Global Economy

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The Global Economy block focuses on how to do business in key markets of the world. Each module or trip is designed as study visits to immerse participants in the individual locations. Academic instruction is provided by an ETH partner university in the respective countries. Each trip is preceded by preparatory lecture to facilitate understanding of the local market and cultural conditions.

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Global Economy (3 days)

Introduction to the international economic architecture and its impact on international supply chain management: Understand the logic of trade policy and the WTO, the nature of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, services trade issues, intellectual property protection, foreign direct investment (including its regulation) and non-equity modes of international production. Understand regionalism and European integration (including the Swiss-EU-relationship). Gain insights into the global financial architecture (including exchange rates and their management) and into the current macroeconomic situation as well as into on-going demographic and economic shifts.

Teaching method: lecture and case study

Lecturer: Thomas A. Zimmermann

Russia Study Trip (5 days)

Hosted by Lomonosov University and led by Ms. Bublu Thakur-Weigold, Associate Director of Programmes. The learning objective is how to do business in Russia, with an emphasis on the geopolitical conditions, as well as how to succeed in its specific cultural context. An insider view is provided by visits to both state-owned enterprises as well as foreign firms which have invested in this huge consumer market. Particular highlights are visits to the Swiss embassy in Moscow, where both Ambassador and his staff provide insight into the challenges of the region, and a visit to the Bolshoi ballet, to experience the excellence that Russia maintains in many intellectual areas.

Lecturer: Bublu Thakur-Weigold

Read our Russia Trip Blog 2017

US Study Trip (6 days)

Hosted by the University of Washington and led by Prof. Rod Franklin, of Kühne Logistics University, the learning objective of this trip is to study the world's most important market, and one of its  dominant cultures. The week in Seattle is organized around the case study of Boeing's supply chain. Meetings with Boeing executives enable direct exchange with the decision-makers as well as  direct observation of the company's operations.  Professors will teach Strategy and Supply Chain optimization, as well as the metrics and benchmarking required to manage these well. Besides Boeing, the class will visit Costco, PACCAR and Weyerhaueser.

Lecturer: John Rodney Franklin

Read our USA Trip Blog 2017

Asia Study Trip (9 + 6 days)

4 days preparation
9-day trip
2 days Asia Integration


Partnering with Tongji University and led by Mr. Kurt Haerri, VP of Schindler and the President of Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
No study of the global economy and supply chains would be complete without an understanding of the role that Asia plays. With his personal experience of building a successful business in China, Kurt Haerri leads an investigation of how the State manages growth with professionally-implemented planning cycles. Tongji lectures will provide the academic backgroun on the historical economic development in China's special economic zones, cross-cultural management and other key success factors to doing business in China. Visits to industrial parks, urban planning centers, as well as multinational and domestic companies provide insight into the region's unprecedented growth as both as a key consumer and supply market.


Partnering with Keio University and led by Prof. Hugo Tschirky of ETH, and Dr. Urs Schoettli, former Asia correspondent of Neue Zuricher Zeitung. Academic lectures are on Innovation, Life Cycle, and Service Management, complementd by visits to quintessential Japanese manufacturer Toyota, as well as Nestle, the Panasonic Eco Center. The closer study of Takkyubin transport company will involve a cross-cultural comparison of the specifics of the Japanese service mindset to classical  European forms of management.

Lecturer: Hugo Tschirky

Read our Asia Trip Blog 2016

Portrait Michael Blättler

Michael Blättler
Global IT Business Partner & Innovation Industrial Performance

"Our study trip to Asia was certainly a highlight of this MBA program -  in more than one way. On the one hand, the trip was our last big event as a class, and we used the time to celebrate our achievements and the friendships which grew during the countless weekends spent together. On the other hand, the exposure to Asian culture was very intense, and I was able to take away many learnings, which help me today in my daily business. As Unilever grows at double digit levels in Asia, I have a lot of contact points in the region, due to my global IT Innovation role. The Asia Trip (as well as the preparation module), increased my cultural awareness. It also deepened our understanding of how to organise a supply chain in Asia. Since January of this year, I have a Chinese team member based in Shanghai, and I’m happy to see that I can translate what we learned in classroom sessions into real life."

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Wed Jun 28 06:23:19 CEST 2017
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