On Wednesday, for the first time, Kellogg Dean Dipak Jain spoke at an event to undergraduate students. Dean of the management school since 2001, Jain spoke in the McCormick Tribune Center to more than 150 students about how globalization will challenge them in the future and how they should approach these challenges.
Brought in by the Northwestern chapter of AIESEC, an international student exchange group, Jain drew from his experiences traveling the world and as dean of Kellogg to argue that for the current generation to be successful in the future, it is crucial to trust peers and to have a positive attitude.
Jain began by talking about today’s “nanosecond” culture and how, with the rapid growth in the world, anticipating how future problems should be handled is more important than merely predicting them.
He also talked about changing consumer demographics, such as the burgeoning young population in China and India, which contrasts with the increasing age of the population in Japan and Western Europe. Jain said these changing demographics lead to more global communication and reliance on people from different parts of the world, and forming this worldwide collaboration is key to being successful.
“The future lies in collaborating” Jain said. “Success is built off of those around you. Your friends and co-workers are your strongest advocates.”
As he switched topics to Kellogg and its mission, he talked about how management schools believed in knowledge creation, dissemination and certification. However, he said that knowledge monetization and the sharing of information and programs were equally important in making the world’s best talent better-rounded. He encouraged exchange programs, dual degrees and creating hubs of information.
His final point, about personal attitude, was introduced with stories about his close encounter with the 2004 tsunami in Asia, and making his first speech as Kellogg dean on Sept. 11. “You can never change the context, but you can change your attitude,” Jain said, urging students to make the best of every situation.
“The challenge ahead of you is nothing compared to the force behind you,” Jain said. With a positive attitude and trust in one’s peers success is attainable, he said, even in a rapidly changing world.