Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

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EdTech, Curiosity, and Adaptability: Fletcher Alum Grant Hosford Helping Code the Future of the Digital Planet

“Learning to code … gives kids a powerful boost in other core subjects” – Grant Hosford, CEO, Codespark

Fletcher alumnus Grant Hosford is up to some amazing things as CEO of Codespark. Leaning on a basis of coding, Grant hopes to bring both real world computer science skills and a growth mindset to childhood education. “Coding requires students to learn transferable skills like pattern recognition and sequencing that are foundational for reading and math. So, learning to code with a visual app like ours gives kids a powerful boost in other core subjects,” he told Forbes. Through his work with Codespark, Grant is helping to build a foundation for the next generation in this increasingly digital planet.

Read the full article about Grant in Forbes

What brought Grant to Fletcher? Learn more in his 2017 Why Fletcher video below.

Tech Companies Embrace Some GDPR Privacy Practices Outside of Europe
by Dawn Kawamoto

“Support for regulation varies widely from country to country — and of course, within countries. Public opinion in some EU member states shows support for stringent rules, but that support is not always shared in other countries,” [Bhaskar Chakravorti] said.

Read the full article in Government Technology

Associate Director of Research and Doctoral Research Fellow for Innovation and Change, Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi speaks on the latest Digital Planet Smart Societies research at Digital Nations 2030 in New Zealand.

MIB Alumni Stories: Ammar Karimjee (MIB’17) Happy With His Landing

Originally posted on the Fletcher Admissions Blog

Way back in the fall, an email snaked along to me and I reached out to the writer, Ammar Karimjee, a 2017 MIB graduate, to ask if I could publish it in the blog.  He agreed right away, so the delay in sharing it is all on me.  And yet with students entering in September 2018 still considering what this all means for them, and with the Class of 2018 searching for their own post-Fletcher jobs, I think Ammar’s post is instructive.  Note that the original recipients were staff and faculty associated with the MIB program and the Office of Career Services.  And, again, when Ammar refers to “a month ago,” he was reflecting on summer 2017, but I have confirmed with him that his work situation hasn’t changed.

Ammar Karimjee (MIB’17)

About a month ago, I moved to Tanzania to begin work with One Acre Fund Tanzania (OAF) as an “Impact Ventures Associate.”  As many of you may know, OAF’s core model provides a range of products: better seeds and fertilizer, along with training — all provided as part of a reasonably sized loan to farmers across East Africa.  On average, farmers who work with One Acre Fund have yields that are 50-100% higher than similar farmers who do not.  In Tanzania, OAF works with about 30,000 farmers.

While the model has significant impact for farmers, growth is relatively slow because the work is very hands-on.  Each new community we enter has to understand the product, be trained, and see results only after a full growing season (or one full year).  To tackle that problem, my team is trying to understand other ways of approaching and impacting farmers that may be faster to scale than the model OAF uses traditionally.

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Facebook’s Privacy Changes Leave Developers Steaming
by Sheera Frenkel

Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, said Facebook had to walk a fine line. “They have taken a blunt instrument approach, which is the right thing to do from a public relations standpoint,” he said. “But now they need to reach out to developers and smooth things over.”

Read the full article in The New York Times

Why the Rest of the World Can’t Free Ride on Europe’s GDPR Rules

The digital industry is riding an important—and turbulent—wave of change right now. As Facebook and others grapple with tough questions about data privacy and security practices, trust in social platforms appears to be plummeting. Companies and analysts are scrambling to figure out how to make privacy rules clear, protect user data, and evolve the business models that made them successful in the first place.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Harvard Business Review

Student Perspectives: Mobile Health – Innovations and Implications for the Digital Planet

by Mark Conway, GMAP

Recent studies out of the IBGC on the Digital Planet have highlighted how the adoption of digital technologies are impacting countries’ economies, competitiveness, their building of “smart societies,” and the building – as well as the undermining – of trust. Another area where the digital evolution is having a profound impact is Global Health – particularly in mHealth (mobile health) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Driven by the increasing penetration of mobile, access to healthcare training and services in even the poorest and most remote areas of the planet is being transformed.

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development released a report (2/17) on the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) on global access to healthcare. The graph below shows the growth of broadband access between 2007–2016.

However, several other findings, listed below, are even more interesting.

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From electoral intrusions to biometrics, cybersecurity expert Susan Landau delves into cyberattacks, cyber hygiene, and the importance of women in computer science.


Amidst growing fears over U.S. cybersecurity and an evolving global power structure vis-à-vis nations such as Russia and North Korea, our experts take you beyond the headlines in our new “In Focus” video series.

Check out the full “In Focus” series now

Leap of Faith: Reimagining the Relationship Between Technology and Human Understanding With MasterCard’s Ajay Bhalla

Mastercard’s Chief Security Solutions Officer Ajay Bhalla was on campus on Wednesday, March 28, to discuss the ways in which companies need to reimagine the relationship between technology and human understanding to stay relevant.

Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean of International Business & Finance at The Fletcher School and the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Business in the Global Context, introduced Bhalla to the audience of students, faculty, and administrators. Chakravorti and the team at IBGC have been working with Bhalla and Mastercard since 2011 developing the Digital Evolution Index, a measure of digital change and trust across the globe. The issue of trust is a key one for Bhalla, who is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of every payment for the over two billion cardholders using the Mastercard network.

During his talk, Bhalla compared the rapid change in technology throughout the past few decades to a rollercoaster. “Riders are comfortable in one moment and then the rollercoaster flips upside down,” he said. He went on to note that in combining rapid technological innovation with the pace at which human knowledge is expanding globally, changes in technology can be expected to create some uncertainty.

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Three People. Two Questions. One Degree. – Focus on Alternative Energy

Our Master of International Business alumni step out of Fletcher into fascinating careers across sectors and geographies. Our new series, “Three People. Two Questions. One Degree.,” features MIB alumni working in a common industry who bring a unique Fletcher perspective to their organizations. Through a pair of questions, they look back at their time at Fletcher and forward to the future:

THREE PEOPLE


Christopher Hickey '13
Enel Green Power
Business Development Director

Boston, MA

Ravi Manghani '10
Greentech Media
Director, Energy Storage

Boston, MA

Alexander Schulte '16
BlueWave Solar
Director, Business Development

Boston, MA

TWO QUESTIONS

  • What did you learn at Fletcher that is most relevant to your career today?
  • How has the outlook for alternative energy changed over the past few years?

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