An Ideas-Based Online Magazine of the Global Network for Advanced Management

Future of Globalization: Entrepreneurship and Innovation

To coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Global Network for Advanced Management in April 2017, Global Network Perspectives asked faculty across the 29 schools in the network: "What do you think the future of globalization looks like? How will this affect the economy in your country or region? How is your school preparing students for this world?" Read all of the responses. Also, in a session at the anniversary symposium, a panel of experts—including former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry—led a discussion of the future of globalization and its implications for business and management education. Watch the video.

In the 1990s, globalization was driven by market liberalization. Today, as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the driving force is technology.

This force brings with it fundamental changes and will even reshape the concept of globalization itself. In this new era, the only constant is change—the way we live and work, our business models, and the way we are governed will all be affected, even disrupted. It presents huge challenges and uncertainties, but also immense opportunities.

While trade and direct investment may become less prominent, the international flow of ideas and capabilities to meet people’s and businesses’ needs will continue and even accelerate. This shift reflects changes in the forms of cooperation across locations and firms, the consequence of rapid innovations in fields such as information and communication technologies, new material science, fintech and the like. 

Singapore is already at the forefront of the First World, but must move rapidly to adjust to this new economic reality. Over the past half century, Singapore’s government transformed a little red dot on the map into a leading global economy based on adopting and adapting good ideas from the rest of the world. That model has run its course. The next chapter of Singapore’s development involves harnessing and empowering entrepreneurial creativity to create our own future.

A recent government report, compiled by a panel of ministers and industry representatives, set out a vision of Singapore’s place in the future economy. It sets out the state’s role as being to expand market connectivity, investing in national capabilities, and enabling the scale and scope of their applications and collaborations with other economies. Most important, the state encourages its people to be the pioneers of their generation, to commit themselves to continuous learning to prepare for the unknowns. 

Entrepreneurship and innovation will be key; indeed, in my opinion, it is the ticket for Singapore and Asia’s sustainable growth.

At NUS Business School, we work hard to prepare our students for their place in the future economy. With rapidly changing work environments, our curriculum is evolving as well. We balance a rigorous academic program—which equips our students with technical knowledge and develops their judgement and business skills—with immersive real-world experiences through exchange programs, entrepreneurial development, internships, and management practicums.

As educators, our focus is on building future-ready business graduates with wide radar screens, rigorous causal thinking, the ability to connect the dots, and the communication and leadership skills to make things happen because they care about making a positive contribution to society.