Renowned UCLA Business School Professor, Olav Sorenson, Tapped to Launch and Chair the Academic Advisory Board for Breakout Learning


Sorenson and a team of leading business school scholars will shape the future of case study content and the use of AI in business school classrooms

DALLAS, Jan. 09, 2024 -- Breakout Learning, an edtech company that helps educators use the power of AI to moderate and grade small group discussions, has appointed Olav Sorenson, Faculty Director of the Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UCLA Anderson School of Management, to lead the formation of its Academic Advisory Board.

Olav Sorenson

Chaired by Sorenson and comprised of professors from leading business schools, the Academic Advisory Board will oversee the development of Breakout Learning’s catalog of compelling, interactive case studies and exercises that will not only educate but inspire and immerse learners in real-world scenarios. In addition to recruiting top academics to author the case studies, Sorenson will lead the board’s entrepreneurship practice.

"At a time when there are suddenly throngs of vendors advertising AI in education, it’s important for industry and institutions to collaborate to ensure the solutions we implement actually have impact and effectiveness,” said Sorenson. “Breakout Learning's unique and effective use of AI to elevate discussion-based learning has the opportunity to redefine business education, and I'm eager to build the cross-disciplinary team of academics that will help realize its great potential."

Breakout Learning’s modern take on conventional case studies better mirrors the real world by placing students into decision-making moments with engaging content that sets up peer-led, small-group discussions. AI reporting from these sessions helps professors assess students and lead more customized classroom discussions. More than 2,000 students used the platform in the fall of 2023 at top business schools, including the NYU Stern School of Business, the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. More than 90% of these students reported that they prefer the Breakout Learning case-study method compared to traditional case studies.

Breakout Learning’s academic authors identify key business concepts for study, including but not limited to marketing, strategy and operations, and help choose the companies and scenarios that serve to illustrate those concepts. Breakout Learning’s in-house “Hollywood unit” works with its instructional design team to create content that is purpose-built with those concepts in mind. Authors also design the rubrics that the platform’s AI uses to evaluate how well students understand the concepts, based on their discussions. To date, authors have been recruited from Yale School of Management, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and the NYU Stern School of Business.

A member of the UCLA Anderson faculty from 1999 to 2005 and since 2020, Sorenson is renowned for his research in economic geography, particularly on the impact of entrepreneurship on regional growth and competitiveness. With his previous position as Director of Core Curriculum at the Yale School of Management, he introduced several new courses and developed the school’s first online executive education course. In combination with his experience at the University of Toronto, and London Business School, Sorenson has published over 100 papers in top academic journals and received the 2018 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research.

"I couldn't be more excited about Olav joining us as a strategic advisor to help us assemble a ‘Dream Team’ of academic leaders to build our curriculum and case study library," said Ramit Varma, CEO and Co-Founder of Breakout Learning. "His trusted voice among the world's leading management and organization scholars and his extensive experience designing business school curriculum makes him the perfect advisor to build and lead Breakout Learning's Academic Advisory Board.”

On February 8th, Sorenson will be a panelist in “Making The Case: How Business School Professors are Transforming the Case Study Method,” a live webinar where he’ll be joined by University of California Irvine Professor Noah Askin to discuss the potential this new business case-study approach offers to students and professors. The conversation will be moderated by Chief Content Officer and Co-Founder at Breakout Learning, Steven Walters. To register for this webinar, visit breakoutlearning.com/webinar/transforming-business-case-studies.