AI: The New Core Curriculum in Business Schools

AI: The New Core Curriculum in Business Schools
đź‘‹ Hi, I am Mark. I am a strategic futurist and innovation keynote speaker. I advise governments and enterprises on emerging technologies such as AI or the metaverse. My subscribers receive a free weekly newsletter on cutting-edge technology.

Prepare to enrol in AI 101: Business schools now require a knack for artificial intelligence, not just acumen in economics. Business education is undergoing a seismic shift, positioning AI at the forefront of its curriculum.

In a landscape where technology relentlessly reshapes industries, business schools are not just observing from the sidelines; they are actively embedding AI into the very fabric of their curricula. This pivot reflects a broader belief of me that by 2030, the corporate world will bifurcate into two distinct categories: entities adept at leveraging AI and those relegated to obsolescence. The same will apply to business leaders: learn to leverage AI or start looking for a new job. It's not merely about integrating new tools; it's a profound evolution in the very nature of business acumen.

At American University, Wharton, and Columbia, AI is no longer an elective—it's becoming as essential as finance or marketing. Students are tasked with envisioning AI as a co-pilot in their professional journey, one that can dissect vast data sets, generate strategic insights, and even challenge the creativity of budding entrepreneurs. The traditional role of an MBA graduate is being redefined: future leaders must excel not only in decision-making and strategy but also in orchestrating AI capabilities to drive innovation and efficiency.

Consider the exercise at Columbia where students employ AI to generate business pitches from varied perspectives, such as those of prominent personalities. This exercise goes beyond a mere academic task; it cultivates an agility to leverage AI for diverse, context-specific problem-solving—a skill indispensable in the future's dynamic corporate landscapes. Yet, as much as AI can offer a spectrum of ideas, the quintessence of leadership remains the ability to discern, refine, and implement these suggestions with strategic acumen.

Moreover, this transformation signals a critical juncture in career development. The emergent narrative is stark: professionals who embrace and adeptly navigate AI will thrive, while those who ignore its potential risk obsolescence. This isn't about a marginal enhancement in productivity or innovation—it's a fundamental shift ensuring survival and relevance in an increasingly automated world. Business schools are, therefore, not just teaching AI; they are instilling a survival kit for the next decade, ensuring that tomorrow's leaders are fluent in the language of the future.

In essence, the message being delivered across campuses is unequivocal: harness AI or be left behind. As we edge closer to 2030, the ability to integrate AI into strategic decision-making and operational workflows will not be a competitive advantage but a baseline expectation. The leaders of tomorrow will be those who can navigate this augmented landscape, wielding AI not just as a tool but as an integral component of their strategic vision. In a future punctuated by rapid technological advancement, those at the helm must be as proficient with algorithms as they are with balance sheets.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal.


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Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr. Mark van Rijmenam is a strategic futurist known as The Digital Speaker. He stands at the forefront of the digital age and lives and breathes cutting-edge technologies to inspire Fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide. As an optimistic dystopian, he has a deep understanding of AI, blockchain, the metaverse, and other emerging technologies, and he blends academic rigour with technological innovation.

His pioneering efforts include the world’s first TEDx Talk in VR in 2020. In 2023, he further pushed boundaries when he delivered a TEDx talk in Athens with his digital twin , delving into the complex interplay of AI and our perception of reality. In 2024, he launched a digital twin of himself offering interactive, on-demand conversations via text, audio or video in 29 languages, thereby bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds – another world’s first.

As a distinguished 5-time author and corporate educator, Dr Van Rijmenam is celebrated for his candid, independent, and balanced insights. He is also the founder of Futurwise , which focuses on elevating global digital awareness for a responsible and thriving digital future.


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