Host and Moderator: Dr. Alexander Assouad, Assistant Professor of International Business and Strategy, Massey College of Business, Belmont University
Panelists: Victoria Hirschberg, Director of Business Development, Tennessee Economic and Community Development; Amr el-Husseini, CEO, Lodestone Advisory Group; Stan Westjohn, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Culverhouse College of Commerce, University of Alabama;
Building Workforce and Knowledge for the Global Economy provided an overview of the needs for a globally-knowledgeable workforce for Tennessee’s economic future and outlined the critical importance of research on international markets, finance, strategy, and regional conditions for Tennessee businesses expanding their markets outside the US. The program also introduced an international economic conference that brings 200 university economists from over 60 countries to Nashville on November 1-3. This year, the conference will coincide with the 2018 Global Action Summit and feature a combined keynote event with Fareed Zakaria (CNN), Summit host and moderator.
The showcase is part of the ongoing programs facilitated by Global Action Platform to build greater connections among the university, investment, and business sectors of the region in order to build an innovation economy with global markets for Middle Tennessee.
Representing the public sector, Victoria Hirschberg reported on state activities in international business development and foreign direct investment activities, both to recruit international business and investment to Tennessee, and to increase international market participation for Tennessee companies. Ms. Hirschberg presented the state’s goals and activities, achievements, education/workforce expectations for international business, and emphasized the importance of university research as a resource for Tennessee businesses looking to expand into international markets. Ms. Hirschberg also provided examples to illustrate how public/private/academic collaboration can impact increasing international business.
Dr. Stan Westjohn, who also currently serves as Chairman for the Association of International Business Schools and Entrepreneurship (AIBSE), provided an overview of the academic community's roles and contributions to the development of international business opportunities and workforce. Dr. Westjohn highlighted the value and applications of research as a tool for international business, as well as illustrating an example of a truly innovative experiential learning challenge aimed at creating international business workforce ready students. This year, AIBSE, Belmont and Nashville will host one of the most important outcomes of that research at the AIBSE annual conference, which will be hosted at Belmont University, and aligned with the 2018 Global Action Summit.
Mr. Amr El Husseini, CEO, Lodestone Advisory Group provided insights and thoughts from the perspective of investors and businesses. Mr. el-Husseini noted especially how engaging stakeholders from across the three sectors--university/investor/business-- is a critical innovation ecosystem asset that should be utilized and continuously incubated.