IMD Asia’s campus in Singapore, also known as the Lion City, played host to 30 MBA candidates from the class of 2017 this week, as part of their MBA Discovery Expeditions program across the globe. 

The purpose of this group’s trip is to explore the Asia Pacific and MENA regions – one in a so-called “emerging, another in an “emerged” economy – to understand the respective business challenges related to the economic and socio-political context, industrial base and development prospects. 

Candidates had the chance to deepen their knowledge of the diversity of business communities during this five-day expedition, visiting various regional industry players in Singapore, such as the state-owned Temasek Holdings and Apple. They also visited a social impact enterprise, learned of the city-state’s early colonial roots and experienced the city’s rich cultural melting pot. 

Amidst industry learnings, best practices and heritage visits, the class took to the IMD Singapore campus to share their learnings from the MBA conference “Navigating the Future”. The event made for a busy room with over 80 guests, including IMD alumni and regional executives. 

As dusk settled on the Singapore skyline, the class opened discussion on two key themes with the audience: the impact of automation on Business, Government and Society, and a view on the socio-political challenges to the Middle Eastern North African (MENA) economies. 

Both discussions explored the current scenarios, what led to these disruptions and possible outcomes. The fourth industrial revolution underpinned the debate and how it encompasses the adoption of robotics, AI, and machine learning – while creating social, political and business repercussions. The deep-dive into the MENA region detailed the Arab Spring, what led to the crisis and ways the region could recover its former glory.

The class of 2017 also espoused the value of their IMD education - leadership, practical industry experiences and improving technical competencies. The candidates particularly appreciated their “entrepreneurship” experience as part of IMD’s real learning- a week spent in the chaotic environment of a start-up, and “finding their moral compass” in an Italian monastery. A part of a global learning journey they will then take back home to Lausanne. But for now, next stop: Dubai!

MBA candidates share learning in Asia’s Lion City