Oxford Saïd receives the 2016 Aspen Faculty Pioneer Award for cutting-edge approach to business education

Share Article

The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program recognised Oxford Saïd and Professor Peter Tufano for “Global Opportunities and Threats, Oxford” (GOTO) for its role in helping students address world-scale problems

Our aim...was to give students a set of skills to deal with long horizon problems...and the big, wicked and messy issues that they will encounter.

Peter Tufano, Dean of Saïd Business School, University of Oxford has been awarded the 2016 Aspen Faculty Pioneer Award, with a Special Award Distinction for Institutional Leadership. The annual awards celebrate leading educators that challenge conventional teaching to prompt students to think differently about the relationship between the role of the corporation and the public good. Nominations this year were accepted for business practices that help corporations confront society’s “grand challenges” such as climate change, inequality, global health, financial inclusion, human rights, resource scarcity, and economic development.

The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program awarded Oxford Saïd and Professor Tufano for “Global Opportunities and Threats, Oxford” (GOTO), a course he pioneered and that a team of faculty from across the School and the University have designed and delivered to the MBA class for the past four years.

‘GOTO is an ambitious and complicated course, which addresses some of the forces that will affect business over the next 25 years such as demographic change, new technologies affecting the structure of the workplace, natural resource issues, and global warming,’ said Professor Tufano. ‘Our aim on introducing this course was to give students a set of skills to deal with long horizon problems and uncertainty, and to give them content around these big, wicked and messy issues that they will encounter in their future careers.’

GOTO was created as an action-oriented programme to enable students to consider the big issues facing the world and to think deeply about business’ possible role in addressing these challenges. In teaching the programme the school draws on the expertise of academics from the broader University of Oxford to deliver content on specialised subject areas such as demographic change or resource scarcity. When combined with business tools and teaching such as scenario planning, system dynamics and design thinking, students are able to make sense of the material and learn to deal with large unstructured problems while considering the social value of their decisions.

Each year GOTO considers a different topic in depth with the 2016 class examining “The Future of Work”. Through tutorials, an interactive online content platform, in-class discussion, a plenary session and guest participants, students will consider the drivers of changes to work, such as developments in technology, the rise of AI or machine learning, and the rise of platform business or the ‘gig’ economy. They will consider this alongside changes in human, social and organisational capital and examine the implications for economies, companies, individuals and society. GOTO culminates in a group project that examines the implications of their GOTO project for a specific geography or industry, and suggests business solutions to mitigate negative impacts or exploit positive opportunities.

Professor Tufano commented: ‘I am delighted that the School and the GOTO team have received this recognition from The Aspen Institute. The course is a collaboration between my colleagues at the business school and the broader University– from those who have developed the platform, to the faculty that have tutored the students, and our colleagues from the broader University who have shared their expertise and thinking about these topics.’

Professor Tufano will accept the Faculty Pioneer Award on behalf of the School and the GOTO team at Aspen’s Management Education Roundtable in Pocantico Hills, New York on Oct. 26-27.

For more information or to speak to Professor Tufano please contact the press office:

For further information, please contact:
Josie Powell, PR Manager, Saïd Business School
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie.powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

About Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems. http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk

About The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program
The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (Aspen BSP), founded in 1998, works with business executives and scholars to align business decisions and investments with the
long-term health of society—and the planet. Through carefully designed networks, working groups and focused dialogue, the Program identifies and inspires thought leaders and “intrapreneurs” to challenge conventional ideas about capitalism and markets, to test new measures of business success and to connect classroom theory and business practice.
The Business and Society Program is most known for the First Movers Fellowship, for dialogue on curbing short-termism in business and capital markets, and for fresh thinking about the Purpose of the corporation.

For more information, visit http://www.aspenbsp.org.

About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Josie Powell
Saïd Business School University of Oxford
+44 1865288403
Email >
Visit website