This course takes an applied approach to understanding some of the key economic, political and social trends shaping the increasingly complex global business environment. Its goal is to examine how concepts drawn from a wide range of areas—including economics, business, government and society, sustainability, governance, and supply chains—can fit together and affect one another in a practical context. Using case studies, real world examples and guest speakers, the course will touch on issues such as economic growth, inflation, and exchange rates, the implications of inequality and political uncertainty, the challenges and trade-offs of implementing the SDGs and net zero targets, and how companies have navigated opportunities and risks in shifting markets.
Students from all academic backgrounds are welcome. The course will create opportunities for students to review (or learn) several key concepts in economics and politics, while students who already have a strong grasp of these concepts are likely to see new applications for them. The course will focus heavily on examples from Africa and other emerging markets, though the discussions, concepts and insights covered are directly applicable to countries around the world—and are particularly relevant for managers working in global contexts.