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UBC Sauder’s Murali Chandrashekaran is joining faculty from five Global Network of Advanced Management (GNAM) schools to host a new Global Network Week that brings together MBA students from across the globe to tackle problems of urbanization.

The week, titled “Customized Resilience and the New Urban Agenda: Contexts, Cultures, and Collaborative Structures,” will be held this October in Quito, Ecuador. It will be offered in conjunction with the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, and hosted alongside the United Nations Habitat III Conference that occurs every 20 years to address urbanization issues.

Quito, EcuadorQuito, Ecuador

Complex problems require mobilizing knowledge and talent from a variety of disciplines across networks to design solutions that will have a lasting impact,” says Chandrashekaran, Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Partnerships and Global initiatives at the UBC Sauder School of Business. “This opportunity will allow students to meet with some of the world’s leading minds, work alongside them, and learn how they’re approaching and solving issues in their own countries and cultural contexts.”

Chandrashekaran is set to co-lead the Quito project with faculty from the Haas School of Business, Yale School of Management, INCAE Business School, and FGV in Brazil.

“I’ve been communicating with the chief resiliency officer of Quito, and they’re really keen on welcoming us there,” says Chandrashekaran. “If you’re the type of student that likes to work on issues that will have a lasting and meaningful impact, then this is well-suited for you.”

GNAM Murali Quote

The week takes a multidisciplinary approach in exploring complex issues that growing cities like Quito face, drawing on Global Network faculty expertise in business, architecture, urban design, and forestry. The aim, Chandrashekaran says, is to expose students to issues in Quito and then pair them with local officials and international experts to design solutions. At the end, students will present their findings to Quito city officials for review.

“It’s a weeklong hack-a-thon approach to looking at the issues facing resiliency officers, including climate change and urbanization,” Chandrashekaran says.

Chandrashekaran, who taught the Global Network Course “Urban Resilience: Complexity, Collaborative Structures, and Leadership Challenges” in the first half of 2016, says that the Global Network Week in Quito is an extension of the themes taught in the course, but the course is not a prerequisite. Students will be assigned to teams with specific areas of focus, and will view relevant portions of the course to prepare them for their work during the week.

UBC Sauder hosted its first Global Network Week last year after joining the Global Network for Advanced Management, a partnership between top business schools, in 2013.

UBC Sauder is the only Canadian member of the Global Network of Advanced Management, an international partnership spearheaded by the Yale School of Management. MBA students are able to have access to learning opportunities with business schools around the world, through joint teaching, online classes, and exchange programs. Students participate in Global Network Courses (for-credit virtual classes), Global Network Weeks (intensive study at another network school in short courses), and case studies that reflect the changing face of global business.