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London Business School Launches Forever Forward Campaign

by Eddie Rayner

​London Business School (LBS) has launched its global Forever Forward Campaign in Dubai, which will double the school’s scholarship offering to ensure it can attract the brightest and best minds and promote greater diversity in the business world. Women’s elevation in business and leadership continues to be a priority, building on the 15% increase in women on the school’s Dubai Executive MBA since 2020.

The School’s campaign also has exciting ambitions to support ground-breaking research, innovation, and an investment in their learning environments to promote connections, collaborations, and ambitious thinking. To date, 1,475 London Business School students from across its Dubai and London campuses have benefitted from scholarships, with an 81% increase in such opportunities since 2016. A total of 335 scholarships were offered last year alone.

The event, held on 10 November, on Forever Forward comes as London Business School marks the milestone of having a global network of over 50,000 alumni. The event brought together alumni, faculty, and donors to seek support for the campaign, as the school continues in its endeavour to have a profound impact on the way the world does business and the way business impacts the world.

The event featured a panel discussion between leading business innovators Muna Al Gurg, Vice Chairperson and Retail Director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group and Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises on thriving in times of disruption. Herminia Ibarra, the Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School, led the conversation.

They considered how organisations can use change to their advantage, particularly during this period of economic disruption, to make a lasting impact for the future, and strengthen their engines of growth and transformation. More than ever, businesses and individuals need to be agile and resilient, and must be able to transform rapidly, seize new opportunities, and meet some of the biggest global challenges.

Executive MBA candidates at the School’s Dubai campus are rising to that challenge. The leading business innovators of today and tomorrow at London Business School’s Dubai campus are diverse, with this year’s intake of students including 22 nationalities and 32% women.

London Business School kicked off its Forever Forward campaign, with events held in London, Dubai and New York

London Business School remains committed to increasing the number of women in its programmes, enabling it to boost the representation of women in business and leadership. The School has made great progress in the number of women pursuing opportunities and is competing well to attract talent available across industries.

The figures come as London Business School received a second £3.69 million gift from the Laidlaw Foundation to support the advancement of outstanding women in business. Many women are being supported by the Laidlaw Scholarship, to help equip them with first-class education and address the continuing global imbalance of women leaders.

Leading London Business School alumna Muna Al Gurg has also been championing women in business and supporting leadership development with London Business School programmes. The Muna Al Gurg Scholarship has supported six women from the Middle East to study MBA programmes at the School. The Scholarship works to increase the presence of women at the senior level of companies, creating a pipeline of female CEOs who will change the world of business for the better. 

London Business School kicked off its Forever Forward campaign, with events held in London, Dubai and New York

François Ortalo-Magné, Dean of London Business School, welcomed the Campaign and the support for women in business: “Dubai is a city that reflects the School’s global ambitions, to extend our reach and amplify our impact all around the world. The event was an opportunity to bring together the strength of community across the MENA region, with over 2,000 alumni in the Middle East proud to call LBS home.

“Our alumni are part of our lifelong club, helping us to establish and grow our global reputation, and I look with pride at the achievements being made, particularly on diversity with the growing number of opportunities across scholarships and research for women through new programmes.

“Our Forever Forward Campaign strives for better scholarships, research, innovation and development, and we can all play our part in ensuring the School can have the greatest impact possible.”

Women’s elevation in business and leadership continues to be prioritised as the School seeks to attract diverse talent

The School’s Forever Forward Campaign aims to raise £200 million over five years. Their first campaign raised £125 million, with 5% from the Middle East.

Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises added about the need for better business governance:“People, technology and governance are all essential foundations for organisational resilience. With social and environmental goals increasingly seen as two sides of the same coin, the edge of that coin is governance that ties everything together and empowers businesses to generate sustainable value creation over generations.

“Education systems have a critical role to play in building resilience: we need to develop new models of education that are more human-centric, focused less exclusively on developing technical skills and more on developing people. We must place greater emphasis on mental health, self-confidence, cultivating empathy and compassion, critical thinking, and equipping our young women and men with soft skills that will serve them well no matter what happens to one particular industry or another.”