An Unprecedented Academic Alliance To Revolutionise Responsible Leadership Education & Promote Ethical Business

Nuturing the Leaders a Brighter Future Needs!

We are embarking on a quest to revolutionise leadership education. Our vision is to nurture leaders who don't just chase profit, but passionately strive to improve the future of work, cultivating businesses that serve as responsible engines for both society and ecology.

We extend a global invitation to universities to join us in crafting a fresh approach to leadership development. Let us collaboratively build a teaching module that equips future leaders with the ethics and competencies to become transformative catalysts for positive change in the world!

Jump to

revolutionising leadership education

The Initiative In A Nutshell

The "Hunt for Good Organisations"

Welcome to a groundbreaking initiative poised to reshape leadership education! We're not just creating a teaching module; we're crafting an experience that transforms how leadership is taught and learned.

What's It All About? This unique project promises a transformative journey, empowering students to redefine their perception of organizations and leadership; they will examine their own role in shaping a better world. Over the course, student teams will embark on a quest to identify and interview exemplary companies that are transforming their business and operating models in the spirit of responsible leadership. Their mission: to uncover what sets these organizations apart and create insightful case studies that capture "the difference that really makes the difference". Through the elaboration of these case studies, we invite students to actively reflect on their own leadership and empower them to make more informed choices in their future careers.

What Are The Objectives? While our course is titled “Hunt for Good Organisations”, its main objective is to develop responsible leadership competencies. Throughout the project, we explore the theoretical foundations for responsible leadership, in the context of society, economy and complex modern organisations. We draw from cutting-edge research in philosophy, sociology, and management to offer students diverse and critical perspectives on management and leadership. At the same time, we promote a holistic approach to organisational and personal transformation, based on the "Good Organisations" inquiry, which cultivates ethical capabilities by emphasising wise decision-making, moral character, and virtues.

How Is It Different? Our mission transcends the confines of traditional business education, in both content and teaching methods. Traditional leadership education often clings to conventional theories, perpetuating profit maximization, positional competition, and narrow views of success. It neglects the vital integration of ethics, failing to instill the wisdom and virtues essential for responsible leadership. On the didactic front, traditional methods frequently rely on textbook-centered classroom teaching based on mathematical or technical models and simplistic case studies - lacking real-world exposure and essential competency development. Consequentially, students find themselves ill-prepared for the complexities of a rapidly evolving business landscape, perpetuating a cycle of exploitation and suffering.

1. Our innovative methodology seeks to integrate action learning and transformational development, based on a combination of: 

  • Practical tasks: propelling students into the real world, giving them exposure to a number of self-selected organizations across a range of industries. This hands-on approach supports the development of important competencies—such as project management, interviewing, research, networking, and teamwork. 
  • Critical Insights: broadening students’ perspectives, deconstructing conventional management and leadership concepts and nurturing critical thinking. All teaching is substantiated through curated articles, class scripts and teaching resources. 
  • A Normative Theory: The Good Organisation model connects leadership with personal ethics and politics and provides an actionable and hopeful narrative. 

2. We use group work and gamification to infuse learning with depth, motivation and fun - enabling students to manage their educational journey in a semi-independent fashion. Ideally, the classroom work provides the “container” and holding environment to foster emotional and cognitive openness to personal development and deeper identity work, whereas the group work becomes a laboratory for personal, relational and institutional exploration. Through individual and group reflection, students shift from a technical, values-free conception of leadership to a more profound understanding of ethical and practical challenges. The aim is to ensure that leaders of tomorrow are not just proficient in “skills”, but also learn to embody practical wisdom to drive positive change.

Join us on this transformative journey as we co-develop a teaching module that doesn't just educate; it inspires, challenges, and equips the leaders of tomorrow with the tools they need to make a meaningful impact on the world!

What's In It For Students

  • Ethical Leadership Foundation:Students cultivate a deep sense of responsible leadership and a commitment to ethical and virtuous practices, empowering them to enable positive change in their future roles.
  • Practical Skill Development:The course places a strong emphasis on hands-on experiences, including group work, to develop valuable competencies such as interviewing skills, research abilities, critical thinking, conflict resolution, project management skills and teamwork.
  • Cutting-edge Transdisciplinary Knowledge:Students will gain exposure to important insights across philosophy, sociology and management, based on a highly curated section of relevant literature.
  • Career Planning and Company Selection Opportunities:The course provides a unique platform for students to evaluate and revise their career plans and to achieve a better fit between personal values and professional goals.
  • Deeper Meaning and Purpose:At the heart of the "Hunt" is a search for the essential spirit of goodness that enables positive transformation. This theme addresses a contemporary desire for deeper meaning and purpose in education and management.

What's In It For Faculty Members

  • Easy Deployment: The course aims for a standardized yet adaptable approach, fostering consistency in the delivery of the course while allowing for extensive personalisation and simple integration into existing curricula. Its highly modular framework seeks to make the adaptation and implementation of the course straightforward.
  • Local Professorial Control: Professors remain fully in charge of the local delivery of the course, allowing them to tailor the content to the specific needs, audience, and timeframe of their institution. While it is important that participating Academics endorse and embrace a number of core concepts to maintain the integrity of the module, they have extensive autonomy to customize the course to suit the requirements of their students and align with the goals of their academic programs, and the unique characteristics of each academic setting.
  • Efficiency in Course Preparation, Presentation and Administration: The course offers reusable templates, syllabi, and class content scripts for core theory, work instructions and a number of core concepts to save time and effort in course preparation. Moreover, it aims to offer a community repository of shared resources that Academics can draw from to continually improve their teaching methods and course content based on successful practices from their peers, as well as reduce the administrative burden of establishing, grading and promoting the course within their own academic environment.
  • Continuous Improvement and Innovative Pedagogical Contributions: Faculty members become partners in a global alliance of peers, all working towards the common objective of improving leadership education. This collaborative network fosters continuous improvement, providing academics with a platform for shared learning, idea exchange, and ongoing development of best practices in responsible leadership education. By actively participating in the development and the delivery of a groundbreaking teaching module, they make a difference to students beyond their own academic institutions.
  • Research and Publication Opportunities: The transdisciplinary nature of the course, drawing from philosophy, sociology, and management, creates fertile ground for research collaboration. Academics might explore opportunities to develop and promote cutting-edge research findings, adding valuable contributions to both the syllabus and academic literature and further establishing the university as a hub for progressive thought

What's In It For Universities

  • Taking a Stand for Ethical Leadership Education: Universities engaging in the development of a course focused on responsible leadership and ethical foundations can further enhance their reputation as institutions committed to cultivating well-rounded and ethical leaders. This contributes to attracting students who prioritize ethical considerations in their education and aligns with the growing demand for socially responsible learning environments.
  • Impact on Institutional Identity, Reputation and Qualification: As rankings and accreditations increasingly prioritize responsible leadership and impact, this course stands out due to its distinctive approach of integrating ethics with management. The practical involvement of students in discerning, networking, and highlighting real-world examples of responsible leadership positions the course as highly relevant to the evolving criteria emphasized in these rankings. Consequently, the initiative provides universities with a unique opportunity to distinguish themselves and align with the growing emphasis on responsible leadership in higher education evaluations.
  • Global Collaboration and Networking: Participation in this initiative opens avenues for global collaboration and networking among academics, within and beyond the context of the teaching module. Collaborating with peers from other universities and countries provides a unique opportunity for knowledge exchange, fostering a rich academic environment and expanding the university's global academic network. Furthermore, there is potential for this initiative to evolve into a more formalized alliance among universities leading the way in responsible business. Such an alliance would enhance the visibility of each participating university in this crucial area, further establishing their prominence in the field.
  • From Theory to Impact: Transitioning from theory to impact is a central element of this module, involving students globally in the active exploration of responsible business practices. Through this, participating universities have the opportunity to expand their networks with these businesses. Students' work and recommendations can be showcased, emphasizing how this initiative not only sheds a positive light on these businesses but also contributes to an expanding repository of responsible management practices. This collection can be shared across universities and businesses, fostering a collaborative exchange of insights and promoting the adoption of responsible business approaches.

What's In It For Participating Organisations

  • Showcasing Responsible Leadership / Employer Branding Opportunities: The course provides selected businesses with a platform to showcase their corporate values and responsible leadership, as moral exemplars. We will work with selected organisations to promote their good work, amplifying their messages to customers, community and employees about their purpose and values. The course creates a platform for meaningful collaboration between businesses and academia. Companies can explore opportunities for collaborative projects, internships, or mentorship programs, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between the business world and educational institutions.
  • Access to Top Talent and Talent Pipeline Development:Businesses gain access to a pool of top talent as students actively engage in identifying exemplary organisations.This interaction allows companies to identify and connect with motivated and skilled individuals who align with their values and objectives. Thus, businesses can proactively shape their talent pipeline by engaging with students early in their educational journey. Establishing connections and providing insights into career paths within the organization helps create a pipeline of skilled and motivated individuals who may later consider employment opportunities.This exposure will enhance the employer brand across universities, where more and more students are looking to join purpose-driven organisations that align with their own values.
  • Enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Participating in a responsible leadership education program aligns with businesses' CSR initiatives. Companies that actively support educational initiatives focused on ethics and responsible leadership enhance their reputation and demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility.
  • Fresh Perspectives and Innovative Solutions:Engaging with students offers businesses the chance to receive fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to challenges they may be facing. The course's emphasis on critical thinking and ethics might also offer employees fresh insights and ideas to strengthen their corporate culture and contribute to the development of a skilled and ethically-minded workforce.
  • Insight into Future Leaders' Skill Sets and Needs: Engaging with students and facilitating interviews with senior leaders provides businesses with insights into the skill sets and competencies of potential future leaders. This firsthand experience can help companies to tailor their recruitment and development processes.

What Participants Are Saying

Celebrating "good" organisations


on behalf of our students, we would like to congratulate all the nominated organisations for their exemplary pursuit of responsible leadership


"Deliver profits through principles"

  • Strong legacy: pioneer in welfare and sustainability practices since inception
  • Strong ethical narrative - principles include empathy, integrity, courage and originiality
  • First multinational apparel company to establish a comprehensive workplace code of conduct for its manufacturing suppliers.
  • A fixed portion of annual earnings is invested in the communities Levis serve
by Team 1, Duke University, December 2023

walt disney

"We are building on our legacy of storytelling to help building the next chapter for our planet"

  • Environmental storytelling but also the aim to offer more inclusive stories are regularly awarded
  • Heroes Work Here Initiative where 12500 US veterans have been employed
  • Disney Aspire to finance tuition for higher education of hourly paid employees
  • Comprehensive mentorship programmes
by Team 2, Duke University, December 2023

novo nordisk

"Proactive strategies to prevent human suffering & high healthcare costs."

  • Community initiatives to prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases.
  • Celebration of successes, on-the-spot rewards, Kudos - sharing success as key motto.
  • Strong culture of speaking up; integrity as core value.
  • Innovation starts with empathy project.
By Team 3, Duke University, December 2023

"Make people's lives better by powering a more prosperous world"

  • Cummins puts community and environmental priorities on par with the bottom line
  • Ethisphere Institute has chosen Cummins to belong to World's Most Ethical Companies 14 times.
  • Employee committee
    representation, prioritizing diversity training, and profit-sharing programs to cultivate an equitable, inclusive culture.
  • Endorse stakeholder capitalism.
By Team 4, Duke University, December 2023

About Our Awards

From Students for Students
Our nominations stem directly from the commendations provided by participating student teams. They do not constitute a comprehensive audit of the respective organizations but instead aim to spotlight particular practices or insights that students wish to acknowledge and applaud. These nominations serve as valuable indicators, particularly for other students keen on forging careers with socially responsible organizations, offering a glimpse into noteworthy aspects that merit celebration and recognition.

Promoting Responsible Leadership
The "Hunt for Good Organizations" is more than an academic pursuit; it's a movement. We are dedicated to identifying and celebrating organizations that are actively contributing to a positive societal and environmental impact. Our students will delve deep into these organizations, uncovering and promoting the remarkable ways in which they enable the greater good. Our plan is to share these case studies and best practices with a global audience to stimulate collective learning. Furthermore, we aim to develop robust measurement instruments that can more objectively recognize and evaluate good organizations worldwide, facilitating qualification and continuous improvement against the highest ethical standards.

Making a Global Impact
Our mid-term objectives are ambitious. In a world grappling with pressing issues like climate change, inequality, and social injustice, the role of organizations and leadership has never been more crucial. We aspire to establish an alternative economic narrative that champions an economy for the greater good, with "Good Organizations" leading the way. We believe that by acknowledging and promoting organizations that are actively embodying positive change, we will not inspire others to follow but also set new benchmarks for businesses as forces for good, driving a systemic shift in leadership and business education. By engaging with this initiative, future employees and investors can make informed choices, supporting organizations that align with their values and avoiding those that fall short. Simultaneously, we want to attract a wider academic and public audience to our change initiative, generating vibrant interest and potential future collaboration.  


Participating Universities


Our initiative is currently in its second iteration. After a highly successful pilot at Duke University we are preparing a second pilot round with a number of selected academic institutions. Thereafter, we will open the project for broader implementation and scaling.



Faculty and Co-Creators


The module adopts a highly collaborative approach, fostering active involvement from all participating faculty members who collectively contribute to the creation, engage in iterative testing, and continuously enhance the course to ensure ongoing improvement.

Image Description
Antoinette Weibel
Professor for HRM

University of St. Gallen
Image Description
Tony O'Driscoll

Professor, Research Fellow and Academic Director

Duke University
Otti Vogt
Former Chief Transformation Officer

Good Leadership Society
Andy Hilger
Visiting Lecturer

(Strategic Advisor, Former Allegis Group President)

Duke University



The initiative sprouted from an idea conceived by Tony and Andy in 2023, envisioning an "ethical overlay" for a conventional management class. Seeking to weave together practical management principles with philosophical insights, the goal was to empower students to uncover "the difference that makes the difference" in businesses that are genuinely transformational. Antoinette and Otti enthusiastically accepted the invitation (and challenge) to build on their "Good Organisation inquiry" and distill the essence of moral leadership theory and practice into a teaching module. The result is an exhilarating project, akin to a "treasure hunt," which guides students to deconstruct many conventional management ideas while reconstructing an evolving vision for responsible leadership. It offers a safe holding environment where students can challenge norms and find intellectual stimulus, thus developing critical thinking and progressing their own leadership development. All our collective activities are entirely pro bono - for the good of all.



Tony O’Driscoll is a professor, speaker, author, and advisor whose engaging message emphasizes that the key digital-age differentiator is not technology, but people.
Tony has spent the bulk of his professional and academic career at the nexus of Business, Innovation, Technology, Change and Learning, creating and implementing strategies that enable organizations to realize the full potential of their most valuable asset: Human Beings.



Andy Hilger always had a passion for driving innovative cultures that create opportunities for both team members and clients. For the last six years, he served as the President of the $15 billion global staffing and services company Allegis Group. Currently, he leverages his expertise as guest lecturer at Duke University and American University, complemented by a regular blog on leadership. Andy is a sought-after speaker covering diverse subjects like digital transformation, the future of work, AI, leadership, and analytics.



Director the Institute for Work and Employment Research University of St. Gallen, Professor for HRM and Organization Transformation, Former President of FINT (International Network of Trust Researchers), Executive Board Member of the Swiss Academy of Social Sciences and the Humanities. Passionate researcher and teacher in the fields of trust within and across organizations and hr/org practices leading to human thriving.



Disruptive thinker, amateur poet, unacknowledged internet entrepreneur and passionate global C-level transformation leader with over 20 years of experience in implementing strategic business change in multi-cultural, complex organisations and in building global high performing teams to deliver sustainable shareholder value and happiness@work


How does the course work in practice?

vERSATILE & Modular course design

Integrating the project into your own teaching is straightforward. Its modular architecture comprises six stages and two interlinked elements: student group work packages and blocks of individual study. While stages are set, all elements can be tailored to different audiences, timelines, and learning objectives.

In essence, the group work includes the tasks required to research and pinpoint good organizations, while the study blocks aim at a) providing the core theory required to steer the group effort and b) furnish relevant insights to enable reflection and dialogue. Total minimum student work requirements is approx. 30 hours. Our online course hub underpins all activities, integrating instructions, toolkits, and readings for each phase. 

The project is adaptable to different academic needs and environments. It can be offered as 

  • Class Project. Teacher actively coordinates the project as a collective classroom activity during a dedicated portion of a University course (e.g. 4-6 weeks). 
  • Homework. Teacher does not actively manage the project, but makes it mandatory part of “hosting” class requirements and grading. 
  • Integrated. Teachers actively coordinate the project and integrate the teaching materials into their own class. 
  • Student Challenge. Students decide themselves to participate in the project, or challenge each other to join the growing community of global “Hunters”. 

5 min Introduction (Tony O'Driscoll)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the basic structure of the student group work?

The student work is organised along six stages: Getting Ready, Identification, Validation, Differentiation, Pitch and Reflection

  • Stage 1: Getting Ready. We form student groups and frame the context. We situate the hunt in the context of current challenges and crises and ask: do we need a different expectation and overall ethos for businesses? We delve into the evolution of the corporate social responsibility movement and evaluate its (lack of) success. The objective is to spark students' curiosity regarding how organisations can and should contribute to the improvement of society and the economy..
  • Stage 2: Identification. Students conduct desktop research to identify at least three potentially "Good Organisations". Here we delve into basic ethics, introducing concepts like virtue ethics and civic economy to encourage the exploration of diverse perspectives on corporate responsibility. The aim is to empower students to critically assess 'value-creation’ in the economy and reflect on how to measure good business.
  • Stage 3: Validation. Students assess the internal capabilities of the chosen organisations to select one candidate for their case study. We explore innovative organisational models, such as B Corps or holacracy, and examine how good work is embedded in a company’s business and operating model, beyond codes of conduct or compliance rules. Introducing the 'good organisations' theory as a normative framework, we aspire to empower students to qualify their shortlists.
  • Stage 4: Differentiation. Students interview the chosen organization and develop their case study. We further examine the intricacies of organizational transformation and explore the impact of wise leadership as a catalyst to establish and maintain its moral foundations. The goal is to highlight the link between personal, organisational and moral development and inspire students to re-evaluate their own leadership.
  • Stage 5: Pitch. Students develop a short and compelling presentation to present their selected organization to a jury of peers and experts. Results are shared publicly and across all participating Universities.
  • Stage 6: Reflection. Students engage in personal reflection to assimilate their learnings and consider how to cultivate their own leadership and foster their organization to become a "Force for Good".  

What are the optional core concepts and teaching resources for classroom work?

  • We have carefully curated 12 central concepts which deconstruct conventional management concepts and thereby serve to broaden perspectives and nurture critical thinking.
  • These concepts are arranged along a supportive narrative, which entails four interlocking stories: (1) Is capitalism good (make capitalism better), (2) Is business good (make business better), (3) Is work good (make work better), (4) is leadership good (make leadership better). The concepts are supported by curated literature which can be used at your disposal.
  • For those who are interested to go deeper into our theory of good organisations we provide additional material not covered in the manadatory part of the course.

Which resources are available to develop and deploy the project in a course?

We offer three different types of additional material on the central course hub: teacher resources, student resources, administrative resoures

  • Teacher resources 
    • to enable the coordination and support of the group activities (e.g. miro boards) 
    • to support classroom teaching (e.g. templates for syllabus, class scripts, further teaching tools and materials)
  • Student resources 
    • for each stage: learning outcomes, instructions and a toolkit, core theory units
    • suggestions for reflection and group discussion
  • Administrative resources
    • promotional/administrative material to position the course within an academic institution
    • other resources, e.g. grading suggestions
  • "Good Organisations” resources
    • Press release templates and other supporting materials to promote the good organisations identified through the hunt 

For which audiences is the project available or appropriate?

  • Business students (working experience is helpful but not a must)
  • Late bachelor or master student level.

For which faculty is the project available or appropriate?

The project is designed for educators across diverse academic institutions who specialize in teaching business-related or leadership-related subjects, or who are involved in practical programmes that promote the application of theory or further career orientation of students.
  • We are seeking educators who genuinely strive for academic excellence and prioritize providing their students with a compelling and effective learning experience. In this context, we are specifically interested in academics who demonstrate courage in critically evaluating conventional theories and pedagogical approaches, and who are open to exploring innovative methods.
  • Furthermore, we are looking for individuals who embrace collaboration and are willing to contribute to the development of a scalable proposition. This implies a willingness to build on the content and ideas of colleagues, fostering a cooperative environment rather than insisting exclusively on their own perspectives, theories, methods or tools.
  • Moreover, specific insights into any component of the project scope are highly valuable for the continuous improvement of the programme.
If you are an educator committed to enhancing the learning journey of your students, embracing creativity, and collaborating for scalable success, this project welcomes your invaluable contribution. 
PS: Please note that we are currently in a pilot phase and therefore some additional effort and a dose of pioneering spirit are needed.

Which are the mandatory aspects of the course?

  • In order to compare the selected cases a shared definition of what is good and how companies operationalize good is needed. Hence if you wish to participate in the hunt for good a parsimonious core theory on good organisations needs to be deployed. We have prepared very accessible articles, slides with teaching notes and videos which can be either consumed in a self-study mode or shown and discussed in the classroom.

What level of support can I expect for my own implementation?

  • At present this is a co-created effort between the the founding members of this initiative. Hence sharing of further resources is also dependent on how every future participant is sharing own learnings, slides, articles, templates etc

What is the programme duration and what is the volume of learning?

  • The hunt for good as a standalone module can be deployed with 1-2 ECTS points or 30-60 hour.
  • The volume of learning includes self-study, group work and the pitches including the mandatory components of the good organisation theory.


How to get involved?

If you are interested to get involved please get in touch

The initiative is currently in pilot phase and we are looking for a limited number of participants in order to further develop and test the initiative in different environments and with different audiences. Further scaling and broader participation will be available during the second half of 2024.

Participation is offered at no cost. However, a commitment is expected to cover the essential elements ensuring the integrity of the course, coupled with a willingness to contribute to the ongoing development of teaching materials for the benefit of all participating universities.

INSTITUTE OF WORK AT UNI ST. GALLEN Institute for Work and Employment Research University of St. Gallen