INSEAD: a global school with a European heart and now a San Francisco hub Isabelle Finger, Director of INSEAD San Francisco Hub for Business Innovation

INSEAD celebrates the opening of a permanent location in San Francisco in February 2020! The hub will offer several tailored executive programs and will also hold customized executive education programs for International companies. INSEAD ranked #1 MBA program in Europe in 2019 for the 5th year!


INSEAD is now one of the top Business School in the world. Can you briefly come back on its creation and evolution?

INSEAD was established in the aftermath of WWII, in the context of the creation of the European Union as a way to ensure peace and prosperity for millions of people. From the very beginning, at its Europe Campus in Fontainebleau, France, INSEAD has educated business leaders from around the world, offering a truly international perspective and a place that facilitates understanding across different cultures.

In just 60 years, INSEAD has established itself as one of the best business schools worldwide in MBA, EMBA, GEMBA and Executive Education. It is also a top 10 research institution in The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Top 100 Business School Research Rankings™. Our faculty also hold 140 editorial and/or advisory board roles at leading academic journals.

True to its purpose of bringing together different people, cultures and ideas, INSEAD was the first international school to open its second large-scale campus in Singapore, in 2000. In addition to opening up fantastic opportunities for Students in terms of market knowledge, access, and job opportunities, it also allowed the school to offer its top curriculum and learning environment to a much larger group of MBA applicants. Today, INSEAD graduates over 1,000 MBA students per year, and is the second largest Business School in that regard.

Encouraged by the success of the Asia Campus, and driven by a vivid entrepreneurial spirit, INSEAD opened a third location in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi) in 2007.

Convinced about the necessity to continuously build on new knowledge, connections and skills, INSEAD has developed a portfolio of more than 50 executive education programs. Every year 11,000 participants benefit from the innovative and immersive learning experiences with our top faculty members.

Anchored in INSEAD’s DNA and heritage is the aim of having a positive impact on society. In 2018, INSEAD created the Hoffman Global Institute for Business and Society.  This institute supports research and projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The current MBA program reflects this focus of the school and prepares business leaders to find better solutions to the world’s problems.

Building on those successes, INSEAD is now expanding its offering to more students with its brand new Master in Management which will offer a unique experience to students with 0 to 2 years of professional experience. This degree aims to empower the next generation of well-rounded, agile, globally-minded and innovative individuals. The first intake starts in August 2020.

We are thrilled to learn that you are opening a new Hub here in San Francisco in February 2020. What made you select the Bay Area for your new location?

Our new Hub for Business Innovation is opening on February 27th. It is located at the heart of SoMa, one of the most dynamic and fast changing parts of San Francisco. With this first permanent facility in North America, INSEAD is bringing its unique global business insights and perspectives, gained from decades of working closely with international executives and global organizations. As the world is going through rapid changes around the adoption of technology and its role in society, and as innovation is spreading around the globe, we believe that INSEAD should share its unique experience, globally-spread community and expertise in international business with San Francisco. We will also be looking to learn from the cutting edge of innovation in this exciting ecosystem for the benefit of our entire global community.


What program(s) will be available in San Francisco and who are they designed for? What will make INSEAD different from other executive Business programs currently offered here?

In its first year, the INSEAD San Francisco Hub will offer a tailored selection of executive development programs relevant to the Americas from a portfolio of 50+ global programs. These open enrollment programs will be Transition to General ManagementInternational Directors ProgrammeBlue Ocean Strategy, Advanced Management ProgramLeading Digital Transformation and Innovation and The Future of AI in partnership with Singularity University. 

INSEAD will also utilize the new facility to hold custom designed programs for US and international companies.  

Participating executives and organizations from around the world will experience INSEAD’s immersive learning methodologies, and gain access to its pathbreaking global research and professors, while simultaneously gaining exposure to the companies and distinctive business culture of Silicon Valley.  

Beyond executive development, the school is creating a new and innovative concept for such satellite.  We want it to be a dynamic destination for making new connections through an extensive calendar of events, organized in collaboration with corporate partners, alumni and visiting professors. 


How is the collaboration with FACCSF important in the development of such a project?

As a global business school, INSEAD is glad to collaborate with the entire Silicon Valley community, especially the institutions that are representing different parts of the world. Since our decision to open our first permanent facility in North America in San Francisco, we have been building strong links with different institutions in the area to explore and build on synergies. We are thankful to the FACCSF for its warm welcome from the very beginning and for the constructive and open collaboration, and we are looking forward to working together more in future.



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