Annual Report 2019

Partnerships, society and business

During 2019, BI has worked on strengthening and professionalizing the interaction with business, public administration and its alumni. This important work is coordinated by two departments – BI Outreach and BI Corporate.

BI Outreach is responsible for coordinating and strengthening BI’s external relations across the organization and contribute to increasing BI’s income through, among other things, partnerships with business, the public sector and NGOs. In 2019 BI has been working on developing a «Corporate Partnership» programme, where the primary goal is to create values for enterprises and thereby values for the students. The concept is intended to make it easier for businesses to connected to BI.

The Master Merit Society is another example of partner cooperation with business, where the goal is to present excellent master’s degree students and at the same time give the partners the opportunity of establishing contacts with the leaders of the future. In 2019 Equinor, Gjensidige and Deloitte have participated in this cooperation.

BI StartUp, an initiative from 2018, is a cooperation scheme working across programme areas, schools and business clusters and Young Entrepreneurship (UE). In 2019 BI organized the European Championship for student-run businesses together with Yes Europe and UE. 

During the past year, BI has also worked on developing BI’s national and international case competitions further. This has resulted in an increased interest in the competitions and increased registrations from students at all our campuses. These competitions also involve close cooperation with our business partners who supply real business cases to be solved by the students.

Former BI students are an important resource for BI. In 2019 BI’s alumni have, among other things, acted as guest lecturers, mentors, ambassadors, participated in recruitment processes and as members on various councils and committees. The BI Alumni network staged events at all the campuses in 2019, as well as in selected cities in Europe, Asia and North America. In the past year Advantage, the membership magazine, was also renewed with a Norwegian paper version and an international digital edition.

Through a very popular series of seminars, The Manager‘s Toolbox, which is organized every Friday at the end of each month, enthusiastic BI faculty present new research and professional updates to alumni and businesses. In the course of the year, BI has also invited members to a number of seminars with faculty from BI‘s departments and research centres. Through these meetings, BI’s former students are updated on the latest developments within research, for instance in communication and marketing. 


In the year’s dialogue meeting with business, central persons from BI met with 30 representatives from business and public administration to discuss what qualities today’s students need for life-long learning. Over the last few years, BI has established a number of independent councils, so-called Advisory Boards. These Boards view BI’s activities from an outside perspective and make valuable suggestions concerning the content of courses and programmes, strategic priorities and development. 

In 2019 BI has also established special industry councils for 15 bachelor’s and master’s programmes. Through these councils, alumni and employers provide input ensuring that BI’s programmes are relevant and meet their needs. These councils are a concretization of the interaction between education and business and contribute to strengthening the relations between students, business, BI, and alumni.



  • BI International Advisory Board
  • BI Alumni Advisory Board
  • Advisory Board for Banking and Insurance Programmes
  • Business Analytics Advisory Board
  • Advisory Board for Security Management
  • Advisory Board for Corporate Governance


Partnerforum is a collaboration between BI Norwegian Business School, the University of Oslo and 21 partners from public agencies. Competence development and networking across disciplines and sectors are important elements in the cooperation. Through this network, BI shares knowledge within topics that are relevant for public administration. In the course of 2019, Partnerforum organized 20 joint events with more than 90 introductory speakers and around 2,100 participants on relevant topics such as administration of government enterprises, strategic analysis and the function of bureaucracy.


BI Corporate offers value-driven programmes to the public and private sectors. Over the last few years we have seen a decline in the demand for traditional courses and programmes. The customers are interested in long-term partners who offer interaction related to change, innovation, value creation, implementation and process-based problem-solving where practice is more important.  

Today BI offers national programmes within management of the school and day-care sector, the primary health service and security. In 2019, in the first of these sectors, BI was granted a prolongation of the contracts related to the national schemes for education of school managers and managers of day-care institutions, which involves commitments and opportunities until 2025.

A great deal of work has been spent on the intervention project for 35 schools in Copenhagen and Aalborg, which was started in 2018. The project combines research, development, innovation and tailored education. So far, 35 leadership teams from schools in Denmark have completed the programme. The programme is financed by the Maersk Foundation.

In 2019 the national programme for the primary health service was granted funding for digital products and solutions. At the same time the funding for new classes is maintained. The demand is unchanged with about 500 applicants to around 200 places. Through a new top-management programme across the primary and specialist health service, BI also increases its focus on health.

The school’s master’s programme in security management, where the armed forces, the legal sector and the private sector interact, is seeing a steady increase in the number of students. In 2019 BI also celebrates the 10th anniversary for the programme in tax law.  

In 2019, through the programme #100ScaleUPs, BI positioned itself even more strongly as an expert player with a network for commercialization and internationalization of technology companies. In 2019 eight Norwegian enterprises within the ocean, energy and health sectors participated by providing eight mentors from business. BI linked the companies to networks of Norwegian and international investors and consultants, and more than 100 one-to-one meetings were held.

In 2019 BI Corporate completed in excess of 70 projects and the division’s turnover amounted to about NOK 112 million, as against about NOK 100 million in 2018.


In 2019 several of BI‘s researchers were appointed members of public expert committees. Many had an impact on business practices and participated in the public debate, both at home and abroad. This is a recognition of the expertise of BI‘s faculty within areas of great importance for the development of society. The following are some examples:

Professor Jørgen Randers was in 2019 appointed head of the Chinese research centre Center for the Ecological Civilization at Peking University in Beijing. In this role he will give advice to Chinese authorities on how President Xi Jinping’s goal of a sustainable China may be reached by 2050.

Professor and Provost Hilde C. Bjørnland has been appointed member of a new independent climate committee established by WWF, Civita and Norsk Klimastiftelse (Norwegian Climate Foundation), that will study how the Norwegian economy may be reorganized in accordance with the targets of the Paris Agreement.

Professor Ralf Müller has in 2019 cooperated with Google on the research project «Digitization of the Organizational Project Management Model».

Professor Jan Fougner has been appointed head of the Committee for the working life of the future by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The committee shall consider the framework for affiliation and organization of enterprises in business and industry.

Associate Professor Irina Eidsvold-Tøien headed the work on a report on the impact of digitalization on the Norwegian music industry commissioned by the Ministry of Culture.

Professor Anders Gustafsson was in 2019 appointed president of the Academic Council of American Marketing Association (AMA), which is one of the world’s most influential organizations within marketing.  

Professor Espen R. Moen was in 2019 by the King in the Council of State appointed head of the Estate Agency Committee that will prepare a report on a new real estate agency act.