Spain: Global Business Experience

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"Strategy as Design"

What will students gain from this program?

Students will have the opportunity to explore a different side of their brain than we focus on in most Darden courses — the creative side! Through our exploration of the works of well-known artists and architects of Barcelona — Picasso, Gaudi, and Dali — we will learn about the processes through which they created some of the greatest artistic and architectural masterpieces of the twentieth century. And see what we can learn about bringing that kind of creativity into the business environment.

Academic Program Overview

Throughout their time together, students will explore the themes of strategic thinking, design, and creativity, using the art and architecture of Barcelona as our case materials. Most days begin in an IESE classroom where you will discuss pre-selected readings and assignments, and prepare for the study tours in the afternoons. Example of an assignment: discuss what you learned from the readings to-date and field trips about the process of design — and how these learnings may or may not relate to business strategy.

Journal Writing

Students will need to bring a blank journal, a few colored pencils, and a glue stick. The written portion of this course — the journal — will give students the opportunity to both reflect upon and to practice the course themes around strategic thinking and creativity. On the field trips, students will be asked to pay attention with heightened awareness to what they see and experience and to record their observations, reactions, and insights in the journal. They are encouraged to be creative and feel free to sketch, use color, paste in postcards, mementos — whatever helps them to capture both the cognitive and the affective aspects of the art and architecture that they will see.

Spain church Hike  Spain New Roof

Faculty Lead

Jeanne Liedtka


Arrive: 8 March 2014    Depart: 15 March 2014

Host Institution

Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Empresas (IESE)

What have past students said about the program?

"Loved the course design! Deriving business lessons through design was a real eye opener."

"I have always loved art and design and I had never before had the opportunity to learn about it. This course was an absolutely fantastic learning experience for me!"

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