the Pyramid, or how the world’s 4 billion poorest represent significant and thrilling new business opportunities for those who will seize the challenge. For a week, students will receive expert insights and work together as a group using design thinking techniques to develop products and services for the Base of the Pyramid, a segment often excluded by markets, banks and multinationals. Creativity and innovation will be key in the design of these new and original projects.

Richard Barnard current student of the International MBA program – Class of 2010 describes his experience:

The International MBA students have just completed Change in Action, the second module of a series of 3 (LAUNCH, Change in Action and Making Change Happen), which launches Core Period 2.

This year Change in Action focused on ‘Business Solutions at the Base of the Pyramid’. The School partnered with Schneider Electric and BlueEnergy to develop a project whereby all students were mobilized to develop sustainable energy solutions that would empower the population of Monkey Point, a small coastal community in Nicaragua, to generate future revenues.

To achieve our goals the students were led through a ‘Design thinking’ process which challenged our problem-solving capabilities by pushing us to invert our thinking, and put ourselves in the boots and minds of the villagers of Monkey Point, Nicaragua; to view the challenge from their perspective.

The process was imaginative and engaging, forcing the students to push their creative boundaries and think beyond the scope of the conventional MBA programme.

The week long programme culminated in finalists from each of the IMBA sections presenting their ideas to the corporate client partners in the grandiose surroundings of the Ateneo auditorium in central Madrid. The winning groups delivered presentations that combined inventive business-solutions with humour; they engaged the clients and the audience in their concepts.

Change in Action provided a break from the IMBA norm and introduced the IMBA students to a valuable new concept in design thinking and the reality of the business opportunities that exist at the base of the pyramid. Personally, I was enthused by the prospects of social entrepreneurship where business opportunities are dynamic and far reaching. I hope to join with many of my fellow IMBA students in learning more about these opportunities in the months ahead.

For more information regarding the International MBA’s Change Modules click here.


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