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Vicente Fox talks leadership, business in uncertain times

Former Mexican president joins Gov. Hickenlooper and Canadian Consul Stephane Lessard for a spirited conversation at MSU Denver.

August 30, 2017

By Daniel J Vaccaro

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox brought his animated speaking style and expertise in global business to MSU Denver on Aug. 30. The sold-out event was one of the final stops for Fox as part of a three-day Global Trade and Investment Forum, hosted by the Global Chamber Denver and co-sponsored by the MSU Denver College of Business.

Fox delivered an inspiring keynote address and participated in a panel with Gov. John Hickenlooper and Canadian Consul Stephane Lessard. MSU Denver President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., moderated the panel.

“Today’s world can be defined by one word: uncertainty,” said Fox during his speech. “How can we defeat uncertainty? It’s enlightenment. It’s knowledge. It’s education.”

Fox touched on hot-button topics like immigration, politics and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he called a “win-win-win situation.” He also emphasized the importance of compassionate leadership during uncertain times and the benefits that come from working in unity rather than isolation.

In her introductory remarks, Davidson expressed excitement about hosting global leaders on campus and lauded Fox’s commitment to education as a means of social change.

“He understands the importance of education as part of a holistic approach to economic development and the key ingredient in improving people’s lives,” she said.

Approximately 500 people attended the forum, which was held in the King Center Concert Hall on Auraria Campus. More than 200 of those were students, a majority of whom received complimentary tickets.

Ann Murphy, Ph.D., dean of MSU Denver’s College of Business, described the event as “indicative of the program’s increasingly global focus.”

“For our students to be prepared for business in an international marketplace, it is essential that they engage with a wide range of viewpoints and ideas,” she said.

Murphy noted that the college is already accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, an achievement shared by less than 5 percent of business programs in the world. The University began two international business programs last year and added two new partnerships with the University of Monterrey Business School in Mexico and Ludwig Maximillian School of Management in Munich, Germany. The Academy of International Business also selected MSU Denver to host its west region academic conference in April 2018.

After the forum, Fox and Davidson toured MSU Denver’s Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building, of particular interest given Mexico’s large investments in the advanced manufacturing space. During his talk, Fox said that Mexico is the “most competitive manufacturing economy in the world.”

Fox’s visit to campus concluded with a private reception.

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