ESMT Update: Entrepreneurship - Moving beyond the familiar

ESMT Update July 2015

Entrepreneurship - Moving beyond the familiar

Entrepreneurship is the title of both this edition of the ESMT Update and the ESMT Annual Forum 2015. The subtitle “Beyond the familiar,” taken from a Schumpeter quote on entrepreneurship, calls upon us to embrace creativity, take a chance, start something new, be adventurous, and even risk failure. Similar descriptions are used for startups.

As evidenced in our mission statement, ESMT was founded to “develop entrepreneurial leaders who think globally, act responsibly, and respect the individual.” Entrepreneurial spirit was also needed to found ESMT in 2002, when our business school became a startup. Those who initiated ESMT were entrepreneurial – among their many other achievements – when they decided to establish the first international business school in Germany. The founders wanted not only to attract top researchers and high potentials in Germany, but also to retain them. Another central goal was to promote thought leadership. With this ambitious project, they embraced risk and were ultimately successful. Today ESMT can boast major international accreditations, the right to award doctoral degrees, an highly diverse faculty, and the school is ranked among the top schools in leading international rankings by the Financial Times, The Economist, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

To begin, the school’s initiators set up the ESMT Foundation. The first Chairman of its Board of Trustees was Dr. Henning Schulte-Noelle, followed by Klaus Kleinfeld. In 2007, Michael Diekmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Allianz SE between 2003 and 2015, took on the position. During his 8-year tenure that ended on April 30, ESMT moved from the startup phase into one of rapid growth. We all at ESMT are deeply grateful for Michael Diekmann’s support and strong dedication to the school.

On May 1, 2015, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management, Daimler AG, succeeded Michael Diekmann as our Chairman of the Board of Trustees. As the CEO of a leading global technological innovator, he will be able to support our endeavors to move ahead internationally, sharpen our expertise in the area of management and technology, and intensify our outreach with companies.

As Thomas Edison said, “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” As we carry forward the idea born thirteen years ago, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Michael Diekmann for his inspiring leadership and, at the same time, look very much forward to continuing our path of establishing ESMT as a premier address for management education with Dr. Dieter Zetsche.