Insights embedding social impact from the Global North
Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) is uniquely dedicated to social impact and sustainability in business. Founded by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in 2017 to address the challenges of the 21st century, GCNYC put forth a disruptive mission to educate business leaders who will work to protect a safe and sustainable planet and ensure fair and just working conditions across the globe.
The school’s curriculum weaves sustainability and social impact into every class, preparing students to transform business practice for the benefit of people and planet. Inspired by the UN SDGS, the GCNYC’s master’s degree curriculum teaches its students a pragmatic approach to sustainable business, focused on applied research and leadership skills.
GCNYC has two master’s degree programs, Business for Social Impact and Sustainability & Sustainable Fashion, where students learn to re-imagine business in line with the SDGs, balancing profitability with the well-being of communities and the environment. And a key element of their learning at GCNYC is through student projects based on practical applications.
This begins in courses such as Business Strategy for the Common Good, where student-consultants partner with organizations on applied learning projects. One student group recently worked with a German-based sustainable fashion brand to recommend a strategic reorientation and brand positioning that capitalized on students’ professional and academic experience.
The students’ recommendations included detailed suggestions for sourcing textiles sustainably and led the company to take its next steps as a sustainable brand. Further, all GCNYC students produce a unique research thesis on sustainable strategy or corporate social responsibility, and many use this project to develop a social business plan. The social ventures launched by GCNYC graduates include a regenerative farm in the Philippines growing sustainable fibers and a platform to assess workforce practices in a supply chain. GCNYC students graduate ready to drive positive social impact and becoming transformative forces in their workplace.