Teaching Resilience in Management Education

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Basic Information

Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftswissenschaften für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler
Bachelor; Master


The question of what we should teach our management students in the future occupies many lecturers’ mind. Numerous specialist advise that a change should take place: In addition to teaching theoretical knowledge and technical skills, students need to be taught life skills to deal with change or to maintain emotional balance in unfamiliar situations. Resilience describes these skills. A possible approach to address this involves “teaching the four Cs”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. However, resilience cannot be taught by giving students a book.
The thesis should deal with the theoretical underpinnings of teaching resilience and the following practical example to discuss the issue.
The ETHZ- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, one of the world's leading universities, and ZHdK-Zurich University of Arts have organized the so-called Cortona Week for 32 years. The name comes from a small Tuscan village where the summer school took place annually. The Cortona Week was a transdisciplinary conference including workshops, artistic and meditation experiences which served the purpose of broadening the students' horizons and intercultural competence. Lectures and workshops in the fields of spirituality, holism, transdisciplinarity, literature, psychology, music, fine arts, bodywork, and intercultural knowledge were offered. The Cortona Week was part of the students’ credit system and was a unique combination of scientific disciplines with artistic and humanistic ones. The summer school has given students the mental flexibility that the 21st century demands by educating the opportunities of Systems Thinking in changing processes.
The thesis should discuss the purpose of and the experiences with Cortona Week (e.g., by interviewing an Executive Member of the Cortona Week’s Board; contact details will be provided).

Keywords: Teaching, Resilience, Management education, cortona week, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity