Coveted Institute Aspen Award 2020 for Ahmedabad University faculty

Coveted Institute Aspen Award 2020 for Ahmedabad University faculty

October 1, 2020

Professor Siddhartha Saxena of Ahmedabad University has been honoured with the prestigious 2020 Ideas Worth Teaching Award from the Aspen Institute, Washington, DC., USA. Professor Saxena’s course, Future of Work, is one of the nine courses selected from world-wide entries, that responded to the global crises of 2020 by innovating in form and content — and suggest a new way forward for business, as society calls to rebuild. Professor Saxena teaches at the Amrut Mody School of Management at Ahmedabad University.

This is the first award, ever, to an academic in Asia and the only one from India. The other awardees are from The Wharton School, The Ross School of University of Michigan, INSEAD, The Rotman School of University of Toronto, and Universities of Linz, Innsbruck, Auckland University of Technology, Arizona State and San Francisco State.

The Aspen Institute’s Business & Society Program recognizes nine exceptional courses and the faculty who teach them with the 2020 Ideas Worth Teaching Award. This award honours faculty who are redefining business education –– providing learning experiences that equip managers of tomorrow with the context, skills and decision-making capabilities needed to lead in an increasingly complex business environment – and world.

Professor Pankaj Chandra, Vice Chancellor Ahmedabad University congratulating Professor Saxena on this award, said, “The world is facing complex challenges, whether it is climate change or it is a pandemic as of today. Traditional, narrowly focused discipline-based education is inadequate to address these challenges that face the 21st century. We need to rebuild education that brings different systems of knowledge to bear at the same time in addressing these issues. Siddhartha’s course is an important step in that direction that brings interdisciplinary perspectives and skills to address such challenges in the classroom making education real.”

“With each new headline, 2020 has underscored the need for fresh thinking on issues at the intersection of business and society,” said Business & Society Advisor Claire Preisser. Preisser adds: “Whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis it triggered, or protests for racial justice, this year is an urgent call-to-action to reset business norms so that, in rebuilding our economy, we rebuild for better human – and not only financial –– outcomes.

2020’s headlines are reflected in both the innovative form and content of these courses. The possibilities of online education, for example, are dramatically demonstrated by organising in the Times of Crisis: The Case of Covid19, a team-taught course whose instructors span several universities and even across national borders. Content of other courses, like Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability, which highlights an indigenous perspective and framework, have only become more significant in light of a summer of protest that sparked debates about how to redress centuries-old racial injustices embedded in modern social and economic systems. 

This year’s award winners were announced during a live, virtual event which featured a conversation with Kerwin Charles, Indra K. Nooyi Dean of the Yale School of Management, and Dan Schulman, CEO and President of PayPal. The two leaders discussed the skills and frameworks needed to build a more just and sustainable version of capitalism and the role of business education in supporting systemic change. The conversation laid the context for what this year’s Ideas Worth Teaching Award-winning courses have to offer for business practice in this pivotal moment.

The 2020 Ideas Worth Teaching Award winners:

+Impact Studio: Translating Research into Practice

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

University of Michigan; Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Corporate Diplomacy: Aligning Stakeholder Analytics & Strategy

Witold Henisz

University of Pennsylvania; The Wharton School

Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability

Marjolein Lips-Wiersma, Peter McGhee, Amber Nicholson, Peter Skilling

Auckland University of Technology; Business School 

Ethics: Value-based leadership for cosmopolitans

Gianpiero Petriglieri


Future of Work

Siddhartha Saxena

Ahmedabad University; Amrut Mody School of Management

Organizing in Times of Crisis: The Case of Covid19

Leonhard Dobusch

University of Innsbruck; Faculty of Business and Management

Elke Schüßler

Johannes Kepler University Linz; JKU Business School

Resource Allocation in Organizations

Elizabeth Castillo

Arizona State University; College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

Seminar in Business & Society

Oscar Jerome Stewart

San Francisco State University; Lam Family College of Business

The 360º Corporation

Sarah Kaplan

University of Toronto; Rotman School of Management

Additional details about each of these award-winning courses and faculty, including their syllabi, are available online at

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