From California to Guatemala, Faculty Fuel Growth and Innovation

Vini Onyemah Scale Up Xela (Guatemala)

Across the country and beyond, Babson College faculty are leading innovation initiatives, sharing their knowledge at conferences, and discussing the future of commerce in media.

The Grand Global Challenges of the 21st Century

Dean of Babson Academy for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurial Learning Amir Reza presented on international entrepreneurship education at the Association of American Colleges & Universities Network for Academic Renewal Conference earlier this month in San Antonio.

“If we can combine global education with learning that promotes an entrepreneurial mindset, we can empower the next generation of problem solvers who can meet the grand challenges of the 21st century through thoughtful action,” wrote conference organizers.

Reza has previously presented on international education at several national and international conferences, and earlier this year wrote Careers in International Education: A Guide for New Professionals.

Advancing Economies in Cities Around the World

Associate Professor of Sales and Marketing Vincent Onyemah keynoted to a crowd of almost 3,000 in Guatemala City earlier this month on how Babson College is using entrepreneurship to increase economic prosperity in the city of Xela.

Since May, the initiative has led to increases in sales and capacity, and surpassed expectations following previous initiatives in Rio de Janeiro, Panama City, and Manizales, among other cities. “This is just one of the ways we’re achieving global impact (in real numbers) by building growth-focused entrepreneurship ecosystem to drive regional economic growth,” Onyemah said.

Reimagining Innovation

Professor of Innovation Management Gina O’Connor presented at Impact 2019 in San Francisco, Innovation Leader’s annual conference. Titled “Innovation as a Career Path: “Hey HR, Can We Get a Little Help Here?” the session explored how the institution of specific innovation function and design roles can help companies attain sustainable expertise in breakthrough innovation.

“The answer to boosting innovation isn’t just about R&D spending, but about building a robust innovation capacity.”
-Gina O’Connor, Harvard Business Review
Read Gina O'Connor's HBR article

It also gave listeners the opportunity to assess their organization’s current roles and discover how to best institutionalize innovation.

Has E-Commerce Really Overtaken Brick-and-Mortar?

Associate Professor of Marketing Lauren Beitelspacher weighed in on a WGBH story on the Massachusetts Vacant Storefront Program, which was launched earlier this year due to the plethora of empty storefronts across the state. Small business owners will be provided with a $10,000 tax credit if they locate in a vacant space in a certified district, and Beitelspacher said online sales are not to blame for vacant storefronts. Consumers still enjoy shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, she said, citing statistics stating e-commerce represents less than 15 percent of shopping purchases.

Finding What Led to the Fall of Afghanistan

Adjunct lecturer James Bradford recently published his book, “Poppies, Politics and Power: Afghanistan and the Global History of Drugs and Diplomacy.” The book dives into how drugs, specifically opium, were critical in the formation and failure of Afghanistan as a nation.

Bradford has been previously published in the Journal of Iranian Studies, Oxford University Handbook of Drug History, and Illegal Cannabis Cultivation in the World.

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