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Faculty of Humanities

Jonatan Pinkse

Building big ideas with Jonatan Pinkse

Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Alliance Manchester Business School

On the rooftop of a high-rise overlooking the urban sprawl of Greater Manchester with the dusky Peaks beyond, Jonatan Pinkse cut a heroic figure facing into the wind.

Jonatan’s research centres around turning big businesses onto setting a sustainability agenda that does more than pay lip service to corporate social responsibility. He admits to following his heart when choosing where his career has taken him and credits Manchester’s multi-disciplinary perspective as a catalyst for innovation.

“I like to look at these topics from all kinds of viewpoints – from economics to psychology,” he said.

I always think things should be done in a different way. Jump in and see what happens.

Jonatan Pinkse / Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A Dutch native, Jonatan likens Manchester to the universities of his homeland that take a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and has the inherent Dutch ‘bluntness’ to thank for his ability to help businesses make uncomfortable choices and trade-offs for the sake of the environment. 

“The norm was always that companies should only do something about sustainability if they can make money, but we said to them, ‘what if you can’t make money?’ Move away from the simple thinking about making money,” he said.

With sustainability becoming the heart of every agenda, great or small, today’s students will be hoping their academic careers help shape the future of the environment for the better in some way, and the humanities are influencing these changes. 

“Be willing to take risks,” said Jonatan. “I always think things should be done in a different way. Jump in and see what happens.”