February 15, 2010

Learning from the Crisis

The crisis has heightened the importance of contextual thinking, validating one of the aims of a Columbia Business School education: to prepare leaders who can connect the dots.

Dean Glenn Hubbard

Soon after the arrival of our newest students — nearly 700 MBA and EMBA candidates in total — on campus in the fall, Paul Calello ’87 gave a presentation as part of the Silfen Lecture Series. “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste,” he told students.

Last May, I asked a group of faculty members to form the Crisis and the Curriculum Committee — the subject of this issue’s cover story — to look at how the School should address the financial crisis. Their conclusion — that the crisis has heightened the importance of contextual thinking — validates one of the aims of a Columbia Business School education: to prepare leaders who can connect the dots.

In November, we had the great honor to host two leaders who are examples of that skill — Warren Buffett, MS ’51, and Bill Gates. In this issue of HERMES, we profile alumni who have made their own connections and created success even in the face of a difficult economic climate. In addition, we feature an in-depth interview with Professor Linda Green about the state of healthcare in the United States — a timely topic and an area of opportunity for many.

The next several years will offer the School, and our alumni, significant opportunities to contribute to the world of business. Making connections not just between ideas, but also between people, is at the heart of our community. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Annual Dinner this May and thank you for your multifaceted and continued support of Columbia Business School.

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