ESADE Moves up 3 places in the Economist MBA Ranking
Consolidating its place in the top 20, ESADE’s MBA has been ranked 17th in the world and 5th in Europe by the Economist today. Based on information given by the school and on alumni surveys, the ranking analyses different aspects of the MBA programme such as career progression, educational experience (faculty, diversity, peer group, etc), potential to network and salary increase. ESADE was ranked in the top ten for jobs found through the careers service, student diversity and increase in salary.
The school starts working on MBA students’ career development paths from their very first day on campus, with much of the MBA induction week involving giving students the tools to decide where they want to be post MBA and help them get there. Twice a year ESADE holds on-campus career fairs, such as the MBA Career Forum to be held later this month where companies a diverse array of sectors come searching for ESADE’s top MBA talent.
ESADE has also been looking at new ways to get the best career opportunities for students, working closely with them, not just on an individual basis, but with the student clubs and other initiatives. One such initiative is the student-organised Innovation Summit, where companies will challenge MBA’s to brainstorm and ideate solutions for their real-life business issues, as well as presenting some of the biggest issues around innovation in their sectors.
ESADE’s flexible 12, 15 or 18-month full-time MBA draws participants from 56 different countries, 81% of whom are from outside of Spain, who together speak 20 different languages and have an average of 5.6 years of work experience. The school has seen an increase in applications since the launch of the new format two years ago, in part due to the attractiveness of flexible format in uncertain times.
Gloria Batllori, Executive Director of the ESADE MBA said, “We are delighted to have moved up the Economist ranking again this year, it reflects some of the hard work of the team in meeting the needs of participants and recruiters, in addition to our highly proactive approach to career services.”
You can find the full ranking information here: http://www.economist.com/whichmba/full-time-mba-ranking
ESADE’s 4th Corporate University Forum brings together representatives from leading corporate universities to share best practices
This year’s conclusions pointed towards the need to develop ways of measuring the results of training, as well as deal with the increasing complexities of developing the global culture of the companies. The forum, held last week in Madrid, has become a reference for companies running corporate universities providing them with a birds-eye view of the sector as well as the opportunity to share experiences and best practice models.
Participants noted that although the reasons behind the launch of corporate universities often differ, one of the key effects is to emphasize the corporate culture. Carlos Pelegrín, Talent Management Manager at Orange (France Telecom), explained, “the important thing when we launched the corporate university was the creation of a common corporate culture at a global level, since the company operates in more and more countries around the world.” The director of EDP’s recently-formed corporate university, Vasco Coucello, commented that it was created to provide “a knowledge-focussed meeting point amongst employees”. While Ana Belén Aller, Corporate Human Resources Manager at Celsa Group, noted that their new corporate university came into being to “support the company’s international expansion”. Veteran of corporate universities Julián Sanz Director of Management and Processes in Grupo Santander’s corporate training department noted that for Santander “focusing on fostering our own culture” is a key strategic function of their 6-year old corporate university. Soledad Ortiz, Senior Training and Development Manager at PwC added that for PwC it was vital for “training to become a key element in the company, making the corporate university a centre for excellence was an important way of supporting our internal strategy.”
José Ángel Fernández Izard, Director of Gas Natural Fenosa’s pioneering corporate university, highlighted the need for a commitment to the use of new media in corporate universities and the important role it plays in internal knowledge management. Along these lines, Sanz of Grupo Santander also underlined the need to possess the tools to attract knowledge, pinpoint talent and focus on strategic collectives. Luis Vives, Professor of Business Policy at ESADE, noted that “whatever the specific aim of the corporate university “we should never lose sight of the fact that it should always be geared towards creating value for the company itself,” and that one of their key functions should be “to be flexible enough to pre-empt and adapt to internal and external circumstances in the best interests of the company.”
Another issue discussed during the forum was the need to measure results. One suggestion for improvement in this area was the creation of a standardised measurement system through sharing measurement indicators between companies. To date, each company has been developing and using its own systems to evaluate the true benefit of corporate university training, perhaps a more harmonized approach would lead to more reliable evaluations.
Secretary General of ESADE, Marcel Planellas along with Director of Executive Education at ESADE, Jaume Hugas and Camelia Ilie, Director of Executive Education at ESADE Madrid, also shared their insights throughout the day. Camelia notes, “ESADE was one of the first schools to partner with corporate universities, we have always seen it as an opportunity to contribute our knowledge towards a new way of doing things, working together with leading corporate universities in the sector, helping them with the academic, practical and applied mix necessary to be successful.”
Barcelona, 8th June 2011: Across the world, the rate of urbanization is rapidly increasing. This is a good thing for the economy as cities are far more efficient generators of GDP. Yet urban growth brings with it new challenges; those of inequality, environmental sustainability, talent attraction, competitiveness. What’s more, the question of where these initiatives should come from remains unanswered and largely without a best practice model.
Grappling with these issues and more, the one-day event held by the Brookings Institute at ESADE Business School in Barcelona this week, brought together public and private city leaders, who are working to implement new business models for their cities. Hailing from seven different metropolises, (Barcelona, Paris, Minnesota, Basel, Sao Paulo, Cape Town and Istanbul) the speakers addressed a wide range of issues on strategic urbanization, its results and challenges.
“The path to take depends on us, citizenship begins in the city”
Kicking things off, Professor Javier Solana of the ESADEgeo-Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, reminded participants that we are living in an “uneven, uncertain and unsustainable world” a world that has undergone drastic changes which would not have foreseen as recently as January of this year and a world where growth is generated by cities.
Public private partnership and innovation are essential to finding solutions for better cities
In his opening address, Francisco Belil, CEO of Siemens SA, considered the impact of cities, noting that although they only cover 1% of the world’s surface, they consume 75% of the world’s energy and generate 85% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Their economic importance should also not be underestimated, with output of just ten cities contributing 20% of the world GDP. He also looked at the role of efficient energy technology in attracting innovative talent through increasing the quality of life in cities. “Energy consumption is directly related to quality of life” he stated, “we must be capable of building energy efficient structures… many of the technologies needed for this already exist, but we need to implement them as soon as possible.” He highlighted the need for new disruptive technologies in this area, “innovation must shape the future” he noted.
“We need to get back to basics”
Dr. Joan Clos, of UN Habitat focused on the paradox of the huge number of city dwellers living in slums and the discordance caused by inequality as their neighbours enjoy the likes of balconies with swimming pools. He noted that such situations are caused by urbanisation without industrialization, a trend particularly evident in countries relying on extractive industries and agriculture. He highlighted that although huge megacities are emerging, they are not cities as we know them: a large percentage of their population is unemployed, there is no public transport and there is a great divide between the formal city and the slums. Dr. Clos called for a “back to basics” policy, where simple urban planning tools must be applied and developed by home-grown institutions. “In Europe we have forgotten about urban planning” he said, “we have lost the technology and now do urban refinement.”
“We must build the economy by unleashing America’s metropolitan engines”
Next up, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute, considered the issues facing US cities, highlighting the need for them to “re-find their innovation Mojo”. He described how the US still sees itself as a small-town nation despite being mostly metropolitan. Three quarters of US GDP is generated in cities and 47 states generate more than half of their GDP from cities. “We must move from a macro to metro point of view” he stated.
He called for a redefinition of the US economy based on the pillars of exports, low carbon emissions and innovation. “The US must get really smart, really fast” he said, referring to innovation as the “backbone of the move from a consumption based economy to a production based economy.” Cities must understand why they are different, find their competitive advantage, nurture it and compete, not with their neighbours but with the rest of the world.
The polarization of US politics has led to stagnation and solutions should not be expected to come from Washington D.C. but from the ground-up. “This has to be done the hard way by “Pragmatic Caucus” through democracy, but also using many other actors at the same time… We need to flip the federalist pyramid” he said, “business plans must be created at city levels, then states can support them, and finally the federal government can get involved.”
“We need to rethink the way we look at the world”
Professor Javier Santiso Academic Director of ESADEGeo put these changes within a macro contest of the shifting wealth of nations, where OECD counties no longer exclusively hold onto the world’s financial, talent or innovation resources, and South-South relations are becoming increasingly powerful. In this multi-polar panorama, cities, as key economic drivers, must work hard to attract investment and talent.
“Europe needs switch from North-focused shipping infrastructure to more sustainable Southern options”
Santiago Garcia Mila, Strategy and Development Deputy Managing Director of the Barcelona Port Authority looked at the changes in shipping over the last 50 years which evidence this shift in trade, through the massive reduction of transatlantic shipping and the increase in China’s output. He noted that Europe is still not ready for this shift with its largest ports based in cities in the North (such as Rotterdam and Hamburg) ready to receive goods from the Atlantic but not well positioned to deal with Eastern trade. García Mila underlined the role of the Mediterranean ports (such as Barcelona), as the most sustainable route for Eastern trade, and importantly the shortest route between Brazil and China.
The panel discussion involving Vincent Gollain, Chief Economic Development Officer, Paris Region Economic Development Agency; Christophe Koellreutter, Founder and Managing Director, Metro-Basel; Hakan Kodal, President and CEO, Krea Group; Andrew Boraine, Chief Executive, Cape Town Partnership and Mayor Chris Coleman, City of St. Paul, Minnesota involved a lively debate on the similarities and differences between the challenges faced by the selection of very different cities.
Mr. Gollain from Paris noted that his city’s biggest challenges arise from the need to reinforce competitiveness, compensate the large number of jobs lost in industry through supporting entrepreneurs, competition with emerging market cities and a need to be more sustainable. In contrast, Andrew Boraine from Cape Town, said his city was facing very different challenges: the urbanization without industrialization (mentioned previously by Mr. Clos), one of the worst Gini coefficients in the world, leading to a city plagued with drugs and poor health issues, while some members of the middle class have not even noticed the crisis; the absence of a common political agenda and too strong a focus on ad hoc events rather than proper economic strategy.
Mayor Chris Coleman of St. Paul cited a lag in competitiveness as one of his once-very-innovative city’s key issues, “we came to think of South Dakota as our competition instead of South Korea.” He also noted that his city now suffers from one of the highest achievement gaps in the country. For his part, Mr. Kodal listed three main reasons for the change in Istanbul: Physical – a huge earthquake and exponential growth of the population; Economical – Turkey’s efforts to open up to the world have lead to change in the way Istanbul has been treated; and the Vision of the city – Istanbul has become the centre of the region, not just a tourist destination. Basel, in contrast, was propelled to change by its success, commented Mr. Koellreutter, “we are very small, but we have an enormous hub of brains” he said, “10% of metropolitan GDP is spent on R&D… we aim to the first Life Sciences destination.”
Despite the wide array of issues propelling the need for change in these metropolitan areas, the city leaders found common ground on several key areas. One such area was the need for cities to work with private entities to drive development and innovation. Another, the need to move away from what Mr. Boraine called “a lot of churning without much traction”, that is a lot of discussion without anything getting done and linked with this, all agreed that better collaboration between the different levels of government was needed along with transparency on who should deal with what. Finally the panel called for more co-ordination between the fields of economics and urban planning, underlining that cities can no longer afford not to have a strategic plan in place.
Following the questions and answers session, the closing remarks were made by the honourable Jordi Hereu, Mayor of Barcelona, who thanked the city leaders and participants for their interest in Barcelona and underlined the key role of cities going forward. The afternoon’s smaller scale events included and introduction to Barcelona’s strategic plan and the world bank’s urbanization and knowledge platform and break out workshops on green economy, entrepreneurship and talent attraction, internationalization and the modernisation of manufacturing.
ESADE and BBVA award ten social entrepreneur companies with specialised training
Having received over 130 applications, Spanish multinational bank BBVA and ESADE business school have chosen the 10 most promising social start-ups from across Spain who will receive specialist training in ESADE and advice from BBVA’s mentors. This move forms the backbone of a new form of alliance between ESADE and BBVA known as the Momentum Project, aimed at supporting the most promising social entrepreneurs helping them to consolidate, grow and expand the impact of their businesses.
The winning social entrepreneurs hail from many different sectors including catering, pharmaceuticals, homecare, agriculture, textile and real estate. Despite this diversity, they are unified by a mission to integrate various socially disadvantaged groups of people into the workforce: from those with physical or mental disabilities, or those who did not have the training opportunities many of us have today, to others at risk from exclusion.
The representatives of each of the winning projects will travel to ESADE’s San Cugat (Barcelona) campus next month where they will undertake five days of specifically designed training during which they will work on their business development plans, focusing specifically on strategy design, financing and implementation. The classes, lead by ESADE’s professors, will be based on workshops, company visits, exchange of information and best-practices. Following the intensive week of classes, the participants will put together their development plans over a period of ten weeks before presenting them in front of potential financers on BBVA’s Madrid campus at their “Social Investment Day”.
The jury, comprised of leading experts from Oxford University’s Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship (Pamela Hartigan), Price Waterhouse Coopers(Javier Garilleti), BBVA(Manuel Castro, Antoni Ballabriga and Francisco José Esteve) ESADE’s Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institutes (Alfred Vernis, Ignasi Carreras and Luisa Alemany), Grupo VIPS (Maite Arango) and Fundación Once (Sabina Lobato), chose the winners based on their experience, relevant social impact, innovative solutions and potential to scale up their operations and have a greater influence on society. While the project is currently focused on Spanish social entrepreneurs, future plans include editions focused on other regions.
The social entrepreneurs
Catering Solidario: Founded in Seville in 2007, this company assists in the integration of women who have suffered abuse into the workplace, through employment in catering and hospitality, for which free trade and ecological sources are also used.
DAU: With almost 20 years of experience in Catalonia, DAU was the first Spanish Special Employment Centre to gain the legal authorisation as a manufacturing pharmaceutical laboratory and promotes the inclusion and autonomy of people suffering from severe mental disabilities.
Gan Vallès Assistencial: Launched in 2006 in Barcelona to provide care for the dependent, assuring quality and trust, creating work for women over 50 with little or no formal education.
Hornos Lamastelle: A Galician company founded in 1993 whose mission is the integration of the disabled into the workplace, through the manufacture and sale of pastry products throughout Spain.
La Tavella: An association created in 2007 in Barcelona which promotes the employment of people with mental disabilities or severe mental illness, through activities related to agriculture and ecological farming.
Moltacte: Founded in Catalonia in 2006, this company promotes the integration of people with sever mental illness into the textile industry. It also has a socially sustainable purchasing policy based on the generation of stable, high-quality employment for people with mental illnesses.
Naturix: Company launched in 2006 with headquarters in Guadalajara and Madrid, focused on the production, transformation and distribution of ecological agricultural products, and management committed to environmental sustainability.
Roba Amiga: A Catalan cooperative, created in 2006 with the bringing together of 5 organizations providing work for those at risk from exclusion into the workplace, through the collection of used clothes and other textiles for reuse and recycling.
Sostre Civic: Created in Barcelona in 2004, to offer good homes to all segments of the population, avoiding families becoming over indebted, through environmentally sustainable and economically accessible constructions.
Teixidors: Founded in 1983 in Barcelona focused on the creation of handmade textiles, made by disabled crafts people, with the aim of helping them integrate into society, while also preserving Catalan textile traditions.
For today’s manager or entrepreneur being international is not enough, the challenge lies in being global, understanding each region’s socio-economic situation and how they interrelate. ESADE’s Director General, Eugenia Bieto, appointed in September last year, highlighted the move from International to Global as the school’s key strategy under her mandate. She noted that intensification of activities in the US, Brazil and India was key to this move. The alliance with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business will become the cornerstone of ESADE’s activities in the US.
Highly attuned to developing successful managers, the agreement brings together two world-class institutions. Eugenia Bieto said, “We have achieved a strategic alliance with a high level of complementarity between the institutions, allowing us to combine Georgetown’s global, interdisciplinary training with ESADE’s entrepreneurial spirit and expertise in social innovation, meeting the needs of international managers of today and tomorrow.”
The two schools, along with Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, have been running the Georgetown-ESADE Global Executive MBA for the last three years. They now have strengthened their ties and will continue train managers with new international programs that will offer similar global content and formats. They also will share best practices in the areas of international training, strategy, and research.
The Global Management Research Initiative Center
As one of the first steps of the new alliance, ESADE and Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business jointly will create the Global Management Research Initiative Center (GMRI). This center will synthesise new knowledge in the areas of globalisation and the role of the company in international development, particularly focusing on new the business models emerging around the world.
Alfons Sauquet, Dean of ESADE Business School, assures us that faced with a return to economic growth through an increasingly global economy, “it is imperative for managers to understand the different voices that influence global change in order to make the right strategic decisions. To achieve this it is vital to understand the context we are moving in and know how different markets react depending on the part of the world they are in.”
The GMRI will become a shared research center including professors from ESADE and from Georgetown, who together will try to better the understanding of the challenges faced by global companies. The center will be headed up by ESADE’s Associate Director General and Business Policy Professor, Xavier Mendoza, expert in business internationalization strategies.
Exchange of Best Practices
One of the many opportunities afforded by this new alliance is the sharing of best practices in management education. This point is particularly crucial, according to ESADE’s Dean Sauquet, in the areas of International Relations and Geopolitics, which are highly valued by participants and often overlooked by business schools. With Georgetown’s world renowned Walsh School of Foreign Service and ESADE’s increased focus on these areas, with the appointment of Javier Solana and creation of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics last year, the schools are in a unique position to develop best practices in this aspect of business education.
Another area of increased collaboration will be in the exchange of students and professors between the two institutions. The agreement also covers the appointment of McDonough School of Business’s Dean, George Daly, to ESADE’s International Advisory Board. A committee comprising leaders of key multinationals and respected academics from around the world who advise ESADE on its international competitive strategy and debate the most important strategic options to be faced by the organization.
International financial studies accreditation body, the CFA Institute has announced that ESADE Business School has been officially named a CFA Programme Partner with their MSc in Finance. This accreditation is based on an extensive assessment of the programme syllabus to ensure that it covers at least 70% of the requirements of the CFA’s Candidate Body of Knowledge. This gives MSc candidates the added assurance that following their masters, in order to pass the stringent CFA exam, at most they will have to study for the additional 30%.
Of particular interest given the effects of so-called “Financial Innovation” the CFA Program includes the CFA’s ethical and professional standards and ensures that the institutions involved teach and apply them. From ESADE’s perspective becoming a CFA Programme Partner also links the school to other leading academic and professional institutions worldwide.
Despite its launch in 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis, ESADE’s MSc in Finance immediately drew a selection of high calibre students from all over the world. Of the 41 students in the current class, 97.6% come from outside of Spain, with 20 different nationalities represented. The countries with the largest representation on the programme are Germany, France, China, Bulgaria, India, Turkey, Colombia and Italy. The English-language course is directed at recent graduates looking to give an extra dimension and impact to their financial careers. The average participant is at the very beginning of their financial career at 23 years old and with a non-too-shabby GMAT score of 670.
Jaime Sabal, director of ESADE’s Master in Finance said, “Students gain a deep understanding of the fundamental tools and concepts of international finance, developing an integral organisational vision of the competitive environment through mastering the specialised language of world finance and the development of innovative, socially-responsible financial practices.” He continued, “It is an added bonus that they can now count on the guarantee that these studies will stand them in excellent stead for the internationally recognized CFA exams.”
Students on ESADE’s MSc in Finance will now have access to CFA Institute textbooks, journals, webcasts, and other educational resources and also benefit from professional development events held by the CFA Society of Spain and farther afield. Borja Durán, president of CFA Spain stated, “ESADE not only has one of the strongest academic bodies, but also a reputation as one of the top European business schools helping develop leaders in the financial industry. We are convinced that ESADE students will benefit from the partnership and will become successful professionals and future CFA charterholders.”
It is a well-known fact that Europe lags behind its US and Japanese counterparts in patenting and commercializing innovation. Earlier this month the European Union’s Innovation Union Scoreboard pointed to an “innovation emergency” highlighting Europe’s weakness in generating revenue from innovation that can bring high returns for companies in global markets.
One way to improve this situation is by training the engineers and scientists behind the innovation how to manage it as a business opportunity, helping them move from a purely scientific perspective to one that encompasses business opportunities as well. This is one of ESADE Business School’s key competences. The school already works on bringing science to business (and business to science) on various levels but with the launch of the new MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship ESADE will train the innovation business leaders of tomorrow.
Aimed at recent graduates of any discipline, the programme, held in Barcelona, seeks to bring together young innovative thinkers and potential entrepreneurs and train them to manage innovation and/or create new science and technology based companies. The year-long MSc, supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), is comprised of a bridge course (for non management graduates), a core programme and different specialisation tracks.
Core subjects include creativity and Design Thinking; finding the opportunity: analysing technological markets; building and testing business models to create, deliver and capture value; and financing the new ventures, among others. Students then have the option to focus on 1) Innovation Management (innovation networks, technology parks, innovation policy, etc), 2) Corporate Innovation and Intrapreneuship (management of innovation departments, cells or innovative SMEs) or 3) Entrepreneurship (for those who want to create their own companies).
Playing to its strengths, ESADE launches this programme in line with of a wide range of initiatives, commitments and programmes in the area of innovation. From the school’s 20,000m2 open and cross innovation park, ESADECreapolis, to its status as the leading business school in the European innovation network for sustainable energy, InnoEnergy (also part of the EIT). From its work bringing together research scientists and MBA students, in its innovation speed dating events; to training doctoral level scientists in its From Science to Business programme and running executive-level programmes with international thought leaders such as Henry Chesbrough or Kenneth Morse.
The school is rated as 7th in Europe, 20th worldwide
The Economist’s 9th MBA ranking, published today, analyses different aspects of the MBA programme such as career progression, educational experience (faculty, diversity, peer group, etc), potential to network and salary increase. With this latest ranking ESADE is now rated as a worldwide top twenty business school in all the intentional ranking published on the sector. In the Economist ranking the school was particularly recognized for its excellent work in career services over recent years.
In terms of opening new career opportunities, ESADE was rated the number two school in Europe thanks to its highly proactive approach. The school starts working on MBA students’ career development paths from their very first day on campus, with much of the MBA induction week involving giving students the tools to decide where they want to be post MBA and help them get there.
“ESADE graduates tend to work in a wide variety of sectors post-MBA, this diversified recruiter base has meant that we haven’t seen the huge drop in graduates placed three months after graduation that some more finance-focused schools have experienced” said Dee Clarke, Director of MBA Career Services. “At ESADE we have also been looking at new ways to get the best career opportunities for students, part of this working more closely with them, not just on an individual basis, but with the student clubs and other initiatives. Our careers office is not a stand-alone service, but part of the network of opportunities within the MBA.”
ESADE’s flexible 12, 15 or 18-month full-time MBA draws participants from 45 different countries, 81% of whom are from outside of Spain, who together speak 20 different languages and have an average of 5.6 years of work experience. The school has seen an increase in applications since the launch of the new format last September, in part due to the attractiveness of flexible format in uncertain times. This year’s students, who started at ESADE this month, will not have to decide on the length of their programme until March 2011.
Dee notes, “MBAs are designed to invite participants to see situations from different perspectives and at ESADE we encourage this transformation process. It makes sense then for the structure of the programme to support this and allow students to take time out to think about where they really want to be and then decide whether it is best for them to do an internship, go on international exchange or get back to the workplace as soon as they can.”
Less than a week after Spain’s credit rating downgrade, the participants of the ESADE-Georgetown Global Executive MBA arrived in Madrid this afternoon to undertake the next phase of the round-the-world programme set to give them firsthand experience of the economic crisis and recovery as well as an MBA.
In this, the fifth module on the GEMBA programme, entitled Entrepreneurship and Advanced Economies, the twenty-nine participants of this unique programme will attend classes, CEO forums and company visits in Madrid and Moscow. The classes, taught by professors from Georgetown and ESADE, will give them a deeper insight into the world economy, help them to be more entre/intraprenerial, develop their cross-cultural leadership skills, in addition to introducing them to a comparative institutional analysis of the politics of international finance.
Aside from time in the classroom, during their time in Madrid, the participants, who live and work all over the world, will be received by T.R.H. the Crown Prince and Princess of Spain, enjoy a lunch with former EU High Representative, Javier Solana and talks by the sub-governor of the Bank of Spain and CEO’s form Santander, Union Fenosa and Telefonica. The module will then continue next week in Moscow where they will visit Russian companies such as Zhostovo, SIA International and Zvezda.
Yesterday, however the module got off to a relaxed start with an evening tour of the old city of Madrid and a welcome meal at a traditional restaurant, one of the several cultural activities interwoven with a week-and-a-half’s hard study. Nevertheless, with an average age of 45 and as business leaders in many different sectors, participants are used to making the most of opportunities.
About the GEMBA Programme
Launched in 2008, the ESADE – Georgetown Global Executive MBA programme is a joint programme run by three schools: Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, their Walsh School of Foreign Service and ESADE Business School. This 16 month modular based MBA takes participants to Bangalore, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Sao Paulo and Washington DC. The group of 29 participants represents some 13 different nationalities. For more information see http://www.globalexecmba.com
Addressing some 500 participants from the ESADE MBA classes of 2010 and 2011, of 46 nationalities, ESADE Professor Javier Solana, asked them to not only to concentrate on their careers, but focus also on the globalised world in which we live. “Geopolitics will be very important for your future life” he stated.
In his first address as professor of ESADE, Javier Solana touched upon some of the issues that are changing the geopolitical landscape. Firstly he highlighted the transfers of power between countries and within countries post financial crisis, pointing out the changing roles of non-state actors, as well as the shift caused by population growth and the transfer of GDP, from West to East. Also on population changes, he highlighted, “By 2020, half of the population of Africa will be under the age of 18 years of age. This has massive implications for all of us. We all need to be aware of it.”
“The world of today is a multipolar world without sufficient multilateralism—and this is very difficult to handle” Prof. Solana said. He went on to explain that Europe has a long history of multipolarity dealt with by war, rather than multilateralism. He continued that the creation of the EU was a positive consequence of this, but that now we must build a structure of governance that will protect peace throughout the world.
Prof. Solana called for global solutions to global problems, a profound change in mindset and the involvement of all new countries in world governance. “The G7 and G8 are obsolete, it is important to change the structure of governance to better reflect reality.” He noted that the institutions created post-war, particularly the IMF, World Bank and the WTO must be transformed. “Brazil, China, India, etc must be incorporated” he said, “it makes no sense, for example, for Belgium to have the same number of votes in the IMF, as China.”
Focusing on the key challenges for the future Prof. Solana first discussed poverty. “It is true that globalization has produced many benefits for many people.” he stated, “in China, a vast number of people, more than the entire population of the US have risen out of poverty in the past three decades, large parts of the country still lives below the breadline … Do not forget that poverty is not only unacceptable, but will become a source of instability for everyone in the future: we need to solve the issue.” He advised.
The second fundamental problem Prof. Solana highlighted is the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 20% uranium enrichment program will cause difficult consequences for the region and the world” he noted. The other major issue he pointed out was climate change. “This is a real and extreme problem” he began, “we have to organize the world in such a manner that every country is willing to do its part to cut CO2, it is not enough for a few to try… we must see how we can solve this problem today, not tomorrow. It will only get worse. We mustn’t stifle China’s and India’s development with these measures, but we must cut CO2 emissions.” He called for “Responsible Sovereignty” noting that states cannot just do what they want in this arena.
Following Prof. Solana’s address, Dean of ESADE Business School, Alfons Sauquet opened the floor to questions. An MBA participant from Nigeria got the ball rolling by asking about Prof. Solana’s views on terrorism. “It is an important challenge we must all be aware of” Prof. Solana responded, “Terrorism is never acceptable. We must combat terrorism and also look into the reasons that make someone becomes a terrorist.”
Other questions focused on Chavez, the current situation in Israel and Palestine, the future of developmental aid, the role of the IMF, the accession of Turkey to the EU and the role of China in the coming decades, among others.
Concluding Prof. Solana said “Carry these ideas close to your minds and hearts. It is people like you and institutions like ESADE who can make a difference, we are global citizens, we must engage and commit to the problems of the world at large. There are many, but there are also many solutions. I hope you will be part of these solutions.”