From the Dean
A Key to the Future: Global Mindset
Let’s think about the world. From a numbers perspective, there are 7.7 billion people inhabiting more than 24 million square miles split into nearly 200 countries across seven continents on one planet we call Earth. Through a different lens, the rise of technology has made the vastness of the globe feel almost nonexistent. We are increasingly connected across economic, social, and political boundaries, while natural forces—whether climate or pandemics—have never recognized borders. In the business world, companies big and small are recognizing that they can sell goods and services to nearly anyone with a smartphone.
The view of our world that says we’re in it together—that we can do almost anything by working with and learning from each other—is being aggressively challenged. Today’s geopolitical climate is fraught with tension, and all you have to do is check the headlines or your social media feed to see it. I strongly believe experiencing and understanding cultures different than your own is critically important as we look forward to how we manage our interconnected future. It’s a big reason why the Carlson School requires a global experience for our students, encourages faculty to teach and work with scholars from everywhere, and embraces international students who want to study here. From India to Nigeria to the United States, each stop along my journey has challenged me, taught me, and helped me better appreciate the country which has welcomed and nurtured us for the past 34 years and is now home, and helped me better serve our state, nation, and world.
This issue of our alumni magazine focuses on our world, how we take part in it, and how we, as a community, are making it a better place. In the following pages, you will read about entrepreneurs who are using their business acumen and skills to lead social enterprises, improving lives in many corners of the globe. You can join Carlson School faculty members who are actively investigating problems faced by businesses and people in China, India, and across the developing world. And you’re able to visit our courses on the cutting edge of global learning and meet international students making the most of their education in the U.S.
Additionally, a reflection on the life and legacy of former Carlson School Dean David Kidwell, who passed away in November 2019, includes the origins of some of our most successful international programs. You can also read about how we’re meeting the mental health needs of all Carlson School students, domestic and international.
Finally, it’s a new year, new decade, and a new century for our school, which calls for a new look for our magazine. The goal is to showcase our talented students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends in a cleaner, crisper design with compelling, high-quality writing and photography. We hope you enjoy it!
— Sri Zaheer, Dean
Elmer L. Andersen Chair in Global Corporate Social Responsibility