The Interstate so far

So I'm here in Brussels for the Interstate Programme. Its been quite a good 4 days and we have only the afternoon session left after which I travel back to London.

One of the special things about the Interstate is that it introduces a political perspective to MBAs. This time in Brussels, besides me from Cass, we have participants from Wharton, IE, Tuck, UCLA, Leeds, ESSEC and HEC.

A point was made the first day and that in my opinion reflects an interesting characteristic of today's MBAs, which is that while in most world class MBA programmes, we study finance, economics, strategy, consulting and softer subjects like HRM and organizational beaviour, there is little focus on the current and future geopolitical balance (or imbalance) in the world.

Now the Interstate is focused on the relationship European Union has with the Unitred States. However, that dialogue cannot exist without taking in the realities of the growing influence of the emerging economies (BRICS), Russia's specific influence and recent tactics in Ukraine and Georgia, China's increasing influence in Africa and its global ambition. At the same time, the EU is caught in an internal struggle, where it is falling behind its self-imposed targets (the Lisbon Agenda for instance) and where there is continued debate about its future role in the world.

It has been an interesting debate and certainly quite stimulating as opinions of MBAs from all over the world (we are about 40 of us here) interact with those of senior figures in the EU, NATO, the US administration and publications such as the WSJ and the FT.

I'm certainly going to post some of my opinion up here later, when I have more time and am not paying 12 euros an hour for internet access(!).

But yes, if any of you are planning, or are currently pursuing an MBA, then do have a look at the Interstate programme - its one of a kind and has certainly been one of the highlights of my MBA year so far.