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The Age of Collaboration

December 2013

By Timur Aydin, Senior Associate, Marketing Communications, AACSB International

The Oxford Dictionaries declared the term "selfie" as the word of the year for 2013. Defined as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smart phone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website," may seem like the ideal way to explain how the world's self-obsessed social media state of mind functions. But I beg to differ! The word of the year in no way describes the collaborative nature of business schools worldwide. In fact, according to AACSB's latest collaborations survey, the number of b-school collaborations has more than doubled since 2011. Building on this collaboration trend, AACSB's International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM), is set to offer a full agenda that addresses all of your collaborative needs.

The first keynote of the conference hosts Rachel Botsman and her session, The Collaborative Economy, named one of the "10 Ideas That Will Change the World" by TIME magazine. Botsman will explain how the rapidly growing collaborative economy is transforming production, finance, education, and consumption. Focusing on the macro changes in consumer behaviors, she will take us on a journey where we value access over ownership; and peer trust over institutional trust. Botsman will leave us with practical insights on how companies are moving into the Collaborative Economy and what this means for the future of management education.

To top this off, Vineet Nayar, in the second keynote of the conference, will recount how he defied conventional wisdom by putting employees first and customers second. The president of HCL Technologies and founder of Sampark Foundation, Nayar will emphasize how employees serve as a focal point for companies as they generate value for customers. Nayar will share the key lessons management educators can take from his Employee First philosophy, including how to build collaborative relationships that create transformational change within an organization and unlock the employees' true potential.

In an effort to further support collaborations at ICAM, AACSB developed an online portal to help attendees connect with schools in the Asia Pacific region. In the Collaborations Concourse, you can view the profiles of schools participating in ICAM that are interested in building collaborative relationships with others from around the world, and contact them directly to make personal connections. Although there isn't a specific area at ICAM designated as the Collaboration Concourse, ICAM is a great place to meet your new connections in person. We highly encourage you to make these connections before/at ICAM, and also consider visiting the school's campus before or after your travel to Singapore.

"Selfie" may have been the word of 2013 for the rest of the world. But for business schools, this is the era of collaborative relationships.