Global Village Program
By Courtney Buchanan
For 15 years, the Global Village program has provided about 100 young professionals from over 45 countries with experiences in global leadership and development during a six-week intensive program at Lehigh.
“We do these programs to support where Lehigh is going,” said Richard Brandt, Director of Global Lehigh and Director of the Iacocca Institute.
Petronas, an oil company based in Malaysia, was a partner company through the Global Village program and has subsequently built a partnership with Lehigh.
The primary network for the Iacocca internships that Lehigh offers is through countries that the Global Village On the Move program has traveled to. Brandt has met an array of key executives through the Global Village and On the Move programs, broadening his connections with people around the world.
The On the Move program provides students with a culturally-immersed educational experience. Instead of being at Lehigh for six weeks as in the Global Village program, young professionals spend seven to 10 days learning about global leadership and business strategies in an international atmosphere.
Brandt said, “We’re trying to get over those cultural barriers for people to work together.”
In 2013, the Global Village On the Move program is going to Shanghai because of Lehigh’s partnership with Shanghai’s Institute of Science and Technology, said Brandt.
Brandt said that the two key skills that participants develop are their team-building skills through participation in multicultural teams and their presentation skills through meetings with executives and presentations.
From Sept. 9 to 18, about 50 young professionals will travel to San Marco, Italy, for a program “devoted to the globalization of small enterprises in Europe,” said Brandt. Since participants are usually from the region, Brandt said he expects many Europeans who run family businesses to attend the Italy program.
Past On the Move programs included Peru, Spain, Australia, Dubai and Malaysia. Future programs include Italy, Shanghai and Panama.
“What I see in the end of the story is these young professionals form a set of global networks that they can use in their businesses,” said Brandt.
Claudio Cocca has made one of the greatest global powerhouses, Geneva Group International (GGI). As a company with 18,000 employees residing in 89 different countries, GGI has great global capacity in being able to refer customers around the world.
It all comes back to Lehigh: The Cocca and Iacocca (of Lehigh’s Lee Iacocca) families resided in the same town of San Marco dei Cavoti. Cocca is an executive in the Global Village program. In total 1,435 people from 125 different countries have participated in the Global Village program.
Cocca is going to designate five junior partners, one from each region of the world, to get scholarships to go to Italy next year. Brandt said, “He wanted to expose the leadership training that we’re doing [through the Global Village program] to his partners.”
Last week Brandt attended GGI’s once-a-year conference where he was asked to be the primary speaker at the opening dinner. Brandt said his speech includes the concept of teaching leadership and skill sets through the program as well as the progression of the Global Village program over the last 15 years. Then he will promote the On the Move Italy program. Applicants apply through the partner company, the Iacocca Foundation in San Marco, and are selected based on their skills and whether they run a company.