By Richard J. Coyle, EMI Executive Director
I have been remiss in keeping this blog up to date. Planning for future events and execution of daily activities seem to overtake me, and a new blog does not always come to mind.
Nevertheless, we have begun a new semester and I have found a time slot for a new blog entry. First a quick recap – the highlight of last semester was our conference on Innovation in Latin America, which brought a capacity crowd to our venue at the NYC headquarters for the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. With a welcoming address by Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain, the new Mexican Consul General to New York and a lunchtime keynote address by Virun Rampersad, Managing Director and Head of Global Innovation, BNY Mellon, we took the audience through a plethora of examples of how the region is encouraging innovation. We followed up with speakers from Goldman Sachs, KPMG, IBM, Connect, IDB, American Apparel Producers Network and Cornell University who delivered the message of innovation as the key driver for economic growth. We were fortunate to have the support and sponsorship of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, CEMEX, Forum das Americas, Better Brazil, InterAmerican Development Bank, and the Financial Times.
Just one month later, I was invited to speak before the Council on Foreign Relations about “Innovation in Brazil”. Using the Global Innovation Index, developed by Soumitra Dutta, Dean of Johnson at Cornell, and jointly published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, I demonstrated how Brazil has been losing ground to other countries in the areas of education, research and development, and ease of doing business. However, new educational and innovation initiatives recently launched by the Brazilian government seem to hold promise, as gains in these areas are becoming evident. It was a tremendous honor and gave very valuable exposure to the Institute.
Our current academic semester opens with Dr. Eswar Prasad, who will be offering a talk and book signing ceremony on his recent publication, “The Dollar Trap: How the U.S. Dollar Tightened Its Grip on Global Finance”. Eswar is a pre-eminent scholar on the emerging markets, and is an Academic Fellow of the Emerging Markets Institute. He is also the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. We are planning additional speaking events on Brazil and other emerging economies later in the semester.
Other big news – the Institute is again sending a team to the "The mai Bangkok Business Challenge® @ Sasin" at the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Johnson last sent a team to the 2012 competition, and placed in the top three teams in the world. This year, Johnson will be sending a team to represent their start-up, ZYMtronix Catalytic Systems, Inc. which is developing new markets for a technology to eliminate antibiotics from waste water. The competition will be held February 27 – March 1, 2014 and will feature leading entrepreneurs, professionals and venture capitalists as judges. We are very thankful to Roberto Canizares, BS ’71, MBA ’74 for establishing the Canizares fund, which is paying the travel costs for the students to participate in this competition.