Not business as usual

The Graduate School of Business (GSB) has created a new space at the heart of its Waterfront campus that seeks to break the mould of a traditional business education, in order for more holistic and creative responses to African challenges to emerge.

Dubbed the Solution Space, the area is meant to serve as a link between students, social inventors, entrepreneurs, foundations, government and industry players, allowing collaboration to generate new and creative ways to solve issues facing the continent.

GSB director Professor Walter Baets says that the space is a manifestation of the business school of the future. “Business schools need to shift to meet the needs of an unpredictable and unequal world. This means we need to move away from just training MBAs and towards getting involved in creating new business solutions for the world. We need to be more hands-on by turning out real solutions to real problems. And because complex challenges demand collaboration and partnership, the space will be a nexus between industry, government, academia and civil society.”

The multi-million-rand initiative, which is a prelude to Workshop 17 (a joint initiative of the V&A Waterfront and the GSB), received funding from the Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Fund and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The SAB Foundation has also partnered with the GSB with a funding commitment of R1 million as seed capital for promising social entrepreneurs.

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