Imperial academics among world’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ business professors


Ileana and Paolo

Two Business School academics have been named among the world’s top 40 business academics under the age of 40 by a leading business education title.

Dr Ileana Stigliani, Assistant Professor of Design and Innovation and Dr Paolo Taticchi, Principal Teaching Fellow, were recognised for their outstanding teaching by Poets & Quants, a prestigious international business education website that covers news about business schools and MBA degree programmes.

The “Top 40 Under 40” which is published annually, is a list of the world’s best MBA professors under the age of 40 from business schools around the world, as nominated by students, faculty and alumni. The nominations must include concrete examples of why an academic should be nominated based on the strength of their teaching. The final selection is based solely on recommendations from the nominee’s institutions.

Poets & Quants say each year the list showcases the work of “up-and-coming business school professors that are just as passionate about using business as a force for good as many of their students are.” They add the academics are leveraging their work “to uncover new knowledge about everything from mitigating climate change to using behavioral science as a lens into poverty, crime, violence, and other social problems.”

Dr Paolo Taticchi with Dr Ileana Stigliani and Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of the Business School (centre)

This year’s list was chosen from nearly 800 submissions from business schools across the world.

"Paolo and Ileana are talented and inspiring teachers who have made an enormous contribution to the life of the Business School." Professor Francisco Veloso Dean of Imperial College Business School

Rising stars in business education

Dr Stigliani, who teaches the Design Thinking module set a new record by achieving the highest number of nominations ever received for a single academic – she was nominated 135 times by Business School staff, students and alumni.

Dr Stigliani teaches the Design Thinking module on Imperial’s Full-Time MBA and the Management of Design elective to all MBA students. She was the first academic to teach Design Thinking at Imperial and created the courses based on her research about how designers work and develop innovations.

Her classes are very interactive and involve challenging students to come up with creative solutions to business challenges. In 2016 she received a Teaching Excellence prize for innovation in teaching.

With design company IDEO, Dr Stigliani set up the IDEO Design Thinking award for the best performing students in her class. She is a passionate advocate for Design Thinking in MBA education, and her work has been published in journals including the Academy of Management Journal. She has also given interviews on Design Thinking to media including The Financial Times, The Economist, BBC News and The Guardian.

She said: “I’m incredibly proud to receive this recognition for my work by Poets & Quants and would like to thank all my amazing students, colleagues and alumni who nominated me. I hope this achievement will highlight the great work we’re doing to pioneer design thinking on our programmes and how this equips students with the skills they need to succeed in business.”

Dr Taticchi, who received 100 nominations, is the Programme Director of the Business School’s Weekend MBA and Global Online MBA programmes.

His research focuses on performance measurement and he also teaches a corporate sustainability module on Imperial’s MBA degrees. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and is currently supporting the development of a number of tech start-ups in the UK. His work has featured in a number of media including Il Sole 24 Ore, The Financial Times, The Telegraph and La Nazione. Dr Taticchi received the “Inspiring Brilliant Minds” Dean’s award in 2016.

Dr Taticchi said: “I’m delighted to be recognised by Poets & Quants and would like to thank all the people from the Business School who voted for me. This is an incredible personal achievement, but also recognises the great teaching and research that the Business School is doing to foster entrepreneurship and support our students to fulfill their career ambitions.”

Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School said: “Congratulations to Paolo and Ileana for this tremendous achievement. Paolo and Ileana are talented and inspiring teachers who have made an enormous contribution to the life of the Business School. I’m proud that their commitment to pioneering new methods of teaching, their dedication to their students and their intellectual contributions have placed them among the youngest leaders in business education around the world.” 

You can read the full Poets & Quants article, including in-depth interviews with Dr Stigliani and Dr Taticchi on the Poets & Quants website.


Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton
Communications Division


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