2016 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Angel Saz-Carranza, ESADE Business School

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Angel Saz-Carranza

Lecturer, Department of Strategy & General Management

ESADE Business School

Angel Saz-Carranza is one of the most prominent scholars in the field of geopolitics.At ESADE, he teaches both a Geopolitics course and another on Political Risk Analysis, Geoeconomics and Global Risks. In addition, he serves as Director of ESADEgeo Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics. This think tank’s membership includes Javier Solana, former Secretary-General at NATO, former EU High Commissioner and former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Spain. Saz-Carranza is also the author of the book Uniting Diverse Organizations: Managing Goal-oriented Advocacy Networks.

Age: 39

At current institution since: 2007

Education: PhD Management Science, Public network leadership, ESADE-Universitat Ramon Llull, 2007; Pre-doctoral visiting fellow, NYU Wagner School of Public Service, 2004-2007; MEng Aeronautical Engineering, Imperial College-University of London, 1999

Courses you currently teach: Geopolitics & Business; Regulation & Lobby; International Organisations & Global Governance

Professor you most admire: Ian Hurd (Northwestern University) and Xavier Mendoza (ESADE Business School). Both are very different but capable of beautifully organising student comments and contributions on the blackboard according to the conceptual frameworks studied.

“I knew I wanted to be a b-school professor when…as a student of aeronautical engineering in Imperial College I would sit in politics and business courses and attend events at nearby business schools.”

“If I weren’t a b-school professor…I would have been a zoologist or would have continued my career in international development and humanitarian aid.”

Most memorable moment in the classroom or in general as a professor: Dialogue. When the class is a guided conversation with students. Another important moment is when during the conversation we are capable of applying a conceptual framework to a real-life situation and better comprehend it.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? One achievement I am very proud of is my single-authored book based on my three-year field research in the USA studying immigrant network leaders and their advocacy work. Turning a thesis into a book requires turning self-centred research into a palatable and attractive product for a much larger and practitioner audience. And it is not a straightforward process.

What do you enjoy most about being a business school professor? Conversations with class participants, who tend to be diverse, smart, motivated, and informed. I learn about issues I am not necessarily aware of, I learn to apply and improve the conceptual frameworks I use, and most importantly, I experience how students learn. Students also seem the most motivated during these open and frank exchanges

What do you enjoy least about being a business school professor? Grading and grade revisions. It is extremely difficult to describe a student’s capacity with a number and feel that you are capturing and signalling their ability correctly. Additionally, students are very sensitive on this topic, and so disagreements and disappointments often happen.

Fun fact about yourself: Never lived more than four years in the same place. As a kid I had a ferret, a hedgehog, and a hare.

Favorite book: ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’ by Dave Eggers, ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ by John Kennedy Toole, and ‘Don Quixote’ by Miguel de Cervantes.

Favorite movie: ‘Pulp fiction’ by Quentin Tarantino and ‘Life of Brian’ by Monty Python.

Favorite type of music: Joaquin Sabina, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Joan Serrat, Loquillo, Ramones, Pixies.

Favorite television show: Borgen

Favorite vacation spot: Cádiz and the Costa Brava

What are your hobbies? Paragliding—until I broke my back—now cycling and motorcycling.

Twitter handle: @asazca

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would …be more affordable to all eligible candidates, perhaps through scholarships. B-schools should not be—as they sometimes are—mechanisms of continuing and reinforcing inequalities. In line with this, I would also give participants a critical take on the public and political dimensions in which businesses operate. When businesses are the solution… and when they are the problem. B schools should reflect and acknowledge more straightforwardly the negative effects that the current global economic system may produce.”

Students Say…

“He is one of the best professors I have had in my life, and that is a big statement considering that I studied 2 bachelor degrees and 1 masters degree (8 years in total in university). Besides being very sharp and knowledgeable about his field, he is also very passionate and creates an excellent engagement among the students on every session. He was responsible for making me choose economic research as the field where I am currently developing my career.”


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