More than 500 IESE master program students begin face-to-face courses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich and São Paulo

  • New cohorts of the Master in Management (MiM), MBA and Executive MBA begin classes at IESE´s campuses in Madrid, Barcelona, Munich and São Paulo
  • The Master in Management has increased its class intake with 83 students in Madrid, up from 47 students last year
  • IESE has adapted its campuses and put in place a rigorous set of health protocols to ensure a safe and productive learning environment

September 14, 2020. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, IESE Business School has received strong demand from students interested in programs such as the MiM, MBA and EMBA, reflecting the value that current and future professionals place in the school for their training needs.

Specifically, this week the school welcomes the new classes of the Master in Management (MiM) and the MBA in the Madrid and Barcelona campuses, respectively, and the Executive MBA in Munich and São Paulo. A total of 535 participants have started face-to-face classes in a safe and productive learning environment, which guarantees the hybrid participation of students who for any reason cannot come to campus.

Highly international class

The incoming students of all three programs, which are tailored to managers and entrepreneurs at different stages of their careers and professional needs, are highly accomplished and diverse.

The new students of IESE´s Master in Management class of 2021 recently began their IESE experience with a career bootcamp and orientation sessions at IESE´s campus in Madrid. The class counts on 83 students from 20 different countries, 38% of whom are women. Aimed at recent graduates with minimal or no work experience, the average age of the class is 23.

Launched last year and taught over 11 months, the MiM program is studied full-time in English from the Spanish capital. It provides an immersive experience for participants, enabling them to acquire the best business tools to kick-start their management career.

Meanwhile, the new editions of the Executive MBA program in Munich and São Paulo have also started. IESE´s campus in Germany begins its second class of the executive MBA with 56 new participants from 20 different nationalities. In São Paulo, there are 41 participants of six nationalities.

The Executive MBA is an 18-month program, taught part-time. Designed for high-potential managers, executives, and entrepreneurs who want to advance their careers, the average class age is 34.

Finally, the first-year class of IESE´s full-time MBA program will also get underway later in the month on IESE´s campus in Barcelona. The IESE MBA class of 2022 consists of 355 students, 82% of which are international. 32% of the class are women and the average age is 29.7. The participants have an average of nearly six years professional experience. Consistently ranked within the top programs in the world, IESE´s MBA program is taught in English over 15 or 19 months.

Rigorous health protocols and hybrid classrooms

To ensure a safe and productive learning environment for new students, IESE has adapted its campuses and put in place a strict set of health protocols.

These comprehensive measures include controlled access to the campus (such as temperature detection and a daily health status questionnaire), widespread testing (all IESE participants and employees must be tested prior to their first visit to campus), as well as mandatory mask use and interpersonal distancing in all spaces, among many others.

At the same time, IESE has redoubled its commitment to the hybrid methodology so that participants who cannot attend face-to-face classes can remotely follow their classes with maximum fluency. In recent months, the school has installed cameras, screens, special blackboards, speakers and microphones so that both the teacher and the classroom students can interact with those at home in real-time.

In addition, the teachers and the program team have been trained in the best online teaching practices and have incorporated new dynamics in order to reproduce the active experience of the case method for the hybrid format.

All of these measures allow the school to continue to offer a high-quality educational experience, while ensuring student and faculty safety throughout the new academic year.

Neura, 6 Degrees and Aerial Technologies, Winning Startups of the ‘Restarting Together’ Initiative

  • More than 500 startups from 59 countries signed up for the challenge aimed at accelerating economic and social recovery following Covid-19
  • The nine most promising solutions were evaluated by a jury of innovation experts during a Digital Pitch Day held on September 9
  • The three winning startups will have access to benefits such as mentoring, acceleration services, technology tools or access to events, valued at approximately 1.3 million euros

September 11, 2020. Startups Neura, 6 degrees and Aerial Technologies have been chosen from more than 500 projects from 59 countries as the winners of the global challenge ‘Restarting Together‘. The winners were chosen after presenting their solutions to a jury of innovation experts from 14 corporations, business schools and different players in the entrepreneurship sector during a digital pitch day: Boston Consulting Group, CEMEX, Telefónica, Airbus BizLab, BASF, BID Lab, Citi, Endeavor, IE, IESE Business School, MAPFRE, Microsoft for Startups, Navantia and South Summit. The objective of the first iteration of this challenge focused on innovative solutions that contribute to accelerating economic recovery and creating a more resilient society in the face of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The event, which was held virtually, was attended by Eduardo Navarro, Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs of Telefónica; Isidro Laso, Cabinet Expert for Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.; and Jeffrey Ma, Global Head of Microsoft for Startups.

“Restarting Together is a great initiative that brings together public and private organizations to support innovative solutions and ideas that facilitate the recovery of the European economy and society through innovation and its various networks,” highlighted Isidro Laso, Cabinet Expert for Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

“Fourteen multinational companies have worked hard to identify those solutions that help us not only drive recovery, but to deal effectively and sustainably with similar crises in the future.”, explained Eduardo Navarro, Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs of Telefónica.

More than 500 participants, 9 finalists and 3 winners.

The global challenge focused on the following three categories. For the first category, ‘Revamping the economy through sustainable growth’, the winning startup was Neura (USA), a platform for population participation to help solve the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The other finalists in this category were Colu (Israel), a platform that helps cities interact with residents by rewarding them for taking actions that promote their strategic goals; and PointGrab (Israel), a solution that allows people to analyze the workplace thanks to intelligent building sensors.

For the second category, ‘Enhancing cities and infrastructure adaptiveness and resilience’, the chosen team was 6 degrees (Israel), a platform that allows people with hand-related disabilities to regain control of their devices by accessing through smart devices. The other finalists were RightHear (Israel), a spatial orientation solution for the blind or visually impaired; and Inuma, (Rwanda), a startup committed to eradicating water scarcity and capable of giving access to clean water to more than 132,000 people, schools, businesses and farms in Rwanda.

Finally, for the category ‘Ensuring Life Continuity & Boosting Social Inclusion & Community’, the winning startup was Aerial Technologies (Canada), which solves the problems of Wifi networks thanks to Artificial Intelligence. The other finalists were Homedoctor (Spain), an application that allows being attended by emergency doctors from smartphones anytime and from anywhere; and Smile and Learn (Spain), an educational platform where children between the age of 3 and 12 have access to more than 5,000 activities, games, videos and interactive stories to have fun while learning.

All three winners will have access to benefits such as mentoring, commercial acceleration services, technology tools or access to events, valued at approximately 1.3 million euros. In addition, they have the potential to obtain corporate resources from the organizing companies to accelerate their project or even receive investment. The organizing companies that supported the challenge can also explore the potential to develop, promote or implement any of the winning solutions in partnership with the start-ups, since the global and multidisciplinary approach all of the solutions presented enable them to have the potential to achieve greater impact.

Learn more about the initiative at



Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we help clients with total transformation—inspiring complex change, enabling organizations to grow, building competitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact. To succeed, organizations must blend digital and human capabilities. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives to spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting along with technology and design, corporate and digital ventures—and business purpose. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, generating results that allow our clients to thrive.


CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable services. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future. For more information, please visit:


Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world by market capitalization and number of customers with a comprehensive offering and quality of connectivity that is delivered over world class fixed, mobile and broadband networks. As a growing company it prides itself on providing a differential experience based both on its corporate values and a public position that defends customer interests. The company has a significant presence in 14 countries in Europe and Latin America and over 344 million accesses. Telefónica is a 100% listed company and its shares are traded on the Spanish Stock Market and on those in New York and Lima.


Airbus BizLab is a global aerospace accelerator, where startups and Airbus intrapreneurs speed up the transformation of innovative ideas into valuable businesses.


At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 117,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2019. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at


About IDB Lab IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group, the leading source of development finance and know-how for improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The purpose of IDB Lab is to drive innovation for inclusion in the region, by mobilizing financing, knowledge, and connections to co-create solutions capable of transforming the lives of vulnerable populations affected by economic, social or environmental factors. Since 1993 IDB Lab has approved more than US$ 2 billion in projects deployed across 26 LAC countries, including over US$ 300 million to develop the Venture Capital industry in the region.


Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: | Blog: | Facebook: | LinkedIn:


Established in 1997, Endeavor is leading the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement to drive economic growth and job creation by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 60,000 individuals and selected more than 2,000 founders leading over 1,200 scale-up companies. With support from Endeavor’s worldwide mentor network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created over 4.1 million jobs, generate more than $24 billion in revenue each year, and inspire future generations to innovate and take risks, building strong entrepreneurship ecosystems in growth markets. Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in 35+ growth markets throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. Learn more at:, or follow us on Twitter at @endeavor_global.

IE University

IE University offers a technology-based learning ecosystem for leaders seeking to make a difference in the world through innovation, a global vision, an entrepreneurial mindset and a unique approach based on the Humanities. IE University’s faculty of more than 500 academics currently teach degrees, master’s programs, doctorates and executive training to students from 131 countries. IE University’s platform of more than 66,000 alumni is present in 165 countries.

IESE Business School

IESE is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. It is one of the world’s most international business schools, with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, New York and São Paulo, and programs offered throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. For more than 60 years, IESE has been at the forefront of management education and leadership development. It has done this through offering transformational educational experiences to more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and executives. IESE´s mission today remains the same as it was back in 1958: to educate and inspire leaders who wish to have a positive and lasting impact on people, business and society. This effort has been recognized by the Financial Times ranking, which for the sixth consecutive year has positioned IESE as the number 1 school in the world for executive education.


MAPFRE is a global insurance company with a worldwide presence. A leading company on the Spanish market, it is the largest Spanish insurer in the world, the third largest insurance group in Latin America, and it is in sixth position in terms of Non-Life ranking in Europe by premium volume. MAPFRE has over 34,000 employees and in 2019 it had revenue of nearly 28.5 billion euros, and a net profit totaling 609 million euros. MAPFRE Open Innovation (MOi) is the company’s strategic commitment to drive customer-focused transformation through partnerships and the use of emerging technologies that create a positive impact on business and society. Using a global model, all MOi initiatives operate under a single indicator: how many clients benefit from our innovations.


Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more


The Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, 100% owned by SEPI the Spanish Government Industrial Holding,  is a world reference in the design, construction and integration of state-of-the-art  ships, as well as ship repairs & modernizations.  It is also engaged in the design and manufacture of Integrated Platform Management Systems, Fire Control Systems, Command and Control systems, Propulsion Plants and through life support for all its products.

Navantia has a shiprepair line of activity that goes from regular repairs to refurnishment programmes, including conversions. The company has the facilities and know how for complex repairs comprising LNG’S and Cruisers. Navantia has Fleet Maintenance Agreements with the most important ship-owners in the world. Additionally, it diversifies its activity towards the offshore wind market, being a reference manufacturer of floating structures, jackets and electric substations.


South Summit is now recognized as the global platform for innovation and high-value connections among key players in the global ecosystem, startups, corporations and investors in real business generation. An initiative created by Spain Startup in 2014, South Summit is based in Madrid, and has extended its connection network throughout the rest of Europe and Latin America, with meetings in Colombia, Mexico, Israel and the United States. South Summit19 brought together more than 20,000 attendees, among them 6,500 startups, 6,700 corporate and 1,100 investors with a portfolio of approximately $120billion. The finalists of previous editions have attracted more than $3.2 billion in investment, in addition to closing a multitude of agreements with corporations from the different productive sectors.


This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Companies’ current expectations and projections about future events based on their knowledge of present facts and circumstances and assumptions about future events, as well as their current plans based on such facts and circumstances. xºThese statements necessarily involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Companies’ expectations. As a result, the companies involved do not guarantee that it will be possible to hold the described events, including the digital Pitchday on September 9, or award access to investments or corporate resources from the Companies. The companies involved are not responsible for the content of any third-party website or webpage referenced to or accessible through this press release.

IESE Launches Leadership Program in Germany

  • The Business Acceleration Program will be taught on IESE´s campus in Munich from February 2021
  • In addition to utilizing a mix of learning methods, participants get personalized mentoring and one-on-one executive coaching

July 16, 2020.  IESE Business School has announced it is launching a new program targeted at ambitious working executives in the DACH region. The Business Acceleration Program (BAP), which starts in February 2021, will be taught in English from IESE´s campus in Munich. The program is designed to boost participants´ leadership potential and expand their professional network, all while causing minimal disruption to their current professional commitments.

The program is open to high-potential managers and project leaders with at least five years of managerial experience. It is especially aimed at those who are working in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other Central European countries, and who wish to quickly develop themselves and their companies in a targeted manner.

Delivered in a flexible format that minimizes the time needed away from the office, the eight-week program will be taught through a mix of interactive lectures, experimental learning, and business simulations led by IESE´s highly rated faculty, alongside in-person insights from top CEOs and senior managers. Throughout, participants will work closely with their high-caliber peers, facilitating networking.

In addition, participants will be assigned personal mentors throughout the program, and work one-on-one with a seasoned executive coach, which will help them solidify concepts in the program and become better equipped to reach a concrete personal or professional goal.

The program content is organized into three broad areas considered key to helping participants future-proof their careers. The first part will focus on how to approach global business systems from new angles, as well as deepening their understanding of core business areas. In the second, participants will examine the opportunities and significance of digitalization and new technologies. Part three focuses on corporate strategy and negotiation – and the central importance of ethics to bringing out the best in companies and developing as a manager.

Classes will take place every three weeks on Fridays (all day) and Saturdays (half day), meaning participants only need to take eight normal working days out of the office. This format allows participants to better interweave the course within their current working lives and put the actionable insights they gain on the course immediately to use in their workplace.

The price is 21,800 euros.

For more information, see:

IESE allocates €5.5 million in scholarships for talent affected by COVID-19 pandemic

  • The COVID-19 scholarship program is aimed at recent graduates, MBA candidates, and high-potential managers, to help finance their studies in this time of crisis.

July 08, 2020. IESE Business School will dedicate €5.5 million to scholarships for young professionals and high-potential managers who are unable to finance their studies because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scholarships will go toward people who are in the process of admissions to programs and whose personal financial situation has changed because of the pandemic, and to exceptional candidates working in sectors most impacted by COVID-19 and who at this time cannot assume the cost of management training.

With this aid, which raises by 15% the normal amount the school dedicates to scholarships, IESE seeks to ensure that talented individuals who could contribute to the economic recovery in the coming years are able to receive the education and professional development they need.

“We don’t want anyone with a talent for leading companies to interrupt their education and development because of the impact of COVID-19,” said IESE Business School Dean Franz Heukamp. “Now more than ever, our commitment to society prompts us to work to continue developing leaders who will contribute to resolving economic and social problems. We are especially grateful to the generosity of our partner companies and alumni, who with their support make these scholarships possible.”

For those hardest hit by crisis

IESE has identified sectors and profiles most affected by the pandemic.

Young talent has been particularly affected by the pandemic because it is facing a weak labor market in which hiring has declined. Because of this, nearly half of the COVID-19 scholarships will go to young people between the ages of 23 and 30, who are interested in pursuing a Master in Management (MiM) or an MBA. For the MBA, scholarships will be available starting with the Class of 2023.

Among working professionals, mid-level managers and those at SMEs have seen their opportunities for promotion and growth curtailed by the pandemic. Thus, scholarships are also offered to mid-level managers with high potential, who work for the five sectors hardest-hit by the crisis: automobiles, tourism, airlines, distribution, and textiles and fashion. The programs involved are the Executive MBA, PDD (Programa de Desarrollo Directivo) and Program for Management Development (PMD).

Conditions and applications

The COVID-19 scholarships will cover between 25% and 50% of program fees.

Applications will be accepted starting July 8, 2020, and will continue throughout the 2020-21 academic year, depending on the start dates of each program. This only applies to the MiM and Executive Education programs. For the MBA, this will apply to the Class of 2023.

Interested candidates can consult the conditions to apply to the COVID-19 scholarships on IESE’s financial aid page.

IESE earmarks more than 6% of its revenue from academic fees to its scholarship and aid programs. In addition to the COVID-19 scholarships, the school has specific scholarships for different programs and groups, including help for entrepreneurs, women and people working in the social sector. For this, IESE counts on the support of more than 120 partner companies and friends, to which it is grateful for their generosity and support.

London tops ranking of “smartest” cities, according to IESE’s Cities in Motion Index

  • New York and Paris take the 2nd and 3rd spot of the annual IESE Cities in Motion Index. London stands out for its human capital and international projection, New York’s stronger points include its economy and urban planning, while Paris does well for international projection and transportation
  • As COVID-19 is forcing a rethink of urban strategies and a new focus on resilience, the study´s authors also offer 7 recommendations for how cities can adjust to the new reality

July 02, 2020. London has once again been declared the smartest city in the world, according to the seventh edition of the IESE Cities in Motion Index 2020. New York takes the second spot, followed by Paris. The top 10 list is rounded out by Tokyo (4), Reykjavik (5), Copenhagen (6), Berlin (7), Amsterdam (8), Singapore (9) and Hong Kong (10).

Prepared by IESE Business School´s Center for Globalization and Strategy and co-authored by professors Pascual Berrone and Joan Enric Ricart, the annual index analyzes the level of development of 174 world cities across nine dimensions* considered key to truly sustainable cities.

With cities being hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest edition of the index comes at an uncertain time for many urban managers. As such, the authors also detail seven recommendations for how to ensure prosperous, sustainable and resilient cities in the current context. According to them, this crisis represents an opportunity to rethink many cities’ strategies and increase their resilience. To do this, our index indicates that greater public-private collaboration, as well as strengthening urban-rural links, must play a key role.”

How the world’s cities compare:

Globally, cities in Europe continue to dominate the ranking, with 27 among the top 50. This select group also includes 14 cities in North American, 5 in Asia and 4 in Oceania.

London’s No. 1 ranking is due in part to its international projection (an area in which European cities dominate) and human capital. It also achieves excellent results in seven of the nine dimensions evaluated. The two exceptions were the environment and social cohesion, where London’s performance was more mediocre.

New York tops the charts for its economy (an area in which 9 of the top 10 positions go to U.S. cities), urban planning (6 of the top 10 are North American), and mobility and transportation. Its great Achilles’ heel continues to be social cohesion, with one of the world’s worst performances on that dimension.

In contrast, Basel (21st in the general ranking), comes first for social cohesion, thanks to its fairly equal income distribution, low unemployment, crime and homicide rates. In this dimension, which is key to citizens’ quality of life, 7 of the top 10 performers are European, and 3 of them are Swiss. Another area with a standout from Switzerland is urban governance: Bern (31st in the general ranking) ranks highest.

For the environment, the best performing city is Reykjavik (5th overall), followed by Copenhagen (6th), thanks to their low levels of pollution and contamination.

For technology, Hong Kong (10th in the overall ranking) leads the way, followed by Singapore and San Francisco. It’s worth noting that Hong Kong stands at 10th place in the general ranking, after advancing 17 positions since 2017.

Seven recommendations for cities in a post-COVID world

Contextualizing these results amid the current pandemic, the report’s authors, Pascual Berrone and Joan Enric Ricart, provide a set of conclusions and recommendations which highlight the relevance of urban resilience today and the need to promote public-private collaborations:

1. People first
. The COVID-19 crisis makes it clear that smart urban design must focus on the quality of life for its people. In this sense, cities should emphasize the joint advancement of social cohesion and the economy for a just recovery.

2. Identify what is essential in your city. City managers must determine their top priorities and which needs require the most resources, time and effort. The indicators in this report can be used as a diagnostic tool.

3. New strategies for a new environment.
COVID-19 will impose a new future on cities. For example, social distancing measures mean low-cost mass tourism will no longer be an option for many cities; traditional retail will face tougher competition online; public transportation will have to be redesigned; public interactions in green spaces may change. Cities will have to adapt to this new scenario.

4. Resilience as a new urban paradigm. The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of cities’ capacity to overcome traumatic circumstances. Promoting a new focus on urban resilience is essential and it can be achieved by combining a solid infrastructure with agile and efficient management.

5. Recovery through collaboration
. If all social actors (the public sector, private companies, civic organizations and academic institutions) collaborate, cities bounce back quicker. We must break down the “silos” that prevent us as leaders from seeing possible synergies.

6. Link between territories.
In recent decades, the growing hegemony of the city has come at a cost to the countryside. However, during the health crisis, territories’ interrelation and dependency are increasingly clear. Reconsidering and strengthening urban-rural links can create more efficient systems.

7. Lead by example. For a quick, effective, and inclusive recovery, urban managers should lead by example, guided by principles of justice and collaboration for the benefit of all. “Ultimately,” the authors conclude, “we will need urban managers who apply the concept of smart governance, which includes accurate diagnosis, clear vision and multidimensional management of challenges.”



Notes to Editors:

About the IESE Cities in Motion Index

*This seventh edition of the IESE Cities in Motion Index (CIMI) analyzes the level of development of 174 cities along nine dimensions considered keys to progress: human capital (developing, attracting and nurturing talent), social cohesion (consensus among the different social groups in a city), economy, environment, governance, urban planning, international projection, technology, and mobility and transportation (ease of movement and access to public services).

View the full study here.

The interactive website also allows viewers to bring up the data for each city in the index, and compare two cities’ data at the same time. 

Executives return to IESE classrooms in Madrid, Barcelona

  • IESE resumes on-campus activity with strict health protocols and hybrid classes

Barcelona/Madrid, June 15, 2020. IESE Business School today resumes its in-person classes and campus activities while following stringent health protocols. The Barcelona and Madrid campuses will host, from today and through July and August, programs geared towards executives based in Spain.

Between 80 and 90 participants each day will pass through IESE classrooms which have been adapted to continue offering a top-quality educational experience while also ensuring student and faculty safety. In recent months, IESE quickly and efficiently moved some of its programs to online formats due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Activities have also resumed on the Munich campus, although ongoing travel limitations have prevented the relaunch of in-person classes. The goal is to resume normal operations on the New York campus in September.

In returning to campus, IESE wants to take part in the gradual return to normal that has begun in many sectors.

“Organizations need to move and act decisively in order to restart and re-energize the economy as soon as possible. Helping businesses protect as many jobs as they can, ultimately helps people. At IESE, we’ve resolved to be part of the solution to the crisis,” said IESE Business School Dean Franz Heukamp.

A Plan Built on Three Pillars

To make sure that the return to the campus is carried out in an orderly manner that best protects the health of employees and students, IESE has been working for weeks on an exhaustive protocol that has been certified by the epidemiology team at Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic. The protocol is based on three fundamental points:

  1. Facilities and people. IESE has prepared its facilities and staff for this new stage with improved technology, redesigned spaces, training for online teaching and other operation operations, and measures concerning flexible schedules and work-family balance.
  2. Health and prevention. IESE has designed a comprehensive hygiene and prevention protocol that goes beyond that required by health authorities and includes the following measures: all IESE participants and employees must be tested before their first time back on campus; individuals complete a health status questionnaire every day they access the facilities; there are temperature controls at entrances; mask use is mandatory and there is interpersonal distancing of two meters in all spaces. Additionally, cleaning and disinfection measures have been instituted in all reopened spaces, and special air purification systems have been installed.
  3. Innovation. IESE has planned to relaunch on-campus teaching while maintaining the hybrid (classroom and online) format for any participant who’s unable to attend in person, and by offering a number of new and innovative online programs.

Cutting-Edge Hybrid Formats

In this new, post-confinement stage, IESE aims to continue offering managers a transformative, innovative and, above all, safe experience that will help prepare them to have the sort of positive impact that society needs now more than ever.

Participants who are studying remotely will be able to follow their classes in full, including the use of whiteboards, projections and other materials. Cameras, screens, speakers and microphones have been installed so that professors and students in the classroom can interact with those who are at home, seamlessly and in real time.

In addition, IESE has innovated and launched programs to specifically meet the needs of managers and businesses during the health crisis. Among them is Project Safeguard, focusing on crisis management, and some short online programs on topics such as virtual team management and digital marketing.

Photo caption: Executive Education participants returned to in-person classes at IESE´s campus in Barcelona, with all the safety measures in place. Credit: Edu Ferrer.

Download the photo of the return to campus

Download video footage of the return to campus

Leading International Companies Launch Restarting Together: An Initiative To Boost Recovery After COVID-19

  • Boston Consulting Group, CEMEX, Telefonica, Airbus BizLab, BASF, BID Lab, Citi, Endeavor, IE, IESE Business School, Microsoft for Startups and South Summit are organizing Restarting Together, a global challenge for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The initiative is designed to contribute to a fast-economic recovery and create a more resilient society in the face of a crisis like the current pandemic.
  • The call for entries will be open from June 2 through June 30, 2020, on
  • The most promising solutions will showcase their project to a specialized jury on September 9, 2020, and the winners will share their vision with global leaders while having the possibility to receive acceleration support or investment.

June 2, 2020. Airbus BizLab, BASF, Boston Consulting Group, CEMEX, Citi, Endeavor, IDB Lab, IE, IESE Business School, Microsoft for Startups, South Summit and Telefonica announced today the launch of Restarting Together, a global challenge that seeks to boost innovative projects after the impact of COVID-19. The initiative aims to promote projects developed by entrepreneurs and SMEs that will contribute both to speed up economic recovery after the effects of the pandemic, and create a more resilient society, with more effective and sustainable capabilities against future similar crises. Through this joint initiative, this diverse group of industry leaders want to promote community engagement to build a better society.

The overall goal of Restarting Together is to find innovative projects that seek to expedite the return to normality after the confinement period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative also looks to identify projects to boost economic recovery in a sustainable way, aimed specially at improving employment, revitalizing the ecosystem of small businesses, and creating networks and financial aid mechanisms for crisis situations. Likewise, the challenge encourages entrants to propose solutions that bolster cities´ response for any type of crisis in the future, whether it be sanitary, economic or driven by environmental or climate change issues.

Interested participants can present their proposals from June 2 through June 30, 2020 by entering Proposals will be evaluated based on their projects’ social and economic impact, feasibility, rapid implementation time, and degree of sustainability and innovation.

The nine most promising projects would be scheduled to participate on a digital Pitchday on September 9, 2020, where they would present their solution directly to the organizing companies´ representatives, who would select three winners to share their vision with global leaders from the supporting companies. The three winners would enjoy the possibility of receiving access to corporate resources from the organizing companies, including potential acceleration or investment. Additionally, all proposals should be available for development, promotion, and implementation by all, or some, of the companies organizing Restarting Together. The global and multidisciplinary focus of the industry leaders that make up Restarting Together allows for the implementation of these solutions, with the potential to achieve global results to make the strongest potential impact on society.

The organizers will offer participants their experience and knowledge in diverse industries, as well as the opportunity to build relationships with leading multinational companies, and possible access to investment capital.

For more information about Restarting Together and the registration process, please visit

FT Ranks IESE #1 in the World for Executive Education for Record 6th Straight Year

  • IESE Business School makes history by becoming first institution to top the Financial Times combined executive education ranking for 6 consecutive years
  • IESE stands out thanks to its ability to consistently prepare innovative programs that meet the needs of executives and corporate clients, the follow-up and networking opportunities offered to participants, its internationality, and faculty

May 11, 2020. The Financial Times has today ranked IESE Business School best in the world for executive education for an unprecedented sixth straight year. Last year, IESE became the first school to top the combined table five years in a row. This year they extended their record-breaking unbeaten run at the top of the ranking, thanks to shining in categories measuring factors such as the preparation and innovation of its programs, the ability to provide new skills and learning to executives, the follow-up given to participants, its internationality, and its faculty, among others.

Mireia Rius, the Associate Dean for Executive Education at IESE, said the FT ranking was particularly significant coming in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. “Technological disruption in recent years has changed the business landscape significantly,” Rius said. “At IESE, we have a proven track record in helping executives, entrepreneurs and companies thrive in these challenging circumstances. We´ve done this by delivering programs adapted to their specific challenges, and which utilize the latest teaching methods and technologies to ensure maximum flexibility (whether delivered online, face to face or a mix of both.) The fact our corporate clients and participants have continually considered us best in class during a time of such seismic shifts shows we know not only how to be agile to respond to their needs, but also how to teach business leaders themselves to adapt. And that’s a skill that’s going to be even more important during and after this crisis.”

With this in mind, IESE has also launched a series of initiatives to help companies and executives at all stages in their career cope with the current pandemic, added Rius. “From the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, we´ve been in constant dialogue with companies and executives around the world, adapting to their immediate needs. This builds on our model of always putting the concerns of our students, alumni and clients at the center. For example, we have just launched Project Safeguard, a new online program designed to give participants and their companies the tools they need to survive in these turbulent times, in addition to offering a highly successful series of open access sessions on this topic, among others.”

The 2020 FT Executive Education ranking, released today, analyzes two types of programs for executives: custom programs (courses that are tailor-made for specific companies) and open-enrollment programs (open to executives from any company). The FT produces separate rankings for custom and open programs, and then produces an overall rating for all of executive education, based on the data collected for the two rankings. As well as coming first overall in the combined ranking, IESE also ranks first for custom programs, and in the top ten for open programs.

Regarding custom programs, IESE scored high marks across the board, placing in the top five for 13 of the 15 categories that the FT uses to rank programs, and in the top 3 for 10 of them. These include factors such as program preparation, design (where IESE stood out for its close interactions with clients and the ability to integrate cutting-edge research into its programs), the ability to impart new skills and learning through the program, as well as the diversity of its faculty and the international reach of the school.

For open programs, participants particularly valued the follow-up provided by IESE once they were back in the workplace (ranking no.2 in the world on this measure), as well as providing numerous networking opportunities on the program. IESE´s internationality and strong alliances with top business schools, such as Harvard, Wharton and CEIBS, also drew praise, as they allow rich opportunities for networking and help foster an international mindset.

The Financial Times ranking is based on survey responses from custom program clients and open program participants, combined with data provided by the business schools themselves across a number of different criteria.

View the full ranking here.

Global Recession “Almost Inevitable”: New Report on World Economic Impact of COVID-19

  • New analysis by IESE professor Nuno Fernandes shows economic effects of outbreak are currently being underestimated, due to over-reliance on historical comparisons
  • Report estimates GDP growth will take a hit ranging from 3.5-6% depending on the country, in a best-case scenario. If current halt in economic activity lasts until summer, the average decline in GDP would be close to 10.4%.
  • Every extra month of shutdown accounts for approx. 2.5-3% of global GDP
  • Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and Italy, will be amongst most affected; Nearly all countries to go into recession

March 23, 2020. Madrid. Today, Nuno Fernandes, Full Professor of Finance at IESE Business School, releases an updated report providing new forecasts for how COVID-19 will affect the world´s economy. While previous estimates relied on historical comparisons with SARs or the 2008/9 financial crisis, the report shows why simple comparisons are not possible, and instead uses a new model to calculate economic effects across industries and countries. In light of the report´s findings, a “global recession is almost inevitable” says Fernandes.

Unlike with previous crises, Fernandes points out that “this time, we are facing a combined supply and demand shock” exacerbated by a variety of factors, such as the highly integrated nature of today´s world economy and the key role that China, the center of the initial outbreak, now plays in it. The global pandemic has also come at a time when starting interest rates are low, and economic tools to combat the crisis are limited. “Central banks exhausted their firepower during the good times. There is almost no room for monetary stimulus to help sustain the coming risks,” he warns.

Taking into account this context, the report discusses how the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak is being felt across different industries and 30 countries. It finds that the economic costs of the crisis will hit some much harder than others. For example:

  • Service-oriented economies will be particularly negatively affected, and have more jobs at risk.
  • Countries like Greece, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain that are more reliant on tourism (more than 15% of GDP) will be more affected by this crisis
  • Countries more reliant on exports will suffer disproportionally

The report also attempts a rough estimate of the potential global economic costs of COVID-19 under three different scenarios: a shutdown of 1.5 months (from mid-March to end of April), of 3 months (lasting until mid-June), and of 4.5 months (until end of July.)

Key findings:

In a mild scenario (the shutdown of economic activity lasts 1.5 months, from mid-March to end of April, with May as a recovery month):

  • The U.S. is expected to enter into a recession, with GDP shrinking by nearly 2%. Overall, the crisis is expected to cost it nearly 4% of its GDP
  • Most European countries will face significant recessions, seeing contractions of their GDP by 2% to over 4%. Judging from prior recessions, a decline in GDP of this magnitude will significantly increase unemployment
  • Argentina´s economy will also be one of the worst hit, with its GDP estimated to shrink by about 5%
  • In this scenario, nearly all countries analyzed will experience negative GDP growth, apart from China and India (although their growth will still be slashed from a pre-crisis estimate of 6% to below 2% in China´s case, and from around 7% to about 3% for India)
  • Overall, for all countries analyzed, an average economic impact of 4.5% of GDP is expected

Full breakdown by country: base scenario of 1.5 months

CountryEconomic Impact (as % GDP)Estimated GDP Growth in 2020*
Czech Republic-4.6%-2.0%
Russian Federation-3.6%-1.7%
Saudi Arabia-4.4%-2.2%
South Africa-4.3%-3.2%
South Korea-3.8%-1.6%
United Kingdom-4.5%-3.1%
United States-3.8%-1.7%


Figures fromEconomic effects of coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) on the world economy” by Nuno Fernandes. For the full tables, results and analysis, access full report here:

*Expected GDP growth takes into account the (pre-crisis) expected 2020 GDP growth for each country and the economic costs of the COVID-19 crisis

If crisis measures are extended:

  • On average, each additional month of shutdowns will cost 5%-3% of global GDP
  • If extreme COVID-19-related measures last until mid-June 2020, the U.S. will see its GDP growth fall to about -5%, and both China and India will join the rest of the analyzed countries by entering into a recession.
  • Most European countries will be very hard hit. For example, Greece and Portugal will see their GDP fall by nearly 9%, while Italy´s and Austria´s will shrink by over 8% and Spain´s by 7.5%. Meanwhile Germany, Switzerland and the UK will also see their GDP shrink by close to 7%
  • Worldwide, if measures last until the end of July 2020, the average decline in GDP would be close to 10.4%. And the decrease in GDP could in some cases be around 14%

According to Fernandes, “if the ongoing crisis lasts until the end of the summer, the global economy faces the gravest threat seen in the last two centuries.”

As such, he urges global policy makers to act to avoid the worst-case scenarios. But timing is running out fast. “Overall, the potential impacts of this crisis are larger than any previously seen in history”, he says

Access the full report “Economic effects of coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) on the world economy” here.

IESE offers new open-access sessions on coronavirus crisis

March 16, 2020. As the world scrambles to respond to the global coronavirus outbreak, IESE has begun a series of online sessions on leading and working during these difficult times, and on understanding what may come after the health crisis has subsided.

The series is available to the general public via IESE’s LinkedIn channel, and will feature professors exploring issues such as practical aspects of the crisis and human resource and operations management. There will also be sessions to help give a broad understanding of this global outbreak, from its financial impact, to its economic consequences, to its geopolitical fallout.

The LinkedIn series allows participants to make comments and ask questions during the live sessions. Recordings of all of the sessions are available on the LinkedIn channel for those unable to make the live sessions, as well as on IESE’s YouTube channel.

The schedule of upcoming sessions is available on the website’s Events Calendar, on the Open Access Resources page, and the IESE Alumni Association page, which also provides more description of the sessions and speakers.

Link to livestreaming of sessions as well as recordings of past sessions:

For more freely available resources from IESE, check out our Open Access Resources page.