01 Mar 2005

Dean’s Conference Call Spotlights HBS Global Initiative


The School’s six-year-old Global Initiative, with research centers on four continents, will play an increasingly important role aiding faculty in “creating new intellectual capital that spans the world in scope and impact,” Dean Kim B. Clark told HBS alumni who dialed into his January 11 conference call.

Clark used the session to highlight the Global Initiative’s current activities and answer questions from alumni callers, who were able to follow his opening remarks via a Web-based slide presentation. Approximately 7,000 alumni, mostly volunteers, received an e-mail invitation to participate.

The HBS research center in Mumbai, India, scheduled to open later this year, will be the newest addition to the School’s network of research centers and offices in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and California. (Clark visited Mumbai and the Japan Research Office in Tokyo in December. ) The research centers provide an opportunity for faculty to deepen their knowledge and expertise in global issues, while bringing them into contact with important leaders and companies. Since it opened as the first overseas site in 1999, for example, the Asia-Pacific Research Center has facilitated contacts with over 400 businesses. By providing faculty such access, “the centers help reduce the barriers of distance, cost, and time in pursuing research and course development projects,” said Clark.

Asked why HBS opted to open stand-alone research centers rather than partner with foreign universities, Clark explained that independent centers allow the School flexibility to build relationships with a wide range of institutions.

Questioned about the relevance of global research for HBS students who want to start and run small companies, Clark stressed both the growing importance of a global perspective for all enterprises and the growth of entrepreneurial activities around the world. “As students come to the School from a wider range of countries,” he noted, “we want to ensure our curriculum reflects the realities they’ll face as they embark upon their careers.”


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