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AACSB recognises GIBS alumna Stacey Brewer as 2018 Influential Leader

Third annual Influential Leaders Challenge celebrates 29 change-makers and their impact on global issues

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the world’s largest business education network, celebrated the positive impact business school graduates are making in communities around the globe as part of the 2018 Influential Leaders Challenge. As an annual initiative, the challenge honours notable alumni from accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.

University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) alumna, Stacey Brewer was recognised at AACSB’s 2018 Deans Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, among a group of 29 business pioneers, from 13 industry sectors, whose careers are addressing today’s most pressing social, economic, environmental, and educational challenges.

Brewer is currently CEO of SPARK Schools which is a network of affordable private primary schools dedicated to delivering accessible, internationally benchmarked, high quality education through a “blended learning” approach, which combines teacher instruction and computer-aided learning at the same per child cost as South Africa’s public schools.

Dean of GIBS, Professor Nicola Kleyn said, “Congratulations to Stacey on this well-deserved recognition. GIBS is extremely proud to have her among its alumni. Stacey is a shining example of how to make a positive impact on society and future generations.” 
“Each honouree from the 2018 class of Influential Leaders reflects the mind-set, knowledge, and passion that impactful business leaders must embody to impart positive change in today’s society,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “We would like to thank Stacey Brewer for demonstrating the true excellence and leadership we wish to see in the world, and we congratulate the Gordon Institute of Business Science for their role in helping to mould a new generation of global business leaders dedicated to driving impact that results in global prosperity.”

Stacey and her peers in the 2018 Influential Leaders Class were recognised across three categories, including:
Alumni Business Leaders Working in Non-profit or Community-Based Organisations 
Leaders serving non-profit and community-based organisations are making game-changing impacts – from a local level to a global reach – creating a better society for us all. With initiatives that include navigating the Hurricane Harvey crisis, transforming the lives of more than 150 million children around the world annually, and combating the root causes of poverty, AACSB graduates demonstrate that some to of the world’s most impactful work occurs within smaller-sector opportunities.

Alumni Business Leaders Advancing Diversity and Inclusion 
Advocates for diversity and inclusion are driving transformation across the corporate sphere by upholding a culture of mutual respect and championing the exchange of open ideas. Such efforts are furthered by leaders who forge and refine such inclusion practices – based on appreciated differences – to break down cultural stereotypes and patriarchal norms. They also look to inspire today’s youth in under-represented populations to pursue their dreams in non-traditional fields of study and professions.

Non-alumni Business Leaders Influencing Business Education 
Businesses need students to be workforce ready upon graduation, making the present a critical time for schools and businesses to work together to meet each other’s needs. Outside of academe, some business leaders are driving fruitful partnerships between the two groups by cultivating a spirit of entrepreneurship and cross-collaborative mind-sets. Others are developing free study services – available via a simple digital exchange – to more than 350,000 students globally, advancing access to success for everyone. Inside academe, leaders are transforming institutional culture by encouraging open dialogue between alumni, faculty, staff, business, and students, while investing in promising entrepreneurs across advantaged and disadvantaged regions. 

For more information on the Influential Leaders Challenge, and view a full list of honourees, visit  

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