School interview: Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administracion

by C:F Team on 4th May, 2010 at 1:07 PM CEST

In preparation for the upcoming Challenge:Future Summit in Bled, Challenge:Future invited the most successful schools to answer a few questions about their activities related to sustainability, innovation and future challenges.

We'd like to continue this series of interview with Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administracion (CESA), Colombia. Despite not having that many students on the C:F platform, CESA is one of the top 20 schools in this year's competition and is investing a lot of effort in promoting sustainability and innovation not just among students, but also in their local community.


How is sustainability and concern regarding our common future integrated in your school program and activities?

"CESA plays an important role in working with our local community to become greener and sustainable for the future. We are preparing our students for the obstacles that they will have to confront by listening to them and providing them with the support they need to identify their necessities to become better citizens for the world.

We have a strong “Social Responsibility Group” that is involved with our governmental recycling program. We are also actively involved with a low budget pre-school providing help with infrastructure needs and academic support and well-being. We sponsor regular toy drives, medicines and more recently a wheel chair Fund Raiser to help raise money for physically challenged individuals. These themes are also taught throughout the majority of our core courses in some form or another.

CESA was the first program of Business Administration in Colombia which developed a coherent academic program on Social Responsibility which nowadays is developed either on the undergraduate program and the postgraduate courses. In addition to this, CESA is concerned about developing social responsibility through a program on entrepreneurship which looks for creating new employment for the country."

What is your school doing to become an innovation leader?

"Our school is heavily involved in promoting Social Responsibility through our Agricultural. Some of our student body have been participating in the DELL Computers BIO project which will help generate jobs and reduce the impact of pollution on our environment. We are focusing on our students’ individual needs and encouraging them to try new things and research new and upcoming areas. Creative and corporate entrepreneurialship and getting people to work together for a common goal is part of being an authentic leader and is what we strive to our students every chance we get.

An important part of this project is the creation of the Entrepreneurship Program which helps students to create their own business from Pre-incubation to the incubation process. The result is that 44% of our alumni are entrepreneurs from their own."

How will an increasingly connected world influence your school in coming years? What will be the biggest challenges for your school?

"One of our biggest challenges will be to keep up with the ever-changing technological needs in a developing nation with a limited infrastructure. One of our other main challenges is to spread the corporate entrepreneurialship in our country of Colombia. We are starting to organize programs of professional development and executive development of project research.

The other big challenge is to internationalize CESA implementing bilingualism in our programs, developing applied international research, promoting double-diplomas with foreign universities and increasing the number of student exchanges."

In which direction should the development of Challenge: Future global innovation competition and Challenge: Future Summit go as a youth think tank?

"I would encourage that the Challenge:Future continue to strengthen their commitment to the same values that our university was founded on and continue to remain essential elements to all of our activities as a higher institution of educational learning. These are: entrepreneurial leadership, problem-solving, creativity, communication skills, international and global outlook and ethics and social responsibility."

Challenge:Future would like to thank Dr. José Manuel Restrepo Abondano for providing these answers on behalf of CESA.

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