Message from the Director

Don’t miss the big picture: Only open innovative minds can get us out of this crisis!

As we confront unprecedented challenges in the face of a global pandemic, it becomes increasingly clear that the future belongs to managers, entrepreneurs and leaders with an open, resilient perspective professionals willing to challenge established dogmas and quickly adapt to new realities.

A decade after the 2009 global financial crisis, the COVID Recession is forcing us to face a stark realization: business as usual is over. Beyond COVID, capitalism must transform to face a host of global challenges that have been highlighted by the pandemic and can no longer be ignored.


Given the once-in-a-century events we are living through, there’s never been a better time to up your resilience with a mid-career MBA — but only the right kind of an MBA!

Founded by visionary financier and philanthropist George Soros, Central European University has long been a meeting place of the world’s leading researchers and practitioners calling for a deep rethinking of our economic and political institutions.

Our mission of “promoting the values of open society and critical thinking” is reflected in our bespoke CEU Executive MBA curriculum. Like no other program in Europe, CEU Executive MBA offers a forward-looking balance between “hard” quantitative skills in financial and data-based decision making and “soft” leadership competencies to navigate organizational, genera- tional, political, and ethical challenges faced by today’s businesses.

 It is also our open-society mission that motivates us to offer our world-class, meticulously delivered Executive MBA program at an investment cost unrivaled by European business schools.

Benefiting from one of the largest endowments on the continent, CEU is democratizing managerial education. We aim to make the program accessible not only to traditional corporate sectors such as consulting and finance, and not only to candidates from Western Europe.

Our current Class of 2022 includes participants from 30 countries on 5 continents with an average of 14 years of professional experience. One in five par- ticipants are senior NGO and public-sector managers while another 15 percent are entrepreneurs leading startups.

This blend of backgrounds and perspectives creates a unique in-class atmosphere where a holistic approach to the strategic challenges of today is at the center of every discussion.

This truly rare blend of backgrounds and perspectives benefits everybody, as it creates a unique in-class atmosphere where a holistic approach to the strategic challenges of today is at the center of every discussion. 

In today’s context, the job of a senior manager is not only about adapting to the world or to external conditions. It is also about curating a world — co-creating reality with your customers, your teams and your stakeholders.

When we say “the EMBA for the Open World,” we are chiefly thinking about the world that you can open and positively impact. Embracing this creative power is essential for your professional transformation from operational and functional expertise to strategic leadership — the transition that requires learning not only new skills, but most importantly, new ways of thinking.

Are you open for such change?

Prof. Maciej Kisilowski

Faculty Director, CEU Executive MBA