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18 May, 2013

Harvard Business School to Convene 200+ Leaders to Discuss U.S. Competitiveness


BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 15, 2013 – Today, Harvard Business School (HBS) will convene Paths Forward Boston, an event that is part of the school’s U.S. Competitiveness Project. Paths Forwardevents allow HBS faculty members to share the latest research and data on U.S. competitiveness and convene leaders in economic centers throughout the country to discuss actionable steps to improve U.S. competitiveness. The Project defines competitiveness as the ability of firms operating in the U.S. to compete globally while supporting high and rising living standards for Americans.

Presentations will include an introduction to the latest HBS research on U.S. competitiveness, a panel discussion with local leaders on the role of business in improving the region’s competitiveness, and a panel discussion on massive open online courses (MOOCs) and how to leverage Boston’s assets in higher education to improve competitiveness.

Speakers will include Boston Mayor Thomas Menino; Gregory Bialecki, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development; Gerald Chertavian, CEO and Founder, Year Up; Mary Fifield, President, Bunker Hill Community College; Robert Lue, Faculty Director, HarvardX; Anne Margulies, Vice President and University Chief Information Officer, Harvard University; and Mitchell Weiss, Chief of Staff to Mayor Thomas Menino.

The event will also feature HBS faculty members who have contributed to the U.S. Competitiveness Project: Dean Nitin Nohria; co-chairs of the Project Michael Porter and Jan Rivkin; and Bob S. Kaplan, Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Das Narayandas.

“This is an appropriate time to explore what America’s role will be in the global marketplace in the future and develop solutions that allow our country to remain competitive,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria. “In Boston, the business, education and government communities have forged innovative partnerships to move the needle on competitiveness. Yet there is more we can do and we look forward to discussing new ideas at the Paths Forward event.”

“Our major objective with this effort is to help government and business leaders understand the fundamental issues that impact U.S. competitiveness, and find ways to strengthen our economy,” said HBS Professor Michael Porter, co-chair of the U.S. Competitiveness Project. “Our research shows that America retains some great areas of strength, such as higher education, and we need to leverage such strengths. Boston’s education cluster is a role model for the rest of the country and contributes directly to making the U.S. more competitive.”

“American institutions have tended to operate in silos,” said HBS Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter. “Instead, we need to build business ecosystems that can compete in today’s global economy. America needs strong linkages across businesses, educational institutions, nonprofits and the public sector. The Boston area is a shining example of this.”

“We look forward to sharing our most recent research on U.S. competitiveness and speaking with a diverse group of Boston leaders on the role of business in improving the region’s competitiveness,” said HBS Professor Jan Rivkin, co-chair of the U.S. Competitiveness Project. “Our major goal is to help business leaders find ways to strengthen Boston’s economy—for instance, by partnering with educators to develop better curricula, mentoring local suppliers or offering apprenticeships that develop skills.”

Paths Forward will also include a presentation on how America’s mounting debt threatens investments in America’s future by Professor Emeritus Bob S. Kaplan.

“Our fiscal trajectory will threaten America’s competitiveness, if we don’t make some wise choices soon,” said HBS Professor Bob Kaplan. “Mandatory spending and enormous interest payments are increasingly crowding out important investments by the government in areas such as physical and informational infrastructure, education and training, and scientific research.”

About the HBS U.S. Competitiveness Project

The U.S. Competitiveness Project is a research-led effort by Harvard Business School to understand and improve the competitiveness of the United States—that is, the ability of firms operating in the U.S. to compete successfully in the global economy while supporting high and rising living standards for Americans. The Project focuses especially on the roles that business leaders can and do play in promoting U.S. competitiveness. The Project approaches current challenges to U.S. competitiveness as a matter of global concern, not just as an American issue.