University of Southern California

USC Global Conference News

Global Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities Hong Kong, October 13-15, 2011

“The Future of Business in a Global World” Stirs Media Attention

HONG KONG (For Immediate Release)—The USC Global Conference plenary panel on “The Future of Business in a Global World,” organized and moderated by USC Trustee Ronnie Chan—chairman of Hang Lung Group Limited and Hang Lung Properties Limited—drew the attention of dozens of regional media interested in the views of some of the most influential minds of the business world in Asia as they forecasted the direction of regional and world economies in an increasingly interconnected global environment. 

The discussants included one of the most recent additions to the USC Board of Trustees, Chengyu Fu, chairman of China Petrochemical Corporation (SINOPEC Group), Asia’s largest oil refiner.  Mr. Fu, highly regarded in the energy industry, is a USC alumnus with a master’s degree in petroleum engineering, and recently led SINOPEC in $17.6 billion of global acquisitions to supply the biggest energy-consuming nation.  Also on the panel were David Eldon, senior advisor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and chairman, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited; Frank Ning, chairman, COFCO Corporation; P. Chandran Nair, founder and CEO, Global Institute for Tomorrow (GIFT) and chairman of Avantage Ventures.

A spirited debate took place during the event, as the speakers discussed the potential limitations of a consumption-based economy, and what models would be sustainable (both environmentally and economically) over the long term for markets in Asia and the U.S.

The panel directly followed a keynote address by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Thomas L. Friedman, whose latest book, That Used To Be Us, addresses the very topic of globalization and the “flattening” of the global economy.
“As the world gets hyperconnected, the entire global workplace gets graded on a curve,” said Friedman to a packed ballroom, “This requires everyone to raise their game. It is fundamentally changing the labor market, and it effects education. People who have problem-solving and critical thinking skills—scientists, engineers, teachers, professors, writers, songwriters, surgeons, and hopefully journalists—people with non-routine skills will do fine. Workers with skills that can be outsourced, digitized, automated—routine skills—they are getting crushed.” Thomas Friedman at USC Global Conference by USC


Topics: Alumni, Business, Event Coverage, Media Release, Trojan Connection


Under the banner of “Global Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities,” USC hosts its 2011 Global Conference in Hong Kong Oct. 13 to 15. Remarks by USC president C. L. Max Nikias and a keynote address by Thomas L. Friedman set the stage for a program of leading experts providing global perspectives on technologies and the economy, global health and the environment, and governance and cultural landscapes. Follow us on Twitter #USCHK.