I spent the past few days at Duke University, on a task force focused on Health System Competencies and Curricula supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. TheFuqua School of Business
, a very active member of GBSN, and Duke’s Global Health Institute co-hosted the meetings.
The Duke Global Health Club, a student organization, ran a fascinating discussion of health systems challenges in Brazil, China, India and South Africa. In front of me sat a student who had served in the Peace Corps, working with an HIV/AIDS NGO. Others had done field projects in rural areas of emerging markets countries. I was struck once again by the extraordinary motivation of many students.
Students, are a powerful driving force that pushes universities toward greater focus on some of the world’s most challenging global development problems. Students from emerging markets contribute powerfully to the growing international interest.
Students also push universities to break down traditional silos. Attacking global problems requires inter-disciplinary approaches. Duke is leading the way in that regard: its President set up structures that facilitate collaboration among different schools –business, medical, divinity, and so forth, engage in common projects. Duke’s Global Health Institute is such an interdisciplinary body, now being emulated by a number of other universities.
Many of today’s business students no longer want to run the world, but to save it.
Guy Pfeffermann is the founder and the CEO of the Global Business Network.