Business and Society

Melanie Sperling

Melanie Sperling

Job Title

MBA 2020
EGC encouraged us to think about the role and responsibility that business leaders have in shaping society and civilization for the better.

Professor Geoff Jones’s Entrepreneurship and Global Capitalism (EGC) course hugely shaped the way that I understand history, politics, and the role of business in society. This class covered a wide range of topics: It taught me about the many factors that led to globalization and deglobalization. It taught me about key entrepreneurs and inventions that shaped civilization. And through this class I gained a better understanding of key points in time that have shaped history. Those learnings, in their own right, are incredibly valuable. But Professor Jones’ managed to bring our learnings even further as well.  He would start each class with an overview of the historical context. He then guided engaging and provocative conversations -- asking each of us to think critically and empowering us to share diverse perspectives.

We examined the motivations and journeys of each entrepreneur. We dug into the impact that they, and their businesses, had on civilization, realizing that most entrepreneurs have made both productive and unproductive contributions to society. Through the examination of these entrepreneurs, we were pushed to look inward to better understand our ownvalues.

EGC encouraged us to think about the role and responsibility that business leaders have in shaping society and civilization for the better. Business has a wider responsibility than just making profits, and there are consequences for our business decisions. We must assess what tradeoffs we’re willing to make to create the impact that we desire, and act upon our responsibility to society.

Overall, this was a class where I would glance at the clock and be upsetby how quickly the time was passing. We ended each class by hearing Professor Jones’ perspective of the case, which my classmates and I were incredibly grateful to hear.