• About CEIBS

    Sign up, follow us and join the conversation on CEIBS Social Media!

    Social Media
  • About CEIBS

    China Depth, Global Breadth

    CEIBS Beijing
  • About CEIBS

    Unmatched China knowledge, proven global expertise

    CEIBS Shanghai
Monday, February 13, 2017

CEIBS 1st Asian B-School to Attend World Government Summit

February 13, 2017. Dubai – A delegation of CEIBS faculty and MBA students has joined SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, and over 100 other business and government leaders from around the world at the World Government Summit in Dubai. CEIBS is the first business school from Asia to join this prestigious three-day event, which concluded today. This year’s theme was “Future of Governments”. CEIBS Associate Dean and Global Executive MBA Programme Director Prof. Nikos Tsikriktsis and Assistant Professor of Management Sebastian Schuh as well as 20 CEIBS MBA students attended.

The World Government Summit was created five years ago to bring together world leaders to discuss global challenges and solutions. Past attendees have included former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and US President Barack Obama. Last year the organizers felt it lacked a youthful spirit so to remedy this, the Summit board included student leaders from four top global business schools: MIT, Wharton, Harvard, and IESE. This year, they decided to expand the number of B-Schools to 12. Six months ago, CEIBS MBA 2017 Leela Greenberg received an email out of the blue from the Office of the Prime Minister of Dubai asking if she would be interested in being a liaison to the World Government Summit.  “Sometimes, if something seems too good to be true, it actually may be,” says Leela who, having been approached based on her ‘profile’, was skeptical of its provenance and almost sent the invitation to her junk mail folder. Fortunately, curiosity got the better of her, and following further research and communication with the Prime Minister’s office, full sponsorship was provided for the the CEIBS delegation to attend the event.  “An increasing number of organisations such as the World Government Summit are recognising that as the axis of business rotates East, CEIBS serves as a beacon of change and a bridge between two worlds,” Leela says.

Leela was joined in Dubai for this prestigious global event by her fellow MBA 2017 classmates Stephanie Lu, Michael Tang, Red Wang, Madeleine Yu, Richard Zhen, Matt Xiao, Tim Peng, Arpit Mishra, Niklaus Peter Mueller, Sarah Michele Northrop, and John Hong, as well as MBA Class of 2018 students Chris Pang, Coco Zhou, Muzi Peng, Summer Xia, Matt Xiao, Ernesto Chien, Rene Reijnst and Richard Higgs.

Read on for some highlights of the summit gathered by MBA 2017 Sarah Michelle Northrop and MBA 2018 Rene Reijnst.

Antonio Guterres Believes In Re-building Trust

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres shared his thoughts on globalization. He suggested that multi-level diplomacy and reforms within the UN were needed in order to restore trust between people, countries and institutions which has eroded in recent years over some of the challenges posed by globalization.

Christine Lagarde believes in Resilience, Education, Happiness, and Swimming

In the face of nationalism and protectionism, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Head Christine Lagarde believes that world governments should anticipate a strengthening dollar and prepare for it by reducing deficits, diversifying assets and investments, maintaining conservative leverage, and assuring strong financial regulation. Strong and resilient financial institutions are the key to sustainable and even economic growth worldwide, she said.

Ms. Lagarde believes that globalization is here to stay, and that governments must develop new measures of success. She suggested one would be to measure happiness, as Dubai does. When happiness measures are low, it’s an indicator that the social downsides of globalization may be outweighing the economic upsides, and governments can respond accordingly.

Ms. Lagarde’s final words of advice were for those of us who travel internationally in economy class; her solution to jetlag – a good swim in the sea. It’s something we can all agree on, so in addition to building resilient economies and educated and happy citizens, let’s not forget to protect and enjoy nature.

The Challenges of Globalism

The founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Prof. Klaus Schwab gave a presentation on the challenges of globalism and Industry 4.0 which will bring more automation to manufacturing. Prof. Schwab said that  Western and Eastern views of the world need to be harmonized by finding common values, such as respecting human dignity and diversity, serving the community as much as yourself, and always acting as a steward for yourself and your children.

How Advanced Science is Shaping the Future of Governments

Professor and Director at Columbia University Dr. Brian Greene argued that major economic growth comes from technological breakthroughs. These breakthroughs come, in turn, from discoveries made in fundamental science. Developments in fundamental science often are made without any clear return-on-investment they arise from humanity’s intrinsic interest in understanding the universe. Dr. Greene said that governments must support a culture of fundamental scientific research in order to obtain long-term sustainable economic growth. It is the government’s task to promote science, and to make it cool again for children to pursue a science career. Scientific discoveries should receive more public acclaim so that people appreciate their resulting economic advances.

Leadership Wisdom from the Monk Who Sold his Ferrari

The founder of Sharma Leadership International (SLI) and international bestselling author Robin Sharma gave an inspiring presentation on leadership.  He defined it as the behaviours one does when no one else is watching, and he said that the act of leading is to execute and get things done, which leaders need to practice continuously.  He said that when you die, the only questions that matter are: Who did you become? Have you been more honorable, had more dignity, authenticity and integrity at the end of your life than the start? Have you created value? How many people did you help? How many lives have you touched?


James Kent
Janine M. Coughlin