Board of Trustees Report

Business and Society

BI's objective is to be the preferred knowledge partner for business and public sectors by contributing to innovation, value creation and competitiveness at home and abroad.

Corporate mainly offers internal training programmes for public and private sectors. In Oslo this activity increased by eight per cent from 2015 to 2016. The main reason for this is the increase in the internal programmes aimed at the public sector. Manager education at master level in health management, school management and security management are the main programmes in this portfolio.

BI had a good dialogue with the public authorities to alleviate the situation for the unemployed through customized continuing education in 2016. Measures implemented includes change of study arrangements for several programmes in BI’s Executive portfolio to more evening classes following dialogue with NAV Rogaland.

The research cooperation between BI and Statoil regarding the petroleum industry’s role in Norwegian and international economy is one of many examples of industry collaboration. This cooperation was initiated in 2012, and is operated by BI’s Centre for Applied Macro, Petroleum and Energy Economics (CAMP), led by Professor Hilde C. Bjørnland. In 2016, the agreement between Statoil and BI was renewed.

Several of BI's researchers were in 2016 appointed to government experts committees. The invitations are recognitions of BI's professional expertise in areas of importance to the development of society. Some examples:

  • Professor Espen Moen was a member of the public committee that investigated the opportunities and challenges in the sharing economy. In January 2017 the Committee submitted its report in the form of public report (NOU 2017: 4 Sharing economy - opportunities and challenges).
  • Associate Professor Espen Henriksen and professor Hilde Bjørnland were members of the committee that assessed the equity portion of the Government Pension Fund Global ("Mork Committee"). The committee submitted its report to the Minister of Finance in February 2017.
  • Professor Tore Bråthen led the committee for evaluation of the Companies Act and Public Limited Companies Act (NOU 2016: 22)
  • Professor Erlend Kvaal led the Committee on the Accounting Act’s decisions on annual reports, etc (NOU 2016:11)

Partnership programme

BI Norwegian Business School has through its educational programmes and its research activities traditionally had good relations with Norwegian industry. The current management aims to coordinate the various points of contact at the business sector in a more strategic and comprehensive manner.

In 2016, BI Norwegian Business School therefore established and launched a new partnership programme for the private sector with the aim of improving the quality of interaction with national and international business with a view to creating new and sustainable business opportunities for the parties.

International Advisory Board (IAB)

BI Norwegian Business School established an IAB In 2016 to strengthen BI internationally. This independent council will play an important role in the institution's internationalization and globalization strategy.

IAB will be an advisory body for BI’s management and board and discuss issues revolving what BI may look like in the future, and help to identify opportunities to make BI more international through more relevant international programmes and through more binding cooperation with international actors within academia business.

Members of the IAB come from international academia, business and BI’s own alumni. The following persons are elected to BI’s IAB:

  • Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS
  • Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO DNVGL, Oil & Gas
  • Hege Skryseth, President Kongsberg Digital and Chief Digital Officer at KONGSBERG, Kongsberg Gruppen ASA
  • Kristin Holth, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Shipping, Offshore & Logistics DNB Bank ASA
  • Kjersti Wiklund, Director, Group Technology Operations, Vodafone
  • Mary-Yoko Brannen, Professor, Jarislowsky CAPI East Asia (Japan) Chair and Professor of International Business, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria
  • Djeni Rolana, International shipping Consultant and former Chief Operating Officer, ESHIPS, Abu Dhabi
  • Lu Xiongwen, Professor, Dean, School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai
  • Andrew Pettigrew, Emeritus Professor of Strategy and Organisation, Said Business School University of Oxford
  • Ajay Kohli, Professor, Georgia Tech, Scheller College of Business
  • Michael D Johnson, Provost and Professor of Marketing, Babson College
  • Christoph Badelt, Director, Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO), former President, WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business)


BI’s alumni activities should involve and engage our alumni in the development of BI as a knowledge institution. An important focus in 2016 has been to build strong and long-term relationships with society in general and our alumni in particular. More than 75,000 alumni participate each year actively through network and events both nationally and internationally. Alumni are inspiring role models in facing BI stakeholders, students and other alumni. As the main provider of economic and administrative competence in Norway, BI is responsible for education, including continuing education and further education of managers in both the private and public sectors. Several surveys from 2016 confirm that BI educates the most senior executives in Norway.

Despite uncertain times in the Norwegian economy, candidate surveys from 2016 showed that the job market is good for those who choose to take a financial and administrative education. This is also true for BI international students and alumni. 70% of alumni from BI’s MSc programmes secured a job before graduation, and 82.4% had relevant jobs within six months after they graduated from BI.

Contributor to society and social arena

BI is an arena for knowledge across borders. Both chambers of commerce and ambassadors visited BI in the past year. In connection with the Norwegian-Ukrainian business forum that was held on campus in October, Ukrainian President Petro Porosjenko and Prime Minister Erna Solberg held posts for interested students, guests and employees.

«Rektor inviterer» is a series of guest lectures held for BI students. Kristin Skogen Lund from NHO, Minister of Trade and Industry, Monica Mæland, Elisabeth Grieg and Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tord Lien, were among the invited guests in 2016.

Partner Forum is a cooperation between BI, the University of Oslo and 19 partners from the central government. Through this network, BI shares knowledge on topics that are relevant for central government. In 2016, the sharing of knowledge relevant to the preparation of the Perspective message 2017 was high on the agenda.

Social responsibility

With the current challenges and opportunities for sustainable development BI takes the responsibility that follows from being a social institution with considerable influence. Ethics and social responsibility must be an integral part of a business and this must be reflected in all of BI’s activities. And this approach influences the content of our research, our relationship with students, collaboration with external partners and stakeholders and practices within the organization.

BI is engaged in social responsibility at three levels; Research, teaching, and in its own operations. BI was quick to include ethics and social responsibility in education. Within research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) BI works both nationally and internationally and BI Centre for Corporate Responsibility organized several seminars and conferences in cooperation with businesses, governments and organizations in 2016.

Through 2016, BI has gone further to define and institutionalize ethics and social responsibility in its own operations.

I 2016 BI formalized its association with the UN PRME - Principles for Responsible Management Education. PRME derived from the UN Global Compact and is the leading global platform for open dialogues and collaborative learning on responsible management and leadership education.

The membership commits BI, as the only Norwegian educational institution, to comply with PRME’s seven principles for responsible management education. A detailed account of BI’s activities in social responsibility and ethics are included in BI’s PRME report for 2016.

BI’s initiatives in CSR are driven by BI Sustainability Council, which was established in 2015. The Council will operate, develop and evaluate BI’s CSR work on the basis of BI’s social mission and stakeholder expectations. This is done in collaboration with BI’s academic resources on CSR and ethics.

In 2016, the council defined three areas that BI should prioritize with the aim of contributing to a change in society and its own practice by the end of 2017: To integrate student values and attitudes as part of a candidate profile, to continue and upscale BI’s environmental work, and to increase BI’s commitment to the Scholars at Risk network.

BI’s staff and students are involved in numerous charitable activities throughout the year, in different ways through financial support and volunteer work for the benefit of various international projects.