Innovator Award

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2023 Innovator Award Winners Announced

Click Here to Learn About the Winners

About the GBC Roundtable Innovator Award
The search for innovative ideas and approaches is central to managerial practice and to the pursuit of excellence within any organization. Business schools are certainly no exception. Through the delivery of MBA and other graduate business education programs such as specialized masters and stackable credentials, business schools have a rich history of developing innovative programs, curricula, and processes that positively impact the educational experience and ultimately advance the practice of management worldwide.

Launched in 2011, the GBC Roundtable Innovator Award Program promotes initiatives that advance innovation in graduate business education and recognizes institutions that drive change in the field.  The 2019 Innovator award expanded to include two categories.  One for Early Stage Innovations that have recently been implemented and another for more Established Innovations.  In 2020, the MBA Roundtable launched its Fast Track Curriculum Innovation Award to recognize curriculum innovation in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Innovator Award Program is designed to:
  • Raise awareness to businesses and to business educators of revitalization and improvements in graduate business curricular and co-curricular content, format, and pedagogy
  • Educate employers, business school leaders, and faculty about innovative practices of best-in-class graduate business programs and inspire others with ideas
  • Recognize individuals and schools for their leadership to initiate and achieve curricular reform and enhance their reputation for innovation
  • Enrich and deepen the relevance of the graduate business experience and enhances school or program brand with prospective students and employers
The Innovator Award program is administered bienially and any business school that delivers a graduate business degree may submit an initiative for consideration.  Since its inception, over 100 business schools have submitted their initiatives.  Finalist and recipient school initiatives have covered every aspect of the content-pedagogy-format curricular framework with impact reach locally and globally, and with benefits to the learner, business and community.  Deadline for submissions is July 17, 2023 and winners will be announced at our 2023 GBC Roundtable Annual Curricular Innovation Symposium on October 13, 2023.

Award Benefits
  • Recognition as a leader in the graduate business education industry including
    • Exposure on GBC Roundtable website and in their communications, press announcements, sponsor's materials, social media, etc.
    • Logo and usage rights for awards granted
    • Opportunity to be featured in GBC Roundtable webinars, symposium and/or workshops
    • Serve a finalist judge for the next Innovator Award

2023 Award Categories*
  • Early Stage Innovations – new curriculum innovations launched within the last 12-18 months
  • Established Innovations – curriculum innovations launched more than 18 months ago
  • Leadership in Graduate Education Curriculum Innovation - awarded to an individual or team for their sustained commitment and success in leading curricular innovations
The GBC Roundtable Innovator Award is open to a variety of curricular innovations.  As we are often asked, here are a few examples of potential submission types/topics.  Click here for a list of previous winners.  
  • General Excellence in Overall Curriculum Innovation for programs who have made and implemented innovations across their entire program curriculum 
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Innovation in Graduate Business Curriculum focusing on programs who have driven change and incorporated improvements in providing inclusive content and learning experiences throughout their program curriculum
  • Innovation in Delivery Models and Modalities for programs who have created innovative delivery models and modalities for their curriculum, which could include driving innovation through specialized degrees; credentials and/or certificates within degree programs as well as innovative digital/online curriculum delivery
  • Curricular Specializations or Focus for programs that have redesigned their curriculum or programs to focus and specialize on a specific theme or topic such as sustainability, globalization, or industry specialization
  • Teaching Pedagogy for programs that have developed innovative teaching and assessment methods for their program
  • Experiential Learning Innovations for programs that have designed and implemented new and innovative ways to deliver experiential learning opportunities for their students
  • Innovative use of data and learning analytics to drive program and curricular innovation
*The GBC Roundtable reserves the right to move submissions to the most appropriate categories if necessary.  If there are not substantial, qualified submissions for any category, the GBC Roundtable reserves the right not to offer an award in that category.

2023 Judging Criteria
  • Concept/Initiative (35%)
    • Value proposition, educational impact, level of creativity, innovation or uniqueness, scalability and generalizability in other environments, impact on field of graduate business education
  • Execution (30%)
    • Implementation effectiveness, representative cost savings or revenue growth, time to market, quality improvement tracking, and complexity.  Resourcefulness (use of existing tools, resources within limited budgetary constraints (i.e. not just buying a new solution) along with engagement and partnership across faculty, staff, administration and students and/or industry
  • Outcome (25%)
    • Effectiveness of initiative, quality measures, expressed challenges and learnings as well as impact (Student performance, engagement and response/AOL, industry and societal impact)
  • Presentation (10%)
    • Quality of background materials, interview, ability to articulate impact, level of excitement and engagement across the team and organization
Online Submission Form Sections:
  • Problem Statement:  short description of institution and program challenge or issue innovation was implemented to resolve, improve or change
  • Innovation/Solution:  description of the curriculum innovation that was implemented, please share as much detail as possible to describe the innovation
  • Process:  share the process of ideation, implementation and review
  • Creativity :  share how this solution was unique for your organization, its systems and culture along with it differentiation across the Graduate industry
  • Results and Metrics:  share any student, organizational or industry feedback, impact and learning outcomes and other metrics if available
  • Repeatability:  share plans to continue, modify and grow the innovation
Applications should be submitted via our online submission platform at and should cover the judging criteria and sections listed below.  As part of the submission process please complete each of the sections as succinctly as possible.  Feel free to upload additional documents to add to your submissions, such as Word or PowerPoint type documents along with supporting materials in photos and videos.  Simply respond to the judging criteria as best fits your institution and its innovation. Questions or Comments - Please call at 844-784-6227 or email

  Rules and Regulations:
  • Submissions are by institution, but institutions can submit more than one application
  • Award is open to any school that delivers an MBA or Specialized Masters program
  • Submissions must be focused on innovative graduate business curriculum.  The GBC Roundtable defines curriculum as the overall content (theories, ideas, concepts, skills, knowledge, etc.) taught and delivered within the formal courses and other required learning experiences, the structure of those courses, and their sequence as well as co-curricular activities/opportunities of your graduate degree program(s). Learning experiences to deliver this curriculum content can include but are not limited to lectures, cases, textbooks and other readings, guest speakers, videos, simulations, assignments, assessments, experiential and group projects, as well as co-curricular activities, programs, and learning experiences that complement, in some way, what students are learning in their degree program. 
  • Initiatives are first evaluated on concept, execution, and outcome/impact; finalist schools are identified and interviewed and one school is selected as the award recipient. 
  • The GBC Roundtable reserves to right to not award a winner for any of the categories or move a submission to a more appropriate category, based upon the overall submissions received
  • The GBC Roundtable reserves the right to share information on the submissions to the public to promote the entrants and winners and to drive shared innovation across the graduate business education industry