The only thing certain about the future is uncertainty.

Economic conditions, business practices, institutions, social customs, and lifestyles will continually change, driven by the forces of globalization and technology. We can count on change, but how will things change? How much? How fast? In what direction?

We can, of course, make some informed predictions about the future. In this issue of GSB Chicago, several faculty members have done just that. In a roundtable discussion, three professors consider the implications of an increasingly interconnected global economy. Another professor explores how ever-improving communication technology might affect where we live and work. Looking to the immediate future, our usual panel of experts offers their predictions for the 1999 economy at our annual Business Forecast Luncheon.

Whichever way the winds of the future blow, one thing seems clear: GSB alumni are equipped with the fundamentals they need to adapt and thrive in the face of change.

We have always trained our graduates in business fundamentals, not rigid management styles or current trends. Many alumni have told us that the GSB changed the way they think. They took away from the school a way of approaching problems, analyzing risks, and crafting solutions that adapts to any circumstances in any industry at any time in any corner of the world. We aim to provide a deep understanding of underlying business disciplines that will guide our graduates in any future career. That is why they usually find that their M.B.A. offers great flexibility and extraordinary long-term value.

The track record of those affiliated with the school suggests that the GSB approach enables people to not only cope with the future but also to shape it. Their professional successes put them in positions to change the world. For instance, alumni are heading some of the largest, most far-reaching institutions, which are in a position to influence the global economy. GSB researchers frequently have a hand in reform, advising on everything from banking regulation to education policy and Social Security reform to the privatization of socialist economies.

Uncertainty brings risk, but also opportunity. I look forward to seeing men and women trained at the GSB grasp that opportunity and succeed in the next millennium, whatever it may bring.

Robert S. Hamada
Dean and Edward Eagle Brown Distinguished Service Professor of Finance
A message from Dean Robert S. Hamada

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