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Who we are

The Positive Impact Rating (PIR) is a Swiss Association, which governs the rating. 

PIR was initiated by a group of concerned business school experts and has been founded by the endorsers WWF, Oxfam International and the UNGC Switzerland, with the active support of the funders VIVA Idea and The Institute for Business Sustainability (IBS).

It is set up to be led by international student organizations, including oikos, SOS, AIESEC International and others, to ensure that the PIR captures the student voice in each school.

The Positive Impact Rating aims to foster collaboration, inspire deep change and remove the competition and pressure of a traditional rating.


Katrin Muff, President, Positive Impact Rating Association

Image by Clay Banks



 We gladly recognize and are grateful for a large group of engaged co-creators of the PIR concept from around the world.

The PIR concept was developed in a multi-step prototyping process by a large group of committed and engaged academics, students and business school stakeholders from many different countries. 


It went through three large face-to-face sessions between May 2017 and September 2018 and many small-group working sessions and meetings in between. Four different prototypes were developed and tested in two pilot phases with a dozen business schools from different regions. 


The final prototype was accepted by a general assembly with all supporters and stakeholders in a two-day session in September 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. It decided also on the PIR governance structure and the implementation phase.

Positive Impact Rating is grateful for the support of VIVA Idea, one of the funders. VIVA Idea is a think action tank working on sustainability challenges in Latin America through research, capacity building and knowledge management. 

VIVA Idea works in four impact areas: Sustainability and Social Progress, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investment and Collective Action. VIVAIdea promotes methodologies and tools that trigger processes of change, and that lead to concrete improvements that positively impact the world. 

VIVA Idea, together with the other initiators, believes in the potential of the PIR to change the paradigm of business schools globally. 




Nikolay Ivanov

PIR Managing Director, engaged in the strategic development and implementation of the Positive Impact Rating. Nikolay manages the entire programmatic work and operations of the PIR, liaising with affiliated business schools, the PIR Association, partner student organisations and other key stakeholders. 

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John Watt

PIR Outreach and Marketing Manager, engaged in the running and strategy of the Positive Impact Rating. John coordinates with current and potential PIR affiliated business schools, the PIR Association and partner student organisations to ensure that the PIR continues to meet the needs of all involved and achieve its mission. 


The PIR is formally organized as an independent, not-for-profit Association under Swiss law. 

Please find the statutes here.


Katrin Muff,Ph.D.

Director at the Institute for Business Sustainability, Lucerne, and Professor of Practice, Luiss Business School, Rome

Supervisory Board
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Mathias Falkenstein

Chair of Supervisory Board

& Founder

Founding Partner of XOLAS, Higher Education Management Consultancy, Berlin

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Carlo Giardinetti


Dean of Executive Education at Franklin University Switzerland and Instructor at Harvard Extension School


Léo Gilliard

Endorser Representative

Manager higher education and research institutions relations at WWF Switzerland

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Thomas Dyllick


Director at the Institute for Business Sustainability, Lucerne, and Professor emeritus in Sustainability Management, University of St.Gallen.


Sophie Charrois

Student Org. Representative

President of oikos International

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Ruth Mhlanga

Endorser Representative

Private Sector Policy Advisor, Oxfam, United Kingdom

Advisory Board

Special Assistant to the Executive Director, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Geneva, Switzerland

Jonas Haertle


Professor at INCAE Business School, Chair Sustainability VIVA Idea Schmidheiny, Co-Director VIVA Idea, Costa Rica

Urs Jäger

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CEO Global Business School Network (GBSN)

Dan LeClair


Founder and CEO, Sulitest,


 Jean-Christophe Carteron

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Executive Director, UN Global Compact Switzerland, Zürich Switzerland

Antonio Hautle

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Associated Consultant, FehrAdvice, Zürich, Switzerland

Robin Schimmelpfennig

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President, Yorkville University,


  Julia Christensen-Hughes


Project Manager, Curriculum Development, University of St.Gallen,


Clémentine Robert

Please find a full list of members here.

Initiators, endorsers, supporters, partners and funders


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VIVA Idea, one of the PIR funders, is a think action tank that seeks to contribute to solving the main sustainability challenges in Latin America through research, capacity building and knowledge management.

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Conflict of Interest

No member of the PIR Management, Supervisory Board, Advisory Board or other Member of the PIR Association who exercise any functions or responsibilities in the operation or review of the Positive Impact Rating, shall participate in any decision relating directly to their Business School, organisation, or his or her personal interest, or shall have any personal or pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, from their role in the PIR Association.


All members of the PIR Association disclose potential conflicts so that they can be appropriately managed.


The current members declare the following conflicts of interest and do not make decisions on matters affecting their business schools:

  • Katrin Muff: LUISS Business School, Maastricht University

  • Mathias Falkenstein: LUISS Business School

  • Urs Jager: INCAE Business School

For any enquiries about conflict of interest, please contact John Watt (PIR Manager) at john.watt[at] 

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