Global Bridges: Changing Flows of People and Trade
Hosted by: Beverly Barrett, faculty Cameron School of Business, Houston
Photo logo: In Blue Portugal – Vasco da Gama bridge by Emanuel Ribeiro
Global Bridges: Changing Flows of People and TradeFeb 24, 2021
GEORGIA: Country on the Leading Edge
From Tbilisi: The country of Georgia is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, a part of the ancient Silk Road, on the eastern shore of the Black Sea and a geopolitical flashpoint bordering Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey. Georgia is on the leading edge of growth as it blazes a trail in the Caucasus region by developing capital markets and a culture of innovation. The former member of the USSR is a vibrant democracy and an open economy of nearly 4 million people. The vineyards and wine cultivation are major industries in the country defined by mountain regions, lifestyle, tourism, global investment, and entrepreneurship.
Guest: Ms. Thea Jokhadze is business expert with distinction as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and deputy CEO of the Georgian Co-Investment Fund, a private equity fund focused on Georgia.
SAUDI ARABIA: Innovation and Sustainability for Vision 2030
From Riyadh & Washington, DC: Culturally, economically, and socially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is implementing Vision 2030. Looking to the future, Vision 2030 was launched in 2016 to support innovation, sustainability, and diversity in the Kingdom. Sustainable development is central to Vision 2030, as evidenced by the announcement of the Saudi Green Initiative and the creation of Neom. Neom is a smart city on the Red Sea to be powered completely by renewable energy. The Kingdom has played a leading role in OPEC, OPEC Plus, The League of Arab States, and the G-20. There are five UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kingdom including Al-Ula in the northwest region of the Kingdom. The country has taken several measures to encourage tourists to discover the Kingdom.
Guest: Mr. Fahad Nazer is the official spokesperson for the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States in Washington, DC. Given his extensive knowledge of and experiences in Saudi Arabia, he highlights the cultural and economic transformation currently underway in the Kingdom.
DENMARK: The Entrepreneurial State
From Roskilde: Danish society is distinguished by a high level of social trust in others and in institutions, which has facilitated the transitions through the pandemic. A constitutional monarchy, a large public sector and close cooperation between government and the private sector characterize the economic system. State-owned investment funds, such as the Innovation Fund Denmark and the Green Growth Fund, are supporting the transition into renewable energy sources. Increasingly, population diversity and migration are new influences on a country that combines a strong social welfare state and liberal capitalism in the Nordic tradition.
Guest: Dr. Thomas Paster is a political economist and assistant professor at the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University in Denmark. His expertise is on business interest groups and welfare state reforms. Providing a comparative perspective on Denmark, he emphasizes how the country is using its competitive edge.
RWANDA: Bridging Global and National Divides through Reconciliation and Unity
From Houston: Our guest is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Through her generous courage we can listen to lessons from this brutality – we all share common humanity and can choose unity. Additional lessons are that strength comes from forgiveness and words are powerful. As we look to history, we see the truths that societies must reject hateful ideology to live in unity. The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) has been in effect for more than two decades in Rwanda.
Guest: Jeanne Celeste Lakin is an Award-Winning Author of the book A Voice in the Darkness: Memoir of a Rwandan Genocide Survivor and a Human Rights Advocate. Passionate about the unmet needs of children, Jeanne founded the nonprofit organization, One Million Orphans.
Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA: Human Security Focus in the Congo and Liberia
From Geneva: Giving insights from Liberia and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), this episode focuses on Reconsidering Resilience: How young people in conflict contexts cope with violence, and what we learn from them. The framework has three parts: resilience with human agency, social safety in conflict countries, and meaning attribution. The dialogue breaks down the grassroots process for peace and access to resources through aid, trade, and economic development. An example of advocacy from the DRC is Lucha to support peace through civil society and rule of law.
Guest: Dr. Claudia Seymour is head of Applied Research Projects and Practice in Interdisciplinary Programmes at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. She is author of The Myth of International Protection: War and Survival in Congo.
SPAIN – Innovations in Higher Education and Business through Technological Change
From Barcelona: Rethinking higher education and business gives insights into change that comes from technology and investments. This dialogue provides insights into the power of education to elevate from poverty, the role of technology in global education, and the need for investment to address education inequities. Firms that invest in innovation align with the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) while moving forward with change solutions.
Guest: Xavier Prats-Monné is former Director General of Education + Culture and Health + Food Safety with the European Commission. Presently, he is a Special Advisor for Teach for All and a Strategic Advisor for Astranor Ventures.
VENEZUELA - Challenges and Changes during the Pandemic
From Caracas: Giving insights into public life and political history, this episode sheds light on recent and prior events that have shaped Venezuela today. This analysis explains the ideology of chavisimo and how the current president came to power, the present political challenges, and support for leadership. Investing in education, which empowers others, is the hope for the future. In closing, the emphasis is never take democracy for granted and work to support its viability.
Guest: Carolina Jaimes Branger is an educator and host of the radio program “Carolina en Éxitos” on Circuitos Éxitos de Unión Radio in Caracas, EVTV in Miami, and YouTube. Follow at @cjaimesb
MEXICO (Part II) - The Food System and Public Health Nutrition
From Mexico City: The key concerns within the food system are access, affordability, and availability. The recent developments in Mexico and the global approach of One Health – planet, people, and animals – developed by the World Bank are presented in the podcast. The linkages across the water, energy, and food nexus impact these key concerns. Learn recommendations from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for avenues of better production, nutrition, environment, and life together with their 5-step action plan to improve our food system and our public health nutrition.
Guest: Lorena Macías Navarro is a senior advisor on matters of Food Systems, Global Health, and Sustainability.
BRAZIL - Views from South America on Recovery and Global Business
From São Paulo: The pandemic has been accompanied by higher prices, raising concerns about inflation in the largest city and the largest country in South America during the recovery. A founding member of Mercosur (the Southern Cone Common Market), Brazil has a historically intertwined trade relationship with Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, fellow founding member states since 1991. The traditional spring-time pre-Lenten season celebration of Carnival was cancelled in 2021, due to the pandemic. In 2022, Brazil celebrates 200 years of independence from Portugal.
Guest: Olavo Franco Caiuby Berarndes is an attorney and consultant advising on business, corporate, infrastructure and international law who studied in Miami, Florida.
FINLAND – Environment and Innovation from the Top of World
From Helsinki: During the pandemic, the Finns have had relatively lower levels of cases in this county with high social cohesion. The proximity to nature has been welcome during this period that has paused the trend toward urbanization. We look to the example of Finland in technological innovation and preservation of the environment. There are lessons from Arctic Sea expeditions, and we review their team’s recently published children’s book Patrick the Polar Bear: Operation Paw Print. We learn about the mission of the John Nurminen Foundation to conserve the Baltic Sea and its heritage for future generations.
Guest: Mr. Tommi Juusela, an independent board executive who has served in leadership with Nokia and Neste renewable energy. He is an active Arctic explorer and Vice-Chair of the John Nurminen Foundation based in Finland.
MALI – West African Perspective on Recovery and Economic Development
From Bamako: The capital city Mali is in the more populated southwestern part of the country. The eastern Saharan part of the country is home to Timbuktu, known for musical culture and starry sky-gazing. The opportunity for investment in transportation infrastructure remain central to development for this West African country. Both capital investment and human investment education are factors in the country’s economic development.
Guest: Mr. Madani Tall, business executive and former presidential advisor, joins Global Bridges from Abidjan, Ivory Coast to share about economic development in his home country of Mali.
CZECH REPUBLIC – International Education During and After the Pandemic
From Brno: As the Czech Republic enters a new lockdown in March 2021, higher education continues to adapt to the online teaching environment. Commenting on the increasing global competition for online higher education, in particular for International Business programs, professor and vice-dean at Masaryk University gives her perspective from the Czech Republic.
Guest: Dr. Sylva Talpova, Professor and Vice-Dean for External Relations and Partnerships at Faculty of Economics and Administration at Masaryk University, Brno.
ITALY - Building Cultural Bridges
From Genova: The city rebuilt the Morandi bridge that collapsed in August 2018. Renamed the San Giorgio bridge, since the inauguration in August 2020, the city has come together for this new era of history as we emerge from the pandemic. The guests discuss cultural ties between Italy and the US, and they highlight the pioneering museums, Wolfsoniana (Genova) and Wolfsonian-FIU (Miami) together with the Amici di Palazzo Ducale, that advance cultural bridges.
Guests: The Honorable Marco Bucci, mayor of the city of Genova, joining from Italy and Mr. Micky Wolfson, founder of the Wolfsonian-FIU and Wolfsoniana Museums, joining from Miami, Florida.
MEXICO – A North American Perspective on Health and Economic Recovery
From Mexico City: Though Mexico, the US and Canada are highly integrated in the economic activities of trade and production, the pace of vaccine distribution is differentiated across the countries in North America.
Guest: Agustín Barrios Gómez, former Mexican Congress representative in Chamber of Deputies, principal in international firm and media personality.
NEW ZEALAND – Lessons for Containing the Pandemic & Moving Forward
From Wellington: Residents and foreigners must observe a strict quarantine, since the pandemic was declared eradicated in June 2020. Though foreign tourism has become limited, domestic tourism has increased and agricultural exports facilitation remains an important enterprise for the country.
Guest: Camilla Ojansivu, Coordinator for the International Growth Fund, agency for the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise international business development agency.
BELGIUM – Heart of Europe: Experiences of COVID, Recovery and International Development
From Bruges: The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is in production in Puurs, Belgium, from where there are exports globally. The EU has global solidarity approach to contribute to vaccine distribution in the developing world. The traditional work of International Development has moved remotely to online virtual support when travel has been limited due to the pandemic.
Guest: Thomas Dedeuwaerdere, policy specialist with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
CHINA - Exploring Business Development: Perspectives from Shanghai
From Shanghai: There are new investment opportunities for foreigners with the government policy changes to allow increased capital investment in China. The strategy to attract foreign finance is presented in this inaugural episode. Good opportunities are on the horizon for the Lunar New Year, begun on February 12, with the Year of the Ox.
Guest: Cathy Sun, an attorney and business leader who formerly resided in Houston, Texas