Exploring Santiago: a South American City of Opportunity
One of our key strategic initiatives at the Quinlan School is understanding business activities in Emerging Markets. To that end, I have been exploring possible Latin American sites for the Intercontinental MBA and Study Abroad residencies. Santiago, Chile has emerged as an excellent destination for this learning experience.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report rated Santiago as the 5th highest growth market worldwide for U.S. exports in 2011 and the highest ranked country in terms of competitiveness in Latin America. A recent study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers included Santiago as one of the “Top 26 Cities of Opportunity.” (Happily, Chicago also made the list.) Santiago ranked particularly well on indices related to sustainability, ease of doing business and cost. From my personal observations, relative to other South American cities it ranks high on heath, safety issues, livability, and transportation. The World Economic Forum assesses the Chile to be the only South American country transitioning toward an innovation-driven stage of development. The intellectual capital and business innovation in Santiago are clearly noticeable.
The current plan is to have the Intercontinental MBA students come to Santiago for a three-week residency in January of 2014. In addition, we are planning a one-week study abroad stay in Santiago for current graduate business students taking Management 475 in the spring of 2013. These residencies will include business meetings, cultural explorations and contact with our Jesuit sister school, Alberto Hurtado University. In addition, we will add a liberal dose fun and adventure. One highlight will be a day-long visit to Valparaiso (not the one in Indiana), a beautiful coastal city that is now an Unesco World Heritage site. Another involves learning about the respected Chilean wine industry by visiting a working vineyard and, of course, participating in a wine tasting. For the venturesome, there will opportunities to explore the nearby Andes Mountains and even ride horses through the terrain.
Santiago and the surrounding areas in Chile offer wonderful opportunities for understanding the emerging economies to the south of the U.S. And what could be better than to toast this learning with a wonderful glass of Malbec!