Christoph Findelsberger, alumnus of the bachelor’s program Business Administration at the Business School of the University of Mannheim, has been named “Influential Leader 2021” by the US-American accreditation agency AACSB International (AACSB) for his social commitment. The selection of the 28-year-old follows a nomination by his alma mater, which had tracked the development of his 2018-founded aid organization 264.education e.V..
264.education wants to give children in developing countries the opportunity of education by offering the necessary infrastructure through the construction of school buildings and the equipment of classrooms. The number 264 refers to the 264 million children worldwide who are not able to go to school. Christoph Findelsberger had witnessed this precarious situation in Nepal during his voluntary work there and founded 264.education shortly after his graduation. It is financed through donations that fully benefit the schools and children in the respective project country and is constructed as a sustainable business model.
AACSB bases the selection of Christoph Findelsberger, who is now working as a consultant focusing on sustainability and innovation, on the way he “transferred entrepreneurial thinking into the field of non-governmental organizations, short: NGOs. [By] combining knowledge from his business studies at the University of Mannheim Business School with hands-on experience as a full-time management consultant, he breaks new ground in the NGO world.”
Dean Joachim Lutz explains on behalf of the business school: “We share the pleasure of Christoph Findelsberger and his team of getting recognized by AACSB. It is our primary goal to train our students into leaders who are aware of their societal responsibility. Therefore, we are proud when our graduates use the knowledge and skills they gained during their studies for sustainable and social projects.”
The University of Mannheim strongly impacts 264.education to this day. Four out of the nine voluntary team members have studied and met in Mannheim. “The excellent education built the foundation as to why today, we push impact topics enthusiastically and passionately,” says Christoph Findelsberger himself.
He thus wants to dedicate the award to his team: “I gladly accept the title on behalf of all the team members at 264.education. Each and every one of us works in addition to our main occupations in consultancies or startups in order to forward education in developing countries. The award honors us deeply, even if we are still at the beginning of our impact journey.”
About AACSB and the Influential Leaders Challenge
AACSB International, the US-American Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, is one of the three biggest and most influential international accreditation agencies for business schools. As a global charitable association, its main task is to ensure the compliance with strict international standards in business education. Its network also allows accredited business schools to connect students and companies, for example through competitions such as the “Influential Leader Challenge.” The challenge takes place annually and awards reputable graduates from AACSB-accredited business schools. Executives of companies and NGOs, athletes, technology experts and academics rank among former award winners and illustrate the variety of career paths that a business education supports. Prior to Christoph Findelsberger, Robert Bach, the co-founder of the Berlin startup Coffee Circle and alumnus of the Business School of the University of Mannheim, has been awarded as the first Influential Leader from a German AACSB-accredited business school in 2015.