On 16.02.2012, the Reform Union Club association and New Bulgarian University signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at increasing the quality of the knowledge and qualification exchange networks and at ensuring the closer interaction between the civil society organisations on the one hand and the corporate and the academic sector on the other. The main goal on their agenda was to organise and put into practice the SOFIA BUSINESS SCHOOL, which would hold master classes on practical aspects of economics, finance, risk management, geopolitical analysis, management, effective civic leadership, etc.
The idea which in its own way inspires the project is the desire to prove that during a time of global financial, economic – and to a large extent social and spiritual – crisis society and people feel the need of specific, but essentially fundamental knowledge and skills resting on the basis of tradition and historical experience, yet at the same time enriched by the latest achievements of academic science and corporate management.
The world of today is a world of risks and insecurity. The risks are manifested at different levels and in a variety of shapes and forms. We encounter them in our everyday lives, when we have to make decisions how to save money or invest; they crop up when corporate strategies are drawn up, when whole countries and economic regions plan their policies. The financial crisis is only one of the manifestations of the overall tendency toward the growing instability of the global economy. This crisis unequivocally proves that regardless of the need of new political and state measures, the solutions and the outcome can be influenced solely by the efforts of each and every single person, each and every citizen and business leader. In this sense, the solutions we seek represent first and foremost a personal and only then a collective challenge. In addition to consistent efforts, overcoming the crisis will require specific skills and innovative ideas. Today more than ever we need original projects, an open mind and an unconventional approach. The new must be born out of the discussion between the representatives of science and practice, between the students and the corporate leaders, between the people standing at the beginning and those at the height of their professional path.
The main ambition of the Sofia Business School project is to bring together the best European and global academic practices and the Bulgarian corporate and academic achievements, thus providing a competitive local alternative to the natural aspiration of students and working people to improve their qualification at educational centres of international reputation.
Another key point of the project is the introduction of a format enabling the direct communication between the students and the representatives of the business elite, which would facilitate the formation of a basis for a permanent relationship between the academic community and the business circles in Bulgaria and would stimulate the establishment of long-term intellectual and professional networks. To this end, the school will engage corporate and public figures with proven leadership qualities (first and foremost among them the members and the partners of the Reform Union Club) to enhance the theoretical knowledge provided by the master classes by sharing stories from their personal experience and the realisation of some of their original business projects.
The Sofia Business School has enlisted as Programme Directors Prof. Kevin Dowd (Emeritus professor at the University of Nottingham and leading expert at Cobden Partners – a London-based economic and financial think tank), Prof. Nikolay Nenovsky (Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Amiens, France) and Ass. Prof. Dr. Emil Kalchev (Professor of Economics and Finance at New Bulgarian University).
The foreign partners of the project are: Cobden Partners (a London-based think tank organisation), the Bruno Leoni Institute (an Italian NGO based in Turin) and Le Studium (an interdisciplinary research centre for innovative theories and ideas based in Orleans, France).