Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

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IPSG 9530

Business and Global Issues

Whether in business, government, or NGOs, leadership requires honing the ability to make strategic decisions in a complex, dynamic and high-risk global context -- and often in high-pressure, short-deadline work environments. This Workshop will provide students a rich and realistic opportunity to work in just such an environment.

The Workshop will provide participants with a wealth of complicated material in a variety of formats related to our case: Goldcorp’s highly conflicted Marlin gold mine in Guatemala. Students will be familiar with the case materials prior to the first meeting of the Workshop; the initial class will, through a series of group exercises, provide a platform for addressing issues of economic development, environmental risk, human rights, government policy, global business norms, chronic violence, and international trade and investment rules. How those dimensions are prioritized, conceptualized and understood will largely be student-driven, with the instructors playing a supportive role. Students will then be encouraged to explore, adapt and apply “solution” methodologies, which could include cost-benefit, risk assessment, and risk-performance analyses, scenario creation, deliberative stakeholder engagement, and supply chain reconfiguration.

Students will work in groups to combine issue knowledge and problem-solving methods to define and evaluate strategic options for different players—the company, the government, and the local communities and their NGO allies. This group work will largely be carried out in the lapse between the two class meetings; students will draw upon the expertise of GSIPM faculty (and possibly others) as needed. The second class meeting will end with a series of group presentations of their proposed solutions to the case problem, and a comparative assessment of the proposals by students and faculty.

The Workshop pilots an innovative “raw” case-study pedagogical approach to understand urgent global issues and build competencies to frame and address them. Our hope is to incorporate the lessons of this workshop to scale this approach up to a regular 2-credit course in the Fall, 2014 semester.

International Policy Studies
International Policy Studies
Intl Policy & Management
Requirements Fulfilled: