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Oxford University’s Saïd Business School Launches Innovative Online Module to Address Global Challenges

A new online module at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford is bringing together students in the school’s MBA and executive MBA programs with Oxford alumni and leading academic researchers to address some of the most challenging global business and policy issues. In its first year, the program has focused on global ageing.

Called GOTO (Global Opportunities, Threats: Oxford), the interactive, multimedia web platform is designed to blend curated content with in-person learning through tutorial groups and events to create plans to address the world’s biggest problems. This year, an action-oriented community of Oxford students, academics and alumni took a hard look at the changing demographics, global pinch points, patterns of consumption, environmental impact and healthcare system strain created by the long-term trend toward global ageing. GOTO will focus on a different global issue each year.

“The whole point about these long-horizon complex challenges is that they can’t be addresses by traditional processes,” Saїd Dean Peter Tufano said in a statement. “GOTO has been designed to connect Oxford academics engaged in world-class research with students and alumni, who will lead organizations in this uncertain future,” he continued.

GOTO hosts videos, images and other content from experts and practitioners along with real-time online debates, which Oxford MBA and EMBA students access, analyze and discuss as part of small teams in face-to-face tutorial sessions. The tutorial sessions are led by university faculty, and students can in turn publish their best work back to the GOTO platform for alumni to read and comment on. “As an integrated platform for studying and sharing ideas across disciplines, and across generations, GOTO is unique,” Saïd Senior Fellow Researcher Janet Smart told TopMBA.com.

A current MBA student who has participated in the module praised GOTO, among other things, for giving students access to the larger Oxford network. “GOTO encourages us as students to critically evaluate how the world is changing, and to think about how businesses might respond,” current participant Jennifer Walker said in a statement. “It is a chance to think outside the usual boxes of finance, or strategy or accounting, and think more deeply about global change, and the business opportunities inherent in that uncertainty.”

Next year, the GOTO module will focus on the topic of Big Data. In the following year, its focus will be the scarcity of global resources. Each of these modules will be developed by experts from Saïd in collaboration with those from other departments across Oxford. Limited to Saïd MBA and EMBA students in its first year, the school hopes to expand the program to include students and alumni from throughout Oxford and other leading universities in future years.

Learn more about GOTO (Global Opportunities, Threats: Oxford).

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