Students of the MBA49 program had an intensive week of lectures as their introduction to the transformative year ahead. The Changing Scenarios Week is a course taught by guests in various fields to present an overview of major global issues, from macroeconomics and climate change to socio-demographic and geopolitical trends, and to enable students to critically analyze and interpret the future of global markets: Lucio Caracciolo, Roberto Cingolani, Prof.Francesco Billari, Prof.Valentina Bosetti, Cristina Altomare, Prof.Francesco Sisci, Nathalie Tocci, Federico Giammusso.
To kick off the week, Francesco Giavazzi, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Bocconi University, gave an introduction to the course and Olga Annushkina, Associate Professor of Practice in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at SDA Bocconi, spoke about managerial approaches to the decision-making in an uncertain environment and scenario planning method.
“We want to start with something different: what is happening in the world. And it’s essentially three things: one is the war going on, then there are the dramatic changes in technology and then there is the risk that our world won’t be around because of climate change,” said Prof. Giavazzi. “So let’s start thinking about these big issues.”
Along with Prof. Annushkina and Guia Beatrice Pirotti, also Associate Professor of Practice in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at SDA Bocconi, the goal was for students to understand the uncertainty that exists in the world and how to use that in their careers through the scenario planning method.
“We want to introduce you to an amazing range of experts for an updated view of the world,” said Prof. Annushkina. “The important thing for companies, for managers, for new leaders like you is to always keep an eye on the macro environment and think about the consequences it could have on company strategies.”
The rest of the week included lectures from professors and experts as well as group work. On Day 2, students heard from Roberto Cingolani, CEO of Leonardo, for a talk about technological transformation and what students must know about big technological advancements, such as AI, cloud and super computers.
“Any company at the moment is forced to invest in digitalization, whatever that might mean,” he said. “This needs a lot of R&D.” He shared with students case studies of the companies that are investing in the corporate R&D of these technologies, urging the students not to underestimate their importance for any company. Students asked intriguing questions about the drone market, whether governments can effectively implement technology, and the impact of the global chip shortage.
The following day, Francesco Billari, a renowned demographer and Rector of Bocconi University, took to the podium and gave an overview of socio-demographic trends. He spoke about the difference between fast and slow demography and the complexities of demographic scenarios and the factors that can affect it, such as fertility and aging, migration, and disease.
“One challenge today is the view that there is a simple interpretation of what’s going on, and that’s far from reality,” he said. “Demography is about people. It is full of contrasts.” He encouraged students to take this information to heart because the scenarios derived from it can present opportunities for their careers.
Nathalie Tocci, Director of the Italian International Affairs Institute, presented major shifts in geopolitical power in recent years, and more specifically the state of European interdependence and the role of the war in Ukraine. She spoke about how the convictions of the post-Cold War world have been losing their footing and of the major events.
In conclusion, the week was enriched by a series of high-profile interventions. Lucio Caracciolo provided insights into current geopolitical trends, while Prof. Valentina Bosetti and Dr. Cristina Altomare explored the economic challenges and impacts of climate change. Federico Giammusso delved into prevailing macroeconomic trends, and Francesco Sisci offered a unique perspective on the world through China’s eyes.
It was an intense and informative start to the academic year, and now the students are prepared to start their journey with the Full-Time MBA. To discover more about the Full-Time MBA, visit our website where you can download the brochure or contact our recruiter Giorgia Bava at email@example.com
SDA Bocconi School of Management