The Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has embarked on a US$11 million construction project to convert three floors in its facility into a vertically connected educational space called the Learning Commons. The Learning Commons will become the heart of the building, connecting its east and west wings, with ample natural light to open the space. The first floor will house the school’s finance and analytics lab, and the second and third floors will feature the business library and business learning center with five active learning classrooms equipped with wireless displays for collaboration. The upper floors will include ten breakout rooms, as well as collaborative and casual seating. Construction on the 33,000-square-foot space is due to be completed this spring.
The Mannheim Business School at the University of Mannheim in Germany has opened a new study and conference center in the former coal cellar of Mannheim Palace, one of Europe’s largest baroque palaces. The new space includes two semicircular lecture halls, a flexible conference area, ten breakout rooms, and a large foyer; its glass façade looks out on the palace garden. The building is approximately 1,700 square meters (about 5,800 square feet) and cost €9 million euro (about US$10.48 million) to build.
Last November, Germany’s ESMT Berlin opened its Hidden Champions Institute (HCI). The institute will support companies that are in the global top three or that are the market leaders on their continent, and that also have a turnover of less than €5 billion (approximately US$5.82 billion). These hidden champions are so called because even though they are not well-known, they are highly successful, create jobs, and generate economic growth at rates that far outweigh their reputations; they collectively earn five times as many patents per 1,000 employees as larger corporations and invest twice as much in research and development. The HCI will provide these companies a private environment for open discussion and will encourage the development of executive leadership in Germany’s medium-sized, family-owned firms.