As part of the American University in Cairo annual research conference, the AUC Business School, Global Business School Network and Tuck School of Business convened a group of leaders in management education, the private sector, students and public officials to consider the opportunities for experiential learning in management education, with an emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa region.  The event convened 60+ people from 11 countries across 4 continents, 15 universities and 14 corporations and associations.

GBSN.AUC Marc Johnson in Cairo in March 2015 on Experiential Learning PanelMarc Johnson, the Darden Center for Global Initiatives’ Executive Director, joined a panel of business school leaders to share insights and thinking from experiential learning in practice.  He spoke about the importance of defining learning objectives and faculty leadership of any experiential learning program to ensure success at achieving aims – at Darden experiential learning is not only a successful way to increase global readiness in our MBA students but to better tackle unstructured problems, work through ambiguity, and engage across cultural and other differences.  The panel and audience addressed some of the challenges of implementing successful experiential learning in management education curriculum, including assessment of learning, preparing students to understand and learn from potential project failure and challenges in engaging students in real-world settings with appropriate support.

Johnson shared the Darden School’s partnership with the Mediterranean School of Business in Tunis, Tunisia as an example of a collaboration in experiential learning between institutions in the region and the U.S.  In this program, Darden MBA students worked remotely with EMBAs from MSB who were launching new business and organizations.  The Darden students had the opportunity to learn more about the context in Tunisia while providing valuable advice and insights to the MSB students that could help them succeed.  One example of a project that an MSB EMBA student and Darden students worked on is the Alzheimer’s Family Assistance organization, which launched officially in the fall.

GBSN.AUC. Marc Johnson in Cairo in March 2015Darden is a long-standing member of the Global Business School Network, an organization committed to developing management education in emerging economies to promote economic growth and development.  This event at AUC provided opportunities to share lessons learned from experience at Darden and also to learn from the other schools and organizations present in a thoughtful exchange of ideas.  Following the summit, Johnson met with the Dean and senior leadership of the AUC Business School to explore possible areas of collaboration between the two schools.