Societal Impact

Founded to Impact

Societal impact-orientation is deeply anchored in HHL’s identity. With its mission to “educate entrepreneurial, effective and responsible leaders” the school is directed to an integrative framework of management and leadership. The entire faculty is committed to the so-called Leipzig Leadership Model. Here, the mission is aligned with a purpose-orientation to value contribution to the individual, the corporation and society alike. The students’ learning journey kicks-off and ends with an intense engagement with the inherent idea of “good leadership”.

In the 21 century business schools need to prove their legitimacy not only by professionalism in teaching and research but increasingly so by their contribution to society. Such an orientation towards the common good requires us to proactively confront us with the Grand Challenges in society – both in the classroom and beyond.

Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt
Chairholder | Dr. Arend Oetker Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership

Our Societal Impact Approach

To focus our measures in a road map for societal impact for 2024-2026, we use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework . In particular we align our aspirations around three goals.

Quality education (SDG 4)

In various courses, we address and highlight the close interweaving of the common good in the form of public value with entrepreneurship and the responsibility of leadership. Alongside providing opportunities for reflection in the lectures, deep dives into these interlinked topics enable students to contribute to a progressive, healthy society.

Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8)

Closely linked to societal impact is the idea of decent work and economic growth. This is why we work extensively on sustainable economic activity that not only respects planetary boundaries, but accepts them as guard rails. Through our activities and research, we try to identify framework conditions and factors that enable a desirable working, social and private life within these limits.

Partnerships for the goals
(SDG 17)

As society is not only made up of all of us but also concerns all of us, we believe in the idea that societal impact can only be achieved through effective partnerships and collaboration between governments, businesses, academia, and civil society. In order to achieve this societal impact, it is necessary to pool resources, share knowledge and find joint solutions to global challenges through collective efforts. By emphasizing strong partnerships, no one is left behind.

HHL Carbon Footprint Report 2019-2023

As a university having a deep sense of our responsibility to shape the world of tomorrow, we steadfastly strive to reduce our carbon emissions. Get an overview about HHL’s ecological footprint.

Societal Impact in Education, Research and Transfer


In our course Responsible Entrepreneurship for the Common Good students from all programs work together with pupils from schools in Leipzig to come up with new ideas for award-winning startups. Up to three startups pose a real-world-problem on how to enhance their public value in the business models, product innovation or internationalization. By doing so participants learn about the complexities of aligning economic imperatives and societal needs.


At almost every chair and research group research is directed to societal challenges, e.g. in marketing, business ethics and business psychology & leadership.

Check the HHL Publication Database that shows the research output of our chairs and centers.


To create a transfer between research and society, various regional and supra-regional networks are served and discussions on the topic of societal impact are initiated with leaders, e.g. about the chances of sustainable transformation. In addition, a wide variety of public events on the subject are held every year. Examples include the Public Value Conference in collaboration with MDR and the Public Value Awards ceremony, as well as forums such as the Digital Space Sustainability Impact Day. HHL is also a founding member of the “Round Table Common Good Leipzig”, where the largest organizations from all sectors develop ideas to promote the common good in Leipzig.


Societal Impact Activities

Student Initiatives

HHL supports student initiatives, such as Voice of Hope and Positive Impact in Society, which aim to have an impact on society. Voice of Hope” supports by enabling HHL to implement benefit events, stem cell registrations, and many other projects Therefore it has already collaborated with internationally recognized non-profit organizations such as Unicef and DKMS.
The initiative “Positive Impact Society” started in 2021 by students at HHL, is dedicated to enhancing the campus experience by making it more energizing, educating, and engaging for everyone. The achivements already brought welcome improvements to our campus.

Positive Impact Rating

To accelerate its transformation pathway HHL supports the new measure of “Positive Impact Rating”(PIR). The PIR is the leading global student-based business school rating. The purpose of the PIR is to measure how business schools create societal impact by energizing the school and its culture, by educating responsible leaders, by participating in the public debate, and by being a role model institution.