Like graduates of every business school, the young people who emerge from Spain's Instituto de Empresa in Madrid are poised to cut deals, elbow rivals out of transactions, and pull out all the stops to help their employers turn a profit. But if they were paying attention in class, they would have learned that there's more to business than cutthroat competition. That's the reigning philosophy of the Instituto de Empresa's Dean Angel Cabrera.
The Madrid native has spearheaded the debate on corporate social responsibility within the world of management education in Europe. On a continent traumatized by scandals like Italy's Parmalat, IE stands out for its accent on ethical challenges in all the subjects it teaches. "Competition is necessary, but in a globalized world where that affects human lives and the environment, there have to be limits," says Cabrera.
Since taking the helm at IE in 2001, the 37-year-old Cabrera has made social responsibility the heart of the curriculum. His other big focus has been to internationalize business education. He has launched an "e-learning" program in which students around the world can earn MBAs online. In 2002, Cabrera helped set up the Sumaq Alliance, which links IE to seven Latin America management schools.
Cabrera's international focus just landed him a new job. In September he becomes president of Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management in Glendale, Ariz. The school is thoroughly global, with some 70% of its students hailing from overseas. Cabrera's ambition for Thunderbird? To introduce e-learning and promote what he calls enlightened entrepreneurship.