Heading to the Valley

Why INSEAD is Opening an Innovation Hub in San Francisco

Mary Carey

Regional Director | The Americas
INSEAD Executive Education

What INSEAD offers participants from the US and other world regions in San Francisco is both “unique and bi-directional,” says Mary Carey, INSEAD’s Regional Director for Executive Education for the Americas. 

Tech innovation is fueling an unstoppable forward momentum, disrupting the way businesses operate in every corner of the planet. From strategy to supply chain, business models to organizational culture, digital is redrawing the playing field on a global scale.

At the same time, business organizations have never been under greater scrutiny. As customer values shift and evolve the world over, so too do their expectations around corporate social responsibility and citizenship.

Keeping pace with change of this magnitude means being open to new ideas, to new ways of doing things, new kinds of collaborations and new opportunities. It means broadening perspectives and challenging the status quo. It also means breaking free of cultural silos and seeing business through a global lens, in order to sustain competitive edge in an increasingly competitive borderless market – and ensure long-term survival in a changing world.

And it’s this understanding that is bringing INSEAD, one of the world’s foremost global business schools, to the United States in 2020.

The INSEAD San Francisco Hub for Business Innovation will open its doors for business in February. Our first official center in North America, the new Hub further consolidates INSEAD’s global footprint, taking its place alongside our campuses in Fontainebleau, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. And delivering our unique global insights and perspective to organizations and business leaders from the US and around the world.

A special inaugural portfolio of six transformational executive programs with specific relevance to the Americas will be open for enrolment: Transition to General Management, International Directors Program, Integrating Performance and Progress, Blue Ocean Strategy, Leading Digital Transformation and Innovation and The Future of AI ,which will be delivered via a special new partnership with Singularity University.

A unique offer

What INSEAD offers participants from the US and other world regions in San Francisco is both “unique and bi-directional,” says Mary Carey, INSEAD’s Regional Director for Executive Education for the Americas.

For US organizations, there is access to the school’s unique cross-cultural and cross-regional understanding of global business and the ability to pull out the best of diversity – a richness of perspective that they “won’t find elsewhere.”

International participants, meanwhile, gain exposure to the companies and distinctively innovative business culture of Silicon Valley. It’s a win-win for North American participants and those coming to San Francisco from overseas, says Carey.

But that’s not all.

“The INSEAD approach is about thinking globally, which also includes thinking differently – about how you do business, and how you manage people, talent and processes. It’s about how you take risks and how you use technology and digital tools strategically to innovate your business models. In this sense, we teach executives to think uncommonly. And that’s a real challenge. They have to learn to let go of what worked before and learn to see the bigger picture in order to drive long-term global success.”

If you’re going to San Francisco…

The new INSEAD Hub will be a state-of-the art facility with two teaching amphitheaters and a large open multi-use space for the kind of immersive and active learning that characterizes INSEAD’s teaching methodologies.

Located in down-town San Francisco, just two blocks from the Giants’ Oracle Park, the Hub is set to capitalize fully on the Bay Area culture of innovation and the digital transformation of business, says Carey.

“Being close to today’s digital transformation of business aligns with our faculty research and to INSEAD teaching agendas, both in executive education for organizations and across our MBA programs.”

The object is also to create what INSEAD Dean, Ilian Mihov, calls a “dynamic destination for making new connections through an extensive calendar of events, organized in collaboration with corporate partners, alumni and visiting faculty.

“INSEAD has a long and distinguished tradition in bringing together diverse people and perspectives to drive learning and build bridges as we develop responsible business leaders,” says Dean Mihov.

“From next year, we’ll be able to connect our global clients and students with the innovation ecosystem of the Bay Area. And at the same time we’ll be opening up avenues of communication between companies and executives in the Bay Area and global thought leaders and businesses. Coming to North America opens an important new chapter in INSEAD’s journey as the Business School for the World.”

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