The group, led by three members of the Gabelli School’s faculty—Tim Hedley, Ph.D.; Alex Markle, Ph.D., and Barbara Porco, Ph.D.—included Gabelli School business students from more than 40 countries who seized the opportunity to use London as a classroom. After the orientation week—held in August—the students returned to Fordham in New York City, where they will complete their studies.
The week centered on the theme of Business with Purpose, focusing on risks and opportunities associated with ESG (environmental, social, and governance). Students were challenged to consider and analyze ESG issues from a comparative perspective while benefitting from a wide range of immersive study visits and speakers.
Students had the rare opportunity to visit the offices of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the newly formed organization resulting from the International Financial Reporting Foundation (IFRS) merger with the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF), which is the host organization of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). The group was also granted access to visit the international accounting standard-setting body known globally as Chartered Accountants Worldwide, which is the body representing the accounting profession that is tasked with providing guidance on such standards. Further site visits included Bloomberg and Datamaran, the leading provider of AI software that identifies and monitors material ESG risks.
Students also heard from multiple guest speakers, including Marco Casiraghi, an iconic figure and champion of sustainability in business in Europe, together with Marco Fasan of the University of Venice, who compared ESG reporting approaches of regulators in Europe and the United States. DDS+, a world-leading ESG consultancy, hosted an interactive session allowing the students to identify issues and consider solutions to the challenges presented by their ESG projects.
The week culminated with students working collaboratively to present proposals for the sustainable development of a range of business propositions for a variety of different corporations. The presentations were judged by Hedley, the Gabelli Business School’s executive in residence and expert in ESG, with the top three groups representing proposals for Pfizer, Hershey, and Ford.
Fordham London Advisory Board Chair Andrea Mennillo, together with Vice-Chair Greg Minson and board member Alison Maund, hosted an evening reception for the students at Fordham London, which Monsignor Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, attended.
“We were honored by the presence of Monsignor and his recognition of the importance of a Jesuit approach to international education,” said Mennillo.
Henry Miller, chair of the Facilities Subcommittee of the Fordham Board of Trustees, also welcomed students to London and encouraged them to make the most of the international learning opportunities.
Vanessa Beever, senior director of Fordham London, said it was “wonderful that the group had this opportunity to think deeply about UK and European approaches on such key issues in international business today.”
“International immersion visits are an invaluable learning opportunity, and we hope to welcome many other groups in the future,” she said.
The visit was coordinated by Linda Agnew, MBA administrative manager, who also ensured the group found time for a bus tour of some of London’s top tourist sites.
Porco, professor of accounting at the Gabelli School, said the students “have had an exceptional time while in London with a wonderful program.”
“We are especially appreciative of the support from Andrea and Vanessa,” she said.
Hundreds of students from Fordham and other colleges and universities study at Fordham London each year. The London campus hosts study abroad programs in business and the liberal arts, with students living in flats conveniently located in residential neighborhoods within an easy commute of campus.