On February 4, the Center for Global Business (CGB) welcomed special guest speaker, Erik Peterson to campus to discuss “On Thin Ice,” A.T. Kearney’s newest report about the global economic outlook over the next five years. Peterson is a partner and managing director of the Global Business Policy Council at A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm. Kislaya Prasad, academic director of the center joined Peterson to address the main themes of the report and what it means for U.S. business and the global economy. The event drew nearly 80 undergraduate and MBA students. It was part of CGB’s Distinguished Speakers Series in International Business, a series of thought leadership events that present the latest trends in international business and provokes conversation among undergraduate and graduate students, policy experts, and business executives alike.
Prasad started the discussion with a look at the macro-economic outlook. Based on the research his team conducted, Peterson predicted that the economy would continue to grow but at a modest rate. The incredible era of technological innovation that we live in offers promising opportunities to gain efficiency and boost growth with rapid progress in artificial intelligence, deployment of 3D printing, and high-speed 5G networks. However, despite these rapid technological changes, the profound backlash against globalization continues to threaten global economic growth.
Peterson and Prasad also covered a number of other themes in the conversation. They discussed world regions, and Peterson identified Asia as hosting the fastest growing economy in the world (India) and leading regional integration. Other themes they addressed were the decline of traditional multilateral institutions, such as the World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund, their slow response to the changing realities, and how global policy agreements have become less desirable which challenges how well companies can adapt to them.
Peterson closed by saying, “There is definitely a great uncertainty in the world today, but it does not necessarily mean great pessimism. Given the complexity in the political and economic environment with a drastic shift in technology, this generation (of students) can make a great impact with innovative ideas and approaches.”
To learn more about the report, “On Thin Ice,” please visit go.umd.edu/OnThinIce.
Watch the video on the Smith School's YouTube channel.
The DSS is supported in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
Please join us at our next DSS on March 27 as CGB welcomes Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary, Kelly Schulz.
— By full-time MBA student Ha Le, class of 2020