Northwestern University
Dean Blount's Blog
  While in São Paulo, I had the chance to meet with 80-plus Kellogg alumni based in the region.
  While in São Paulo, I had the chance to meet with 80-plus Kellogg alumni based in the region.

BRIC and Beyond
August 23, 2011

I was in São Paulo, Brazil this past week. While there, I had the chance to meet with 80-plus Kellogg alumni based in the region. I also participated in a meeting of the International Advisory Board for Fundação Dom Cabral, a long-time Kellogg partner in Executive Education. 

Does BRIC exist?

The advisory board meeting featured prominent speakers who commented on Brazil, Russia, India and China. We heard from ambassadors of these countries and leading international business leaders, including N. R. Narayan Murthy of Infosys.

We talked about the unique strengths and challenges of the world’s largest developing economies and debated whether BRIC, as an entity, actually exists. Most agreed that the term is less important literally versus symbolically. It signifies the broadening of the global power base, from a small handful of developed countries to a broader multi-lateral base. A recent Fortune article featuring the insights of Ben Jones, associate professor of management and strategy at Kellogg, focuses on this very topic. 

Embracing multilateralism

As a U.S.-based school committed to the study of business wherever it occurs, Kellogg must align itself with the flow of global commerce. To stay relevant to our students, alumni and corporate partners, we must mirror the world in which we live.  

Toward that end, in the late 1990s, we were the first to develop a network of global partners for delivering our Executive MBA Program. We were also a founding partner of the Indian School of Business, and have strong ties to business schools in China, Brazil and Thailand. More recently in 2006, we opened our own Miami campus to build a truer connection to Latin American executives.

But being global over the next 10 and 20 years will require a fundamental shift in our identity. It will mean growing from a school rooted in Chicago with multiple bilateral international partnerships to a school rooted in multiple global cities that ground, complement and catalyze a world-spanning network. Over the last two decades, we’ve seen this shift occur in all types of professional service firms. In fact, I know of several firms that no longer claim to have a world headquarters office—the message being that all offices matter if one is of a truly “global” mind.

To fulfill our mission, Kellogg must redefine ourselves globally. We will do this by building deep local ties in multiple cities around the world — so that we can educate and equip leaders who are both locally grounded and globally attuned. That’s the Kellogg way. This is a significant focus for our faculty this summer as we work on our five-year strategic plan.

I welcome your comments, feedback and ideas at

RSS Feed
| More



blog comments powered by Disqus


© Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
All Rights Reserved.
  Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-2800