"If we really want to make the world sustainable and have an impact, industry and knowledge institutions must work together." With this statement, Professor Dr. Steven De Haes, dean of the Antwerp Management School (AMS) opened the online ceremony with which the new Chair in Management Education for Sustainability of the AMS and Breda University of Applied Sciences was officially launched. VITO is committed to supporting this chair, which is unique in the world, for the next three years.

The holders of this chair are Dr. Lars Moratis and Dr. Ir. Frans Melissen. In their inaugural speech, they focused mainly on realistic plans, but also on a bold approach. According to them, five years after the launch of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we are not much further down the road. The situation with regard to climate and biodiversity, for example, is dramatic. The corona crisis has exacerbated that. "Management education should no longer be part of the problem, but a substantial part of the solution", they say. They refer to the more than 16,000 business schools, worldwide, which together train millions of students every year. "Millions of opportunities to tip the balance in the positive direction."

The time when business schools only prepared managers is over. "Management education must realise critical studies that dare to question the existing socio-economic systems, relationships and assumptions. As business schools, we must also encourage the moral imagination: encourage students to come up with entirely new methods for tackling social challenges. And finally, we must not stand on the sidelines. Education is not 'neutral', we must embrace activism. An activism that is not aimed at tackling one issue, but the systems that led us to where we are today". The Chair is a vehicle for getting things done.

Nearly 200 participants followed the virtual inaugural speech. Watch the video of the inaugural speech by Dr. Lars Moratis and Dr. Ir. Frans Melissen, holders of the Chair in Management Education for Sustainability.

The Chair in Management Education for Sustainability is not only supported by VITO, but also by Achmea, AgroFair, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Aquafin, AXA, bol.com, CELTH, D&B The Facility Group, Damen, DNS Belgium, DHL, Indaver, PwC and ZNA.