The World is Flat #4: How Generation Y is Going Global
Thomas Friedman’s bookThe World Is Flat showed us how our businesses are becoming global. The top 10 factors leading to globalization Friedman’s book, as well as an entrepreneur “going global” profile were included in our first post of this series. This final post continues our look at “going global.” Bill Clinton calls this evolving trend “interdependence” and cited several recent examples during his talk at the 2009 World Business Forum. Find highlights of his speech here. But, is Generation Y grasping these concepts? Leading business strategist Gary Hamel comments here on the new world-view of Generation Y. Will it carry over into global citizenry? The future of our nation, and the world, depends on it. Below, we feature a young leader and seeing the world of big international business through her eyes.
The International Insights Panel at the World Business Forum
By Amber Hunnicutt
This month, I went on my first-ever business trip. My boss presented me with the amazing opportunity to attend the World Business Forum. I, of course, took her up on her offer and early this morning I headed to New York City for the big event. Today was the second day of the forum. Due to my class schedule, I was not able to make it to any of the first day’s events. My boss, however, was in attendance and blogged from the forum on the Hot Mommas insider’s blog.
The first segment of today’s forum was the International Insights Panel. During this time, many renowned leaders in international business gave their perspectives on economic and other business issues. They discussed how their industries have been impacted by the events of the past few years and gave global solutions for issues such as the financial crisis and climate change. To be honest, I felt a little distanced when I first arrived at the conference; I knew that the vast majority of those around me were extremely educated, professional, and experienced in their fields. As a college sophomore, I have limited experience with business. However, the speakers on the International Insights Panels included many anecdotes that I could relate to, and I ended up taking away a lot from their speeches. The following speakers are those who I personally learned the most from.
Francisco Gonzalez, Chairman and C.E.O. of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), was one of my favorite speakers on the panel. BBVA is the second largest bank in Spain and the seventh largest in the world. Gonzalez shared many business strategies for challenging economic times. He offered BBVA’s solution, which focuses on three pillars – principles, people, and innovation. His company strives to know its customers and serve them well, invest in technology and provide the best services with the lowest average cost, and take advantage of any new opportunities that arise that will allow BBVA to better itself. I took these as great general strategies for running a successful businesss.
Peter Voser, the C.E.O. of Dutch Shell, was another speaker who I particularly enjoyed. Voser focused on energy solutions and discussed the strategies that Shell has employed during tough economic times. I found Voser fascinating, as I am very interested in climate change and business leaders’ perspectives on the environment. I will be working full-time in business in a few years and I hope to be committed to personal and professional accountability. Voser mentioned a convention that will occur in Copenhagen this December – the COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The goal of this convention is to bring governments and organizations from around the world together to discuss possible resolutions to the effects of global warming. There is a lot of interesting information on the conference at the COP15 website, located at http://en.cop15.dk/.
The final speaker on the panel was Roger Agnelli, the President and C.E.O. of Vale. Vale is the second-largest mining company in the world. Agnelli has been called “the best strategist in Brazil” and worked in investment baking before he became involved with the mining industry. He noted that the primary difference in the banking and mining industries is time; investment banking moves quickly, while the mining industry seems very heavy or slow. Agnelli was very optimistic about the future of the mining industry and his company. Overall, he was animated and a very interesting speaker.
All of the speakers in the International Insights Panel gave compelling perspectives on global business and the economy. As a current GW Business School student, I feel very privileged to here among so many influential leaders in business.
Post by Amber Hunnicutt, GW student and Hot Mommas Project intern. You can follow her on Twitter at @HotMommasIntern and our project at @HotMommasProj. See Amber’s other post from the conference here.
1. List Amber’s top three to five takeaways from the conference.
2. What would be one or two actions she could take to delve deeper into her areas of interest? Lead a discussion sharing these action items.
3. Find an example of a company doing a good job communicating its values and vision to the younger generation. Do you believe this is important for companies to do? Why or why not?
Entry filed under: Young Entrepreneur, Teachers, Business exercises. Tags: amber hunnicutt, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentari, BBVA, Bill Clinton, Dutch Shell COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference Roger Agnelli, Facebook Generation, Francisco Gonzalez, Gary Hamel, Peter Voser, Vale, world business forum.