The course examines the challenges for innovation beyond the development of new technologies, from the challenges of global expansion, to the issues of unintended consequences of technology and the ability of technology to support or hinder social justice. The course will provide examples in a variety of global locations (e.g., Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, China, and India), utilizing case examples (written and presented by speakers) that illustrate the challenges faced in a range of fields of engineering and technology, from water and transportation to information and communications technology and from start-ups to major corporations to government entities and policy makers. In addition to the reading assignments, lectures, and discussions, in-class exercises will also be used to expose students to these challenges and the experience of decision making in complex situations.
The goal of the course is to provide engineering students with exposure to the challenges of globalization as presented through the introduction or implementation of new technologies in different countries. The course will also introduce the skills and processes to evaluate the potential impacts of a business, technology product, service or policy applied in a specific global location by examining both the country of entry as well as the potential impacts on all of the local stakeholders. A team project enables students to work with an existing corporation, start-up, or social enterprise on their globalization strategy, whether it be the exploration of US market entry or expansion to another country.