Seizing Tomorrow’s Global Business Opportunities

CGE Authors and Tom Friedman discuss the future of global business.

“Seizing Tomorrow’s Global Market Opportunities,” held at Columbia Business School in New York City, included a vibrant panel of authors from CGE’s new book Growing Global: Lessons for the New Enterprise.  International bestselling author Tom Friedman (The World is Flat) moderated and business students from the Columbia community participated.  The large auditorium was filled with a diverse collection of business practitioners, students and faculty.  Read more about the event or watch highlights in the video below.


Tom Friedman, opened the discussion by comparing the pace of global business technology today to an ever accelerating “supernova.”  He prefers the term supernova – an explosion of interconnectivity at lighting speed. Friedman brought attention and humor to the technology discussion when he suggested some new terms might be needed as he finds terms like “cloud” to be too “fluffy, soft, and Joni Mitchell song sounding.”


On the more serious side, “Seizing tomorrow’s global market opportunities,” was a rich discussion with today’s most pressing issues framing the conversation. These included: technology’s ubiquity and acceleration, the role of government, platform business models, and cybersecurity.


Doug Haynes, President of Point72, argued that the skills required today extend beyond a higher education, while at the same time, the workforce has become “binary in nature” as technology is fracturing traditional corporate structures. For example, innovative business models create a beacon that attracts talent organically from all over the world.  Companies like Quantopian and Wisdio leave hierarchy behind, and hire based on insight, experience and merit.


The students asked tough questions such as how can corporations best reach the billions of new internet users previously unable to access technology? And, what can MBAs entering the workforce expect?  Panelist Shelly Lazarus, former CEO of Ogilvy, was optimistic about the future, “there will always be the need for human talent, leadership, and insight.”  Sam Palmisano, founder of the CGE, and former CEO of IBM, surprised the audience when he said, “you can learn as much from your colleagues as you will in the classroom.”


Growing Global events are part of the CGE’s “Re-Think” series. “Re-Think” is a series of publications dedicated to advancing the conversation of business management best practices in light of changing business models and disruptive technologies.  A very special thank you to the Richman Center and Columbia Business School for co-hosting “Seizing Tomorrow’s Global Market Opportunities.”  To watch a recording of the full event, click here.

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