Inside Rensselaer
* MBA Students Tackle Global Issues at International  Business ConferenceMBA Students Tackle Global Issues at International Business Conference
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MBA Students Tackle Global Issues at International  Business Conference
China’s unprecedented and unrelenting economic growth, coupled with a radically changing and turbulent global landscape, has placed added burdens on increasingly volatile global energy supplies. Today, countries with both developed and emerging economies are scrambling to address mounting demands for dwindling global energy supplies, leading to an urgent call for renewable and sustainable energy solutions. For the past year, Tom Triscari, clinical associate professor at Rensselaer’s Lally School of Management & Technology, has tackled this issue with a group of second-year MBA students, as part of the Managing on the Edge course.

From April 3-6, the Lally School students, in collaboration with MBA students from Virginia International University, delivered three presentations during the 2008 Society for the Advancement of Management (SAM) International Business Conference on Innovation, held in Arlington, Va. The student’s participation was sponsored, in part, by the LMI Research Institute, an organization dedicated to advancing the science of government management, and Rensselaer’s Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. More than 400 academicians, practitioners, and students came together not only to better share management expertise, but also to develop and promote new management ideas.

Over the last three decades, many approaches have sought to address energy issues within a primarily technological framework under a nationalistic and competitive economic model with the ultimate energy goal of energy independence, notes Triscari. However, the students addressed the issue of “Transnational Innovation Alliances for Sustainable Energy Development: A China-Centric Venture,” focused not only on the country of China, but also noting the benefits of developing potential partnerships with other countries such as Mongolia, Russia, Nepal, the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, and Ethiopia.

“Energy security is a global issue that must be addressed,” says Triscari. “China has rapidly become a consumer of fossil fuels. Innovation is the pathway to a sustainable future, and a transnational approach is needed to create robust and long-lasting global solutions.”

Specifically, the cases propose an “alternative innovation framework to address global security issues — a system of a systems approach with the ultimate energy goal of energy security,” that could potentially serve to penetrate nascent, emerging, and historically difficult energy markets to deliver timely sustainable energy solutions at regional, transcontinental, and global levels.

“The hands-on, interactive approach to teaching traditional business theories and principles outside of the classroom serves to enhance the student experience,” says Triscari. “The project encourages students to see how the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data can be applied to solve real-world business problems in an effort to make informed decisions.”

Triscari is currently serving a one-year appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the LMI Research Institute. His research activities include examining national and global security issues. One such effort explores the opportunities and challenges in transnational innovation models for developing sustainable energy technologies and markets.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 7, April 18, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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