What if we took a group of high performing managers from Canadian paper mills and placed them in the Hawassa Industrial Park in Ethiopia. Would they succeed? Regardless of whether you answered yes, no, or maybe, your responses to questions like this one can reveal a lot about the work we’re doing at the Global Business School Network (GBSN). Since we were created by the World Bank 17 years ago, our vision has been for the developing world to have the management talent it needs to generate prosperity. We want to achieve that vision by “improving access to quality, locally relevant management and entrepreneurship education for the developing world.” As my experience grows with GBSN, so does my respect for the local relevance part of our mission. Here are three ways that we are prioritizing local relevance in our work.
The debate on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is characterized by hyperbole and hysteria. The hyperbole is due to two effects: first, the promotion of AI by self-interested investors. It can be termed the “Google-effect,” after its CEO Sundar Pichai, who declared AI to be “probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on.” He would say that. Second, the promotion of AI by tech-evangelists as a solution to humanity’s fundamental problems, even death. It can be termed the “Singularity-effect,” after Ray Kurzweil, who believes AI will cause a “Singularity” by 2045.