News at Smith

Students Learn Global Business Predictions from A.T. Kearney’s Erik Peterson

Mar 01, 2018
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


Erik R. Peterson, partner and managing director of the Global Business Policy Council at A.T. Kearney, spoke to more than 100 students at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business on Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018. He shared an update on A.T. Kearney’s Year-Ahead Predictions 2018 report, which details significant global events and trends that will gain momentum in the upcoming year and have a significant impact on the business world. The discussion, moderated by Academic Director of the Center for Global Business and Research Professor Kislaya Prasad, focused on political, technological and regulatory predictions.

Generally, Peterson shared that he is optimistic about the year ahead, citing wider economic growth and social movements pointing in a positive direction. He spoke about technological advances in 2018 that businesses should pay attention to, including quantum computing, facial recognition technology, and an increased demand for electric vehicles. A.T. Kearney expects that facial recognition technology will replace fingerprinting and more traditional ways of identification.

He discussed political trends and that Brexit negotiations will be a “ragged process,” citing difficulties between the United Kingdom and the European Union, but also due to the frail state of politics and lack of cohesion in the United Kingdom. During a question and answer session with the audience, Peterson fielded questions regarding healthcare, tax cuts, cryptocurrencies and more. Regarding the year ahead, Peterson shared concerns about the volatility of bitcoin markets. “It will take time to refine and legitimize the framework,” shared Peterson.

“It is critical for students at the Smith School to understand global trends and how these trends can impact business,” said Rebecca Bellinger, managing director of the Center for Global Business. “The ability for our students to speak directly to Erik Peterson showcases the Smith School’s connectedness to key leaders in business and policy in Maryland and Washington, D.C.”

Peterson spoke as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series hosted by the Center for Global Business at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. To learn more about the monthly series, please visit

This event was funded in part by CIBER, a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

- Elizabeth Burzenski, Center for Global Business

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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