Boeing’s Dreamliner – friend or foe of US business?

UW Foster School of Business Professor Dick Nolan guest blogged for the Harvard Business Review about the dark side of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner engineering and manufacturing feat – outsourcing of intellectual capital to Asia. Here is an excerpt from his recent post:

On Dec. 15, after two-and-a-half years of teeth-gnashing problems and delays that cost Boeing more than $10 billion in contractual penalties, the 787 Dreamliner completed its maiden flight, making aviation history in more ways than one.

With its new composite skin and sculptured structure, it is the most technologically advanced commercial airplane ever. Offering a lighter but stronger and more aerodynamic structure, the 787 is designed to be quieter and more fuel-efficient than other commercial jets, allowing carriers to bypass hubs and whisk many more passengers point to point cheaper, faster, and with new levels of in-flight comfort. After announcing the Dreamliner, Boeing booked a huge number of advanced orders for the plane (nearly 1,000), curtailing to a slow crawl new orders for rival Airbus’s giant 380 plane.

But there’s a dark side to this story. In trying to keep down Airbus, Boeing may be creating a much more dangerous competitor, one that likely will come from Japan, China, or India — countries that will own the markets for new airplanes in the near future and are in various stages of building their own commercial-airplane-manufacturing industries.

Read Professor Nolan’s full blog article at Harvard Business Review: “Is Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner a Triumph or Folly?” Professor Nolan argues that the extensive outsourcing by Boeing to build the Dreamliner airplane could lead to increased competition in Asia. What do you think?

Dean travels to Asia to expand global business leadership

Traveling abroad may sound exotic, but this one-week, December trip was all work, no play. Despite spending nearly 50 hours at airports and inside airplanes, the experience in Asia was exhilarating.

Beijing, China

We began in Beijing visiting some of the largest banks in China—including Bank of China, China Minsheng Bank, Industrial Commercial Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China. Leveraging contacts from the University of Washington Foster School Advisory Board, these meetings led to renewed support of Executive Education programs for global leadership development.


CIMG0470Taipei, Taiwan, ROC

In Taipei, Dean Jim Jiambalvo gave a keynote presentation titled “Five Keys to Sustained Innovation” to 250 business and government leaders of Taiwan as well as alumni of the joint program between Foster’s Executive Education and National Chengchi University. We also met with one of our distinguished alumni, Mr. Leslie Koo (BA 1977), chairman and CEO of Taiwan Cement. Mr. Koo continues to stay engaged with the Foster School and recently accepted an invitation to join Foster’s advisory board and donated to the School with a naming gift for a new computer lab in Paccar Hall (opening fall 2010).

Photo: Foster School Dean Jiambalvo and Associate Dean Dan Turner

CIMG0407Seoul, South Korea

In Seoul, the Foster School has strong ties with businesses, government, and universities, in part, because of the active involvement of our long-standing University of Washington Alumni Association. Of the 600 UW alumni in Korea, 130 are Foster School of Business alumni. We have continued to stay connected with the Korean business community and these relationships have led to children of UW alumni becoming Foster alumni, financial support to both the UW and Foster School, research connections for Foster faculty, and new partnerships in Executive Education.

Photo: Korean alumni and government leaders with Dean Jiambalvo (second from left) and Jean Choy (far right)

The Foster School is committed to expanding our global ties, especially in Asia. Key leaders of Foster travel on a regular basis to cultivate existing and new business partnerships. Over the years, these efforts have resulted in significant financial investments in education to support Foster students and faculty, as well as connections with influential leaders around the globe.

By Jean Choy, assistant dean of executive education and international initiatives at UW Foster School of Business

What is the green economy?

Guest blog post by Rita Brogan, CEO of PRR

RitaBroganThe increased demand for green products and services comes from more than the consumer sector. Federal and state agencies, non-profits and major corporations have adopted process management standards and procurement policies that can have a significant cumulative impact on our environmental health. Businesses all over America are tripping over each other to prove their “greenness.” Many have sponsored Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs that proclaim a commitment to a triple bottom line of social, environmental and economic outcomes.

It is true that many CSR programs are more inclined to salute the green flag than to follow it—sometimes for purposes of public relations or to preempt the possibility  of stronger environmental regulation. Among the most egregious examples of green-washing has been the push by nearly every oil company in America is to reinvent itself as environmental business. British Petroleum (BP) has gone so far as to spend millions to rebrand as “Beyond Petroleum.” Does this mean that these oil companies no longer rely on a business model driven by fossil fuels?

But the green economy is real—the result of growing market demand and the sobering need to drastically change consumer habits to save our planet.

Market opportunity for minority businesses is manifest in many ways. There is a growing need for products and processes that:

  • Move away from petroleum-based products such as plastic bags and Styrofoam
  • Make creative reuse of materials and substances
  • Allow for better stewardship of our air and water
  • Provide non-toxic garden care and cleaning products
  • Promote more environmentally-friendly packaging
  • Can help businesses and organizations adopt green practices

Communities of color have historically done more with less because of economic necessity. Now it is an environmental necessity for all of us.

The opportunity to push your business concept in the direction of environmental responsibility has never been greater. The effort can, in fact, give you a competitive marketing and branding advantage by adding value that has priceless benefit for the health of our planet and future generations.

Rita Brogan is the CEO of PRR, a public affairs and communications firm based in Seattle that is nationally recognized for its work in social marketing, public involvement, and community building. PRR is one of Washington’s 50 largest minority-owned businesses. Brogan was a recent recipient of the Foster School’s Business and Economic Development Center Asian/Pacific Islander Business Leadership Award. She writes the BEDC Brogan blog series twice a month, focusing on green economy issues with an emphasis on ways that businesses owned by people of color or women can create a competitive advantage.

Eric Appesland

Alumnus Eric Appesland (BA ’09) helps Foster get LinkedIn

Using LinkedIn and other social networking sites, Foster alumnus Eric Appesland (BA 2009) and a team of his peers from the University of Washington have been able to build a community around a microfinance program they began in Ghana. Now, Eric has put his social networking skills to work for the Foster School by helping us create our official Foster LinkedIn Group for alumni, faculty and staff.

“I think it is so important that the Foster School reach out electronically to expand its network,” Appesland said. “The more the school is connected, the more opportunities will flow into it.”

Our LinkedIn group is designed to specifically help alumni connect with each other and share professional and business opportunities and contacts. Before launching the group, we researched more than 30 Foster-related groups already in existence and decided to partner with Eric since his group already had a strong membership base.

“I know that as the network continues to develop and improve, it will become an ever more important tool for finding opportunities, meeting people and changing the world in the ways we idealistic youth always dream of,” Eric said.

It’s that kind of dreaming that has lead to the success of Lumana Credit in Ghana. While he’s in Ghana, Eric said, he has used LinkedIn to find donors and technology partners for Lumana as well as to stay connected with family and friends back home. You can read about Lumana and Eric’s team in the recent issue of Foster Business here or visit Lumana’s website.

Thank you Eric, for allowing Foster to enter into this new territory with an established group – it’s proven to be very valuable!

Join Foster’s official LinkedIn group now!  Questions? Contact Laura McCloud Mathers at

Foster undergrads place 3rd in Spanish Business Case Competition

BYU competition 2009A team of three UW Foster School of Business undergraduates placed third in the second annual Spanish Language Business Case Competition at Brigham Young University in Utah on November 13, 2009 – the only one of its kind in the US. Both business knowledge and mastery of a second language were tested for each participant.

Britten Ferguson, Alex Fitch and Taylor Sloane recommended strategies for Walmart’s international expansion. The case, the presentation and the Q&A with judges were all in Spanish, which is a second language for these students. The team presented to panels of corporate and faculty judges in two preliminary rounds.  The top three teams, representing Indiana University, Utah State University and the University of Washington, went on to the final round.

Alex Fitch, Certificate for International Studies in Business student organization president, said, “In using my Spanish language skills in this competition, I gained confidence in the prospect of doing business in Spanish in the future.”

Study abroad photo contest winners: Spain, South Africa, India

Every year a fresh batch of University of Washington Foster School of Business students embark on trips across the globe to study or work abroad, absorb a language, fortify their business studies and explore other cultures. Each student comes away with something different. The Global Business Center third annual study abroad photo contest for undergraduates and MBAs captures a snapshot of the Foster student experience. 2009 was a particularly close race and judges consisted of more than 30 Foster faculty and staff. Winners are:

FIRST PLACE: Darcy Llyod, undergrad – Cadiz, Spain study trip


Title: Desert Caravan
Location of photo: Somewhere in the Moroccan desert

Caption: After a night spent camping in the Moroccan desert, our trusty camels left us to finish our tour by van. A bit more comfortable, but much less interesting. 

Experience abroad: I spent 9 months in southern Spain last year. During this time I got a real taste for the Spanish culture, but probably the most amazing part of the whole experience was the chance I had to travel all throughout Europe and even down into Morocco. Seeing the differences in cultures was and eye-opening experience that I won’t soon forget.



SECOND PLACE: Jonah Peters, undergrad – Cape Town, South Africa study trip


Title: On Top of the Bottom of the World
Location of photo: On top of Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town with the South Atlantic Ocean in the background

Caption: Perhaps I should have purchased the UW Student Insurance Plan…

Experience abroad: My program in Cape Town, South Africa had two components. The CHID curriculum examined social movements surrounding apartheid, through the scope of hip-hop music and other forms of activism. Our program allowed us to build relationships with local NGOs and other international organizations that promote, among other things, a healthy dialogue surrounding social issues in the wake of apartheid. The program also allowed me to complete a “community engagement” project, where I single-handedly taught economics to a class of 10th graders at a severely underfunded public school in one of the townships in the Cape Flats.

THIRD PLACE: Yan To, undergrad – India study trip


Title: Simply Saris
Location of photo: Bangalore, India

Caption: University of Washington students touring a village near Bangalore interacted with rural families in India who received land ownership. Rural Development Institute works to secure land access and improve land rights to the rural poor, women, and other marginalized groups.

Experience abroad: India is truly a land of extreme contrasts and is unlike any other place I have ever been. I had the unique opportunity to learn about both sides of India; the flourishing as well as the developing country. Upon arriving in India, I was overwhelmed with sights, smells, and sounds of the city. It contains the best and the worst all in one place. While the twenty-first century embraces democracy, remnants of the 19th century still survive in Indian society. Amidst the enormous wealth, the severity of poverty is apparent. Just outside our hotel gates, we saw families living in makeshift homes. Everywhere you look, there is evidence of magnificent accomplishment mixed in with a harsh dose of reality in which most people live.