The go-to for 21st century leadership

Banner image with Dean Peter Tufano speaking on stage at the GOTO 2019 kick off

Equipping students with the knowledge and skills to tackle complex issues.

When Peter Tufano arrived in Oxford to take over as Peter Moores Dean of the Saïd Business School, he wanted to position the School and its students to confront world-scale problems. This is a notion that had been largely absent from mainstream business education. His response was a unique and pioneering programme called Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford. GOTO, as it is commonly known, emerged as a signature part of the Oxford MBA.

GOTO was designed to put tackling world-scale challenges at the heart of the academic curriculum; to enable students to critically examine the opportunities and threats within any part of the business landscape. Alongside the traditional MBA courses such as finance, marketing and strategy, GOTO offers something unique but critical for the students’ business toolbox: systems leadership. 

Systems leadership is grounded in the notion that large-scale, systemic challenges cannot be solved by one individual or organisation alone. It recognises that tackling complex issues requires a different way of thinking. It’s about getting into the weeds and complexity of a problem and reframing it to unlock new insights. Systems leaders help us to shift from reactive problem solving to co-creating the future.

GOTO is about cultivating a set of leadership skills that can help our students as they go out into the world, engage with and confront problems that are bigger than any one individual or organisation can solve alone.

Peter Drobac
2019 GOTO Summit with team presenting in a lecture theatre

In 2019 the Skoll Centre took responsibility for curating and convening the GOTO programme, under the academic leadership of the Centre’s Director, Peter Drobac, and Aoife Haney, Departmental Lecturer in Innovation and Enterprise. 

Since its inception, GOTO has always focused on a theme including Water, Big Data, the Future of Work and the Future of Healthcare. For 2019, it was decided to focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals; the universal framework for our planet’s most critical challenges. With the threat of climate breakdown and much of the world still dependant on fossil fuels, the team decided to focus the GOTO theme of 2019 on SDG7, ‘clean and affordable energy for all’. Projects produced by student teams covered topics from reducing carbon emissions in the maritime shipping industry to off-grid renewable energy access in Africa and South Asia. 

The GOTO programme concludes each year with a summit, where four chosen finalist teams present their findings and conclusions to judges and their peers. Team Green Marines were the chosen winners, scooping the prize of £9600. You can read more about their project via the Oxford Saïd Review

Find out more about GOTO: The future of energy

Peter Drobac

Looking ahead

GOTO 2020 returns under the leadership of the Skoll Centre, this time focusing on Climate Action (SDG13). We believe climate change is the most urgent threat we face and hope that GOTO’s focus will catalyse a year of action across Saïd Business School to address the climate crisis. 

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