Gustavson recognized by AACSB International for driving innovation in business education worldwide

Announced at its 2017 Deans Conference, AACSB International (AACSB), the world’s largest global education network, unveiled the 35 innovations from business schools from around the world. The second annual Innovations That Inspire initiative recognizes institutions serving as champions of change in the business education landscape. A total of 315 submissions were received across 33 countries, mirroring society’s growing global demands, as well as the critical need for strong, connected, and forward-thinking business schools. The initiative—and the impressive work it showcases—underscores the important role that innovation plays in achieving the industry-wide vision for business education, which AACSB unveiled in 2016.

“We are honoured to be recognized by the AACSB for our ongoing work within the area of service management, and through our executive programs division,” says Saul Klein, Dean of the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. “Each of the 35 innovations represent a snapshot of the hard work and pioneering thinking that is underway at business schools worldwide.”

The Gustavson School of Business was recognized for their submission of the Whistler Experience, the resort destination’s completely overhauled, community-wide service training program that was developed in partnership with the school and the community’s chamber of commerce. Since fall 2016, The Whistler Experience has been showcased by the BC government as a success story in Training for World Class Customer Service. 

In 2013, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce saw the need to upgrade their legacy service training program which had been in place for over 30 years. With the guidance of the Gustavson School of Business, the Whistler Experience provides businesses throughout the destination with the opportunity to educate and train not only front-line customer service staff, but the full spectrum of tourism employees ranging from volunteers to business owners and managers.

To date, 15,400 members of the Whistler community – more than half of the town each year – have been trained as part of the Whistler Experience.

“With great pleasure, I am thrilled to recognize the Gustavson School of Business for its role in driving innovation in business education and fostering positive change in the areas of diversity and global economic prosperity,” says Tom R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB international. “Through meaningful ideas and increasing opportunities for engagement, the Gustavson School of Business has created a remarkable impact, to ensure a better and more connected world for many years to come.”

For a detailed overview of the featured innovations, please visit  In addition to the named 35, AACSB will continue to share exemplary practices that highlight the remarkable efforts underway to transform business education via its award-wining BizEd magazine, AACSB LINK newsletter, the AACSB Blog, and its global advocacy and awareness building initiatives.

The Whistler Experience: training for world class customer service

About AACSB International

As the world's largest business education network connecting academe with business, AACSB provides business education intelligence, quality assurance, and professional development services to more than 1,500 member organizations across 97 countries and territories. Founded in 1916, AACSB accredits 780 business schools worldwide. Its global headquarters is located in Tampa, Florida, USA; Asia Pacific headquarters is located in Singapore; and its EMEA headquarters is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

Contact: Krista Boehnert, Associate Director, External Relations: 250-721-6630 or