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CASE Center Conference series focuses on strategies for connecting in ‘flat world’
CASE Center Conference series focuses on strategies for connecting in ‘flat world’ February 24, 2006Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
The CASE Center at Syracuse University is holding a series of conferences throughout March and April at the Sheraton Syracuse Hotel & Conference Center based on the concepts presented in Thomas L. Friedman’s best-selling book “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century”(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005).
The conferences, scheduled for late afternoon, will each begin with a keynote address on a key concept presented in Friedman’s book. The conferences can be attended as stand-alone sessions or as a series offering a cohesive global perspective of opportunities for Central New York businesses and individuals.
In his book, Friedman describes how the global playing field has been leveled by leaps in information technology and the Internet. The world is now connected and intertwined in ways never previously imagined. Today’s knowledge-based economies are shaped by flows of talent, ideas and innovation across physical and political boundaries. Businesses from India to Albany, Singapore to Syracuse are no longer limited by size or location. Capitalizing on what Friedman calls the “10 flatteners” provides real local economic advantage. The conference sessions are geared toward regional businesses and educators seeking opportunities in a flat world. By creating an environment for exchanging ideas, it is hoped that the sessions will foster greater collaboration between New York state’s businesses, academia and a flat world marketplace for commerce, ideas and innovation.
Session One, “The Untouchables,” will take place March 8 and feature keynote speaker Subroto Bagchi, COO of Mindtree Consulting Pvt. Ltd. The focus of this session is how “untouchable” workers in the flat world must either be special, specialized, anchored by customer interaction or location, or highly adaptable and able to constantly learn. To be an untouchable in the flat world is a good thing, as it means that you are growing, prospering and taking advantage of the new global dynamics.
Session Two, “Global Collaboration: U.S. Challenges,” will be March 22 and feature Robert D. Atkinson of the Progressive Policy Institute. He will discuss elements of Friedman’s “tripleconvergence.” The first convergence relates to the maturing of the technology infrastructure, enabling multiple forms of collaboration in real time without regard to geography or even language. The second convergence can be described as optimizing business processes and integrating technology with entrepreneurial vision (e.g., “just in time” supply-chain management). The third convergence can be seen in the new global workforce and the development of new processes and habits for horizontal collaboration. In addition to the triple convergence, Atkinson will discuss geopolitical components of a flattened world, such as why the middle class is a key to stability and forces driving the anti-globalization movement.
Session Three, “Making the Right Supply Chain Decisions,” will be April 5 and feature Christian F. Callieri of AT Kearney. Callieri will speak about the opportunities of global supply chains for U.S. businesses and employees and will discuss how even experienced companies using global supply chains are discovering they may be missing key elements of the economic analysis.
The final session, “Growing in a Flat World,” will be April 19 and feature Malcolm Frank, senior vice president of marketing and strategy for Cognizant Technologies Solutions. Frank will focus on the identification of a company’s core competencies and unique value propositions in a flat world. He will offer several examples of companies that have pursued successful globalization strategies.
Each session will also be geared toward collaboration and interaction; each speaker will be followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer opportunity featuring regional business leaders. A final portion of each event will be set within a networking framework, allowing attendees to interact with the keynote speaker, panel members and each other.
Registration can be done online at http://www.case.syr.edu or by phone at 461-0068. Each session has an admission price of $40 per person, with a student rate of $10 per person.
The Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO), Metropolitan Development Agency (MDA) and Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) are associated with the conferences as contributing partners. Syracuse.com and the Business Journal are media partners for the conference.
The mission of the CASE Center is to be a key contributor to the high-technology economy of New York state, by providing access to the resources of Syracuse University and collaborating with New York state businesses and economic development organizations. The CASE Center is a New York State Center of Advanced Technology supported by the New York State Office of Science, Technology & Academic Research (NYSTAR). CASE operates a high-technology incubator, manages joint university-industry applied research projects and provides workforce development educational opportunities within a broad information technology focus area.