What globalisation needs: world-class business education As business becomes more global, so too must professional education. International Chamber of Commerce Secretary General, John Danilovich, discusses the need for professional education that is relevant, reputable and accessible worldwide Economic growth in the emerging markets means that business is now thriving in all corners of the globe. Not only are the emerging markets building their own multi-national giants, they are also taking advantage of the increase in ‘south-south’ trade (trade between emerging markets) – giving rise to scores of business opportunities and partnerships worldwide. As business globalises, so too must professional education. Certainly, there is a vital need for global standards of excellence in professional and business education. Professional certification must be global while educational programmes should be accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Through the launch of the ICC Academy, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) aims to provide just such a global educational structure – a dynamic digital platform for delivering rigorous, relevant and applicable business education. Our aim is to encourage individuals to reach their highest potential with respect to professional competency and ethical conduct – allowing global partnerships to flourish. As part of the world’s largest business organisation, the ICC Academy will take full advantage of ICC’s extensive business reach in over 130 countries. It will also utilise our roster of experts and practitioners as well as incorporate insight, where appropriate, from external senior business leaders and policy-makers. Digital platform Yet it is the delivery of the courses that really sets the ICC Academy apart. Utilising a dynamic digital platform that combines distance learning with group-based project work, our goal is to enable equal access to professional education for the largest number of potential participants around the world. Distance learning – facilitated by digital platforms – removes geographical barriers to education. The result is that anyone – no matter where they are in the world – can follow a distance learning course, as long as they have access to the Internet. And the same class can be attended simultaneously by multiple students around the world, or be accessed later on an individual basis. Of course, this also allows both a standardisation in quality and a raising of the bar in terms of the achievable standards – something only an organisation of ICC’s breadth and reach can instigate. The ICC Academy will be launched, and based, in Singapore, a global hub of business, finance and trading excellence. To this end, the Singapore government has been highly supportive and members of the government will attend the launch. Singapore is also fitting due to the Academy’s initial courses being focused on banking and trade finance. Indeed, the opening offering includes almost 70 online courses and global certifications in trade finance, although will broaden over time to cover all of ICC’s business-related areas of operation. Educating the emerging markets While undoubtedly valuable for developed markets, the biggest impact of an online professional education initiative such as the ICC Academy will be felt in the emerging markets. Certainly, e-learning opens education to millions that would previously have been shut out entirely. The benefits of broadening the availability of globally standardised business education to emerging markets are, however, universal. By 2020, a third of global trade – and nearly all of the growth in trade – is likely to be south-south, a phenomenon that requires professional standardisation and certification. Certainly, the ICC Academy should not be a static institution. It is committed to continual evolution – keeping up with the latest changes in the business world and adapting to meet changing demands with new courses, new technology and new educational approaches. In fact, it is an ideal model for building partnerships with corporates and multilateral institutions, since the Academy can help them drive their competitive advantage through their employees. But it is not just for large companies and their employees – or for any defined group. The ICC Academy makes world-class and globally-respected professional education available to everyone, no matter whom or where they are. The benefits of broadening the availability of globally standardised business education to emerging markets are universal