Next Generation Skills for Conducting Global E-Business


Today’s economy is characterized by increased connectivity of global markets, resource mobility, shifts in global production, unfettered global competition and turbo charging of emerging economies like China, India and Brazil. To thrive in this volatile and dynamic global economy people need high-end knowledge skills which can prepare them to respond to these changes in a global economy. One way to envision and then acquire skills for the future marketplace is to understand the emerging global megatrends.

Global megatrends are overarching global forces that were mainly nascent in the past, are being shaped as we speak and will transform our probable future. These forces will impact our geo-political, social, cultural, economic and technological years to come. Megatrends have the power to influence consumers’ lives across countries, industries, social classes and age groups (Florin et al., 2007). They are used by progressive corporations to systematically analyze future market scenarios and then develop effective strategies to anticipate and leverage future opportunities in the global marketplace. Some global megatrends proposed by Singh et al. (2009), include: the expanding role of the web in globalization process, innovation driven by inter-disciplinary collaboration, hyperconnectivity redefining how individuals and systems communicate, acceleration in the pace of globalization leading to cultural flows unimaginable a decade ago, convergence of like minded individuals via web technologies for co-creating and innovating products and services, and massive economic expansion of BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, China and India).

The ability to forecast such future megatrends can make all the difference between taking advantage of global business opportunities as they arise, and just chasing the competition for the next best idea.  Dynamic corporations continually engender capabilities that help them respond to future trends. Institutions of higher education also need to proactively take this approach so as to prepare knowledgeable, nimble and globally competitive workforce.  However, according to Kellerman (2008), “American higher education has yet to fully confront the impact of globalization, rapidly evolving technologies, and an evolving marketplace characterized by new needs and new paradigms.”

To thrive in this volatile and dynamic global economy individuals’ need high end knowledge skill that are valuable, rare and hard to imitate. Higher education can fill this gap by calibrating and constantly evolving its curriculum to prepare the workforce that can harness the potential of emerging global megatrends. The Executive Certificate in Web Globalization Management offered by John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University is one such innovative academic program that equips students with high end knowledge skills required to harness global megatrends such as:

  • Megatrend-1: Web will be critical to achieving global expansion. This program prepares student to effectively understand the dynamics of conducting global e- business. Students learn how web allows the birth of “Instant Multinationals” or Born Global firms and how these firms can leverage the web to tap global markets.
  • Megatrend-2: Innovation in the new economy will be driven by blurring of disciplinary boundaries. This program combines knowledge and skills from international business, language technology, IT, marketing, management, e-business and intercultural communications. Students learn concepts ranging from web technologies, machine translation, and global online ethical challenges to geo-cultural dimensions of content development.
  • Megatrend-3: Hyperconnectivity will redefine how people and organizations communicate. This program provides skills to harness the power of hyperconnectivity to thrive in the networked economy. Students learn how to use cutting edge technologies for effective management of global content and how organizational systems can be effectively connected in a virtual value chain.
  • Megatrend-4:  Value systems will compete globally. This program equips participants with knowledge to “Thinking Global but Acting Local”. Students learn how best to target the emerging global consumers using a blend of standardization and localization strategies. Emphasis on both global and national culture will prepare students to handle intercultural communications effectively. 
  • Megatrend-5: Smart organizations will harness the power of “Collective Intelligence.” This program provides strategies to leverage collective intelligence for global efficiency gains. Students will learn how collective intelligence can be harnessed for innovation, tapping global workforce, enhancing productivity and increasing economic activity.
  • Megatrend-6: Economies of China, India and Brazil will be future engines of growth. This program shows how web can be effectively used to enter and successfully expand in lucrative global markets. Students will be presented cases, strategies, e-business analysis, and examples to successfully tap the emerging markets.

  More information is available at


  1. Florin, Dave, Barry Callen, Sean Mullen and Jeane Kropp (2007), Profiting from Mega-trends. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 16/4. 220-225.
  2. Kellerman, James S. (2008), Preparing Globally Competent Students, Missouri Community College Association, October 3, 2008 Accessed:www. Globally Competent Students.doc 

Source by Nitish Singh

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