The newly established Alfred Ford School of Management – named after the businessman, great-grandson of auto magnate Henry Ford, and disciple of Srila Prabhupada – will offer an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree with a focus on conscious leadership.
The School is affiliated with ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium. Administrators of that College began working with Alfred Ford (Ambarisa Das) back in 2009, after the 2008 financial crisis showed that there was a need for a different approach to business management.
The School – which will be conducted online only with one week onsite at Bhaktivedanta College – will cater to ISKCON members, Indian youth, and alternative audiences looking for a more ethical and conscious business administration degree.
Applicants will be required to have a Bachelors Degree in economy or a similar field, and some experience in management will be welcome.
The program will be offered in ten modules online at aford.be. The modules will be presented in ten-minute video lessons, consisting of short theory lectures and practical case studies. They will be pre-recorded so that students will be able to do them at their own pace and according to their own schedule. The course will take a minium of 18 months, but can be spread out over a maximum of five years, making it extremely accessible to people of all lifestyles.
There will be two intakes of students per year for the program – one in October (starting this year), and one in March/April. Ten students will be selected for each intake.
The program will be a standard MBA degree, teaching organizational behavior, project management, financial management, accounting, entrepreneurship, technology and operations, global strategy, marketing strategy, and critical thinking and impactful communication. At the end of 2016, specializations in IT and finances may be added.
The program’s unique feature will be its focus on conscious leadership, an approach to business that is not profit and self-centered, but oriented more towards giving oneself, and serving people and the environment.
“It’s an expansion on what is already going on in business academia, where we can hear about conscious business, humble leadership, and servant leadership,” says Dinadayal Das. “And ultimately it leads to a more sattvic or mode of goodness approach, which long-term is the most beneficial approach to life. It’s the steady approach that yields long term benefits rather than the short term one looking for immediate results. These principles are present in the bhakti tradition as well as in other traditions too.”
Teaching these concepts are faculty – some of them ISKCON devotees – who have graduated from some of the best universities in the world, are leaders in their fields, and have many years of experience.
But that’s not all. According to Dinadayal, they’re also ethically conscious people with proven records not only in their business practices and education, but also in their personal characters.
They include Raj Heda, who has over 18 years of experience in Fortune 500 companies, and has worked with IBM and massive open online course provide edX; Ramchunder Singh (Govardhan Das) from South Africa, who is the managing director at Waterfall Energy; Meena Rani, who has worked with American Express and is now the assistant accountant at MB Law in the UK; and Maika Puta from Berlin, a young PhD in her late twenties whose groundbreaking research in the affect of the three modes of material nature on work has been very well received in German academia and psychology.
Meanwhile the final module, an experiential five-day seminar on Conscious Leadership onsite at Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium, will be taught by Chelakara Ramnath (Rasanath Das), who was an investment banking associate at Bank of America in New York and made headlines by leaving Wall Street to become a monk at the Bhakti Center in Manhattan.
Rasanath has combined his two worlds and is now co-founder of UPBUILD, which provides consulting to top companies, along with film-maker and coach Ari Weiss (Hariprasad Das), who will also be teaching the Conscious Leadership Seminar with him.
The Alfred Ford School of Management is accredited by Universidad Catolica De Murcia (UCAM) in Spain and the interntionally known Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). So graduates will have their MBA degrees recognized by these institutions.
According to Dinadayal, 30% of MBA degree holders see a career change or upgrade, while 50% see salary increases. MBA holders also find themselves more confident and with more rounded knowledge of the business world.
Beyond that, the Alfred School of Management sends graduates into the world with an important message.
“Spiritual seekers often feel like they’re facing an unsolvable puzzle of how to have higher spiritual aspirations and also function in this world and be materially successful,” Dinadayal says. “We’re saying, you can be successful in this world – you can have a good career, you can move on in life – and still be on the spiritual path. That’s definitely something we want to offer to people.”
To apply now for October’s intake, please visit aford.be.
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