Business education and its paradoxes: Linking business and biodiversity through critical pedagogy curriculum

Helen Kopnina*, Alice C. Hughes, Ruopiao Scarlett Zhang, Mike Russell, Engelbert Fellinger, Simon M. Smith, Les Tickner

*Corresponding author for this work

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The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, launched during the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in December 2022, encourages governments, companies and investors to publish data on their nature-related risks, dependencies and impacts. These disclosures are intended to drive businesses to recognise, manage and mitigate their reliance on ecosystem goods and services. However, there is a ‘biodiversity blind spot’ that is evident for most organisations and business schools. Business education rarely addresses the root causes of biodiversity loss, such as the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. As the dominant positioning of Education for Sustainable Development Goals (ESDG) presents biodiversity in anthropocentric instrumental terms inadequate for addressing ecosystem decline, we posit that a more progressive and transformative ecocentric education through ecopedagogy and ecoliteracy is needed. Both approaches include the development of critical thinking about degrowth, the circular economy and conventional stakeholder theory to include non-human stakeholders. Using comparative case studies from Northumbria University, the University of Hong Kong and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, we illustrate how business education can be transformed to address biodiversity loss, providing theoretical guidance and practical recommendations to academic practitioners and future business leaders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Early online date10 Jul 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jul 2024

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