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The Global Business School Network and INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute Host Leaders in Business Ed

Thursday, April 17, 2014   (0 Comments)
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April 17, 2014

The Global Business School Network (GBSN) and INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute (EMI) held a summit in Singapore to explore the potential for technology to transform management education for emerging markets.

SINGAPORE - On April 6, 2014 over 50 leaders in business education and industry gathered at INSEAD’s Asia campus to participate in a summit on “Tapping the Potential for Technology to Transform Management Education for Emerging Markets.” Delegates explored how technology is enabling new business models that expand the management education market and how it is changing the way that people learn in emerging markets.  The summit was sponsored by Online Educa, an international conference on online education, and Gidi Mobile, Nigeria’s leading mobile education platform.  

“Over the past few years we have seen revolutionary changes in access to education for the developing world thanks to technology,” said Guy Pfeffermann, founder and CEO of GBSN. “Online learning tools, and especially mobile, can provide unheard of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders in these markets. As an organization committed to expanding access to quality, locally relevant management education for the developing world, GBSN was pleased to partner with INSEAD’s new Emerging Markets Institute to address the ways that technology will shape the future of management education.”

“Technology has had a two-fold effect on management education, “ according to Vinika Devasar Rao, Executive Director of INSEAD’s Emerging Markets Institute. “First, it has provided access to education to a whole new audience, especially in emerging markets which have a large percentage of economically disadvantaged populations. Second, it has improved the learning experience of current students, with the use of new tools and digital enhancements. It is an exciting new realm of possibilities, and INSEAD is at the forefront of using technology to improve the learning experience both within and outside the traditional classroom.” 

The summit featured panel discussions with leading innovators in business education from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe sharing their experiences with using technologies such as telepresence, social media, online lectures, webinars, and MOOCs to enhance the quality and reach of educational programs.  “The world has been teacher-centric,” said panel moderator Christopher Chia, Professor of Transformation at the National University of Singapore.  “With technology we have the opportunity to create a co-learning-centric model.”

Three major themes echoed throughout the delegates’ discussion at the summit. The first is that learning is about engagement, networking and interpersonal interaction, not just viewing lectures and responding to multiple-choice quizzes. Delegates discussed how the use of technology in education needs to reflect the complex ways that people learn. 

Second was that the institutional inertia of educational institutions can be a major barrier to adoption of new ways of teaching, including questions about how to train, compensate and value faculty.  However, that inertia must be overcome because, as Mark Fenton-O’Creevy of The Open University noted, “in the corporate world, it’s the new normal. For them it is not about if they use online education and tools, but how to capture the benefits and minimize the challenges, such as retaining local context.”

The third theme that emerged was an interest in the use of mobile technology to scale management education for developing country markets.  Adetunji Adegbesan, founder of summit sponsor Gidimo, said: “Mobile can't replace 100% of the business school experience, but we can only provide that to 500 people.  What if we could get 40% of that experience to 100 million people?”

Summit speakers included:

  • Adetunji Adegbesan, Founder, Gidi Mobile Ltd., (Nigeria)
  • Walter Baets, Director, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business (South Africa)
  • Christopher Chia, Professor of Transformation, National University of Singapore Institute of System Science Management Board (Singapore)
  • Soumitra Dutta, Dean Samuel Curtis Johnson School of Business, Cornell University (USA)
  • Mark Fenton-O'Creevy, The Open University Business School (United Kingdom)
  • Tomas Hult, Director, International Business Center, Michigan State University (USA)
  • Robert Kennedy, Dean, Ivey Business School (Canada)
  • Rajen Makhijani, Associate Partner, Dalberg (Singapore)
  • Guy Pfeffermann, CEO and Founder Global Business School Network (USA)
  • Vinika Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute (Singapore)
  • Sandeep Sander, Consultant, SanderMan Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)
  • Karen Uffinidell, Asia-Pacific Regional Leader, EY (Hong Kong)
  • Balagopal Vissa, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, INSEAD (Singapore)

About GBSN

For over a decade the Global Business School Network has worked to address the crippling waste of talent and resources in the developing world caused by a severe shortage of people with business and management skills.  Harnessing the power of an international network of over 60 leading business schools, GBSN facilitates cross-border networking, knowledge sharing and collaboration that strengthen management education for developing countries. For more information please visit

About INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute

The INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute (EMI) aims to create a world class think tank focused on these highly dynamic economies. It is developing cutting edge pedagogical material, research publications and data sets related to these markets. It invites academicians, corporate and government leaders from all over the world to collaborate with INSEAD’s vibrant research community for the creation, dissemination and certification of knowledge on the emerging economies. For more information, please visit  


Contact: Page Buchanan, GBSN, +1.202.628.9040,
Contact: Aileen Huang, INSEAD, +65.6799.5552,

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