ASU Course and Organizational Leadership Professor Win Prestigious Aspen Institute Award

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20 october 2020

Professor at Arizona State University Elizabeth castillo received a 2020 Aspen Institute Ideas Worth Teaching Award, a global award for innovation and thought leadership that transforms business education.

The Aspen Institute Business and Society ProgramThe Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (Aspen BSP), founded in 1998, works with business leaders and academics to align business decisions and investments with the long-term health of society and the planet. recognized nine courses – and the faculty who teach them – that provide the context, skills and decision-making abilities managers need to lead in an increasingly complex environment and business world.

In Elizabeth Castillo’s award-winning course, “students learn to develop and integrate multiple forms of capital into a business model, resources that do not appear on a balance sheet: people, nature, relationships, knowledge, governance and ethics “. Her research was inspired by a decade of work as Director of Foundation Relations at the San Diego Museum of Natural History, where she came to see nature as a model of organizational development and vitality.Photo by Ken Shono on Unsplash
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Castillo Price OGL 260: Resource allocation in organizations was one of four courses honored by universities in the United States. The winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of nominations by Aspen Institute staff in consultation with academic advisors.

“With each new title, 2020 has underscored the need for fresh thinking about issues at the intersection of business and society,” said Claire Preisser, Aspen Business and Society Program Advisor. “Whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis it sparked or protests for racial justice, this year is an urgent call to action to reset trade standards so that, by rebuilding our economy, we were rebuilding for a better human – not just financial results. “

Castillo, who joined ASU as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Leadership and Integrative Studies at the College of Integrative Sciences and the Arts in 2016, first taught the award-winning course in the spring of 2018. The class is an essential requirement of the baccalaureate in organizational leadership.

In a press release announcing the winners, Aspen BSP Executive Director Judy Samuelson highlighted the power of scholarly ideas to influence the practice of capitalism.

“Fifty years ago… The New York Times published Milton Friedman’s famous essay, which called on executives to focus only on earnings and stock prices. This has become and has remained the driving force behind businesses, markets and business schools, ”said Samuelson. “But times are changing. The teachers and academics we are celebrating here are at the forefront of a new spirit of animation – a spirit that reveals to students the deep connections between 2020 headlines and business decision making and teaming them up to take decisions. decisions that help build a more inclusive economy.

Indeed, the three fundamental points of OGL 260, according to Castillo, reflect this spirit: “Resource decisions always involve value choices (which we think is worth investing in); resources shape power dynamics and structure our society, for better or for worse; and innovation and prosperity depend on an economy based on reciprocity, ”she said.

“Students learn to develop and integrate multiple forms of capital in a business model, resources that do not appear in a balance sheet: people, nature, relationships, knowledge, governance and ethics . “

This year’s Ideas Worth Teaching award winners were announced at a live virtual event that featured a conversation with Kerwin Charles, Dean Indra K. Nooyi of the Yale School of Management, and Dan Schulman, CEO and President of PayPal. The two leaders discussed the skills and frameworks needed to build a more just and sustainable version of capitalism and the role of business training in supporting systemic change.

The Castillo Scholarship has been at the forefront of inclusive capitalism since earning her PhD in Leadership Management from the University of San Diego. She has published in academic journals such as The Leadership Quarterly and professional publications such as Quarterly non-profit, where several pieces were recognized among the “most influential of the year” by the editors. At ASU, it also serves as the Faculty Directory of the Graduate Student Chapter of Conscious Capitalism Arizona.

Building a more inclusive and holistic capitalism focused on broader human outcomes is not a passing interest for this scholar, avid hiker and nature photographer.

“My mission is to fix the world through scholarships that promote successful organizations, successful people, connected communities – and a world we can be proud to pass on to our children,” said she declared.

ASU Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership Elizabeth Castillo

The academic research of Elizabeth Castillo, Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership at ASU, draws on her 20-year career in management with non-profit organizations and social enterprises.

Here, Castillo shares additional information about OGL 260: Resource Allocations in Organizations.

Question: What prompted you to design this course?

Reply: Most resource allocation courses focus on one type of capital: the financier. This bias promotes underinvestment in other essential resources necessary for long-term organizational success, such as people, nature, relationships, knowledge, and ethics.

The course presents alternatives to short-term thinking and strategy based on minimizing costs and maximizing immediate financial returns. It examines how companies draw on many types of capital resources, such as human, social, natural and reputational resources, and how leaders can synergistically develop them to create sustainable value for business and society.

The course also challenges 20th century thinking about companies existing solely to maximize shareholder wealth. Through the prism of social accounting and multiple capital, he views businesses as value-creating ecosystems that create value for, and are accountable to, multiple stakeholders within and beyond the organization. .

Question: What kinds of skills can students acquire from the course?

A: Student learning outcomes include the ability to explain the different forms of tangible and intangible capital used in organizations; how these resources can be developed and accounted for individually and globally; how multiple capitals work as both inputs and outputs in an organization’s business model; how sustainable business models are strategically designed to return certain outputs to the business to become new inputs (eg circular economy); and how organizations are linked to the external environment.

Another learning objective is to be able to differentiate between value creation (producing benefits for stakeholders) and value extraction (creating profit at the expense of others).

Skills that students develop include systems thinking, stakeholder analysis, development of business models, integrative thinking, and understanding complex scientific principles such as self-organization and emergence.

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