Study Trips


Management Ethics and Theory

This graduate study trip involved a client-focused project that touched on marketing, finance, sustainability, ethics, fashion management, and themes of environment and complexity. It took place in Biella, a small city in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, 80 km northwest of Milan, in the foothills of the Alps. The project was tied to the following courses: Management Ethics and Theory, Management of Complexity, and Marketing Strategy.

For over a thousand years, Biella was home to wool workers and weavers guilds, which relied on the region's high mountain pastures and copious water supply to produce their wares. In the 17th and 18th centuries silk also became an important industry. After an economic crisis for these industries in the 1990s due to increased global competition, Biella transitioned to become a cluster area for sustainable fashion based around the local wool and silk production, with a focus on quality and environmental and cultural values.

MSIM students worked with the Kaylia Group, a sustainable fashion brand operating in the region, on a strategic consulting project focused on the group’s branding, sustainability management, ethical management strategies and finances. Students explored the local area along with its culture and history to understanding both Kaylia’s strategic position and the context of the region and the challenges it faces from climate change to protect its natural and cultural heritage. Students then conducted both project meetings and research related to the company. Deliverables from the trip were assessed as coursework in the related courses.

Students also had the opportunity to explore and enjoy the local area both in a group and on their own, including via a day trip to Lake Como and the nearby towns of Como and Bellagio. Other destinations included Kaylia’s offices at Bottega Kaylia; other houses involved in the local industries, such as Casa Zegna and Lanificio Alfredo Pria; and the Cittedellarte, a creative laboratory in Biella. There were also ample opportunities to sample the local cuisine through group meals!