Weatherhead School of Management: Offering Opportunities for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Around the World
Students in Athens, Greece engaging with CWRU professor Michael Goldberg and local international experts during Goldberg's course.
In Spring 2014, Weatherhead School of Management professor Michael Goldberg developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) based on a seminar he delivered for the Vietnamese government while he was a Fulbright Scholar in 2012. The MOOC, entitled Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies, explores what Goldberg refers to as the “Cleveland Case Study” regarding how Cleveland looked to kickstart its entrepreneurial ecosystem by leveraging support from government, donors and the private sector.
Through a partnership with the US Embassy in Athens, Greece, more than 5,000 Greeks took the course. Goldberg spoke in February 2015 at TEDx Heraklion in Crete about the impact of the MOOC in Greece. Given the current economic crisis in Greece, there is a significant emphasis being placed on entrepreneurship and new business formation to provide employment to young Greeks.
Beyond Silicon Valley has had more than 44,000 students from 190 countries register for the class and it has been translated into 10 languages, which makes it the top translated course on Coursera. The MOOC has been featured in Entrepreneur, CNBC.com and the Huffington Post and continues to be available to interested students on Coursera’s On-Demand platform.
Global Cleveland Welcomes New Board Chair
Late in 2014, Associate Provost for International Affairs, David Fleshler, was named the new board chair of Global Cleveland, succeeding Baiju Shah, President of BioMotiv. Global Cleveland is focused on regional economic development through attracting, welcoming and connecting newcomers, particularly immigrants and refugees, to the many economic and social opportunities in Greater Cleveland.
In conjunction with government, the non-profit and corporate communities, the initiatives of Global Cleveland are making a tangible difference in Greater Cleveland’s level of skilled persons as well as its economy and internationalization strategy. According to the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University, Cleveland has the 5th highest number of highly-skilled, highly-educated immigrants in the United States. Cleveland also ranks as the 10th “smartest” workforce in the nation, with 17% of Cleveland’s workforce having an advance degree. Both rankings are up substantially since the launching of Global Cleveland in 2011. Fleshler notes, “With our partners, Global Cleveland has worked to put the importance of immigrants and internationalization on the local map. Over the last several years, our community has become more aware of internationalization and the benefits of being a part of a global economy.”
As the new chair, Fleshler is working with the board to refocus the mission of Global Cleveland. The board wants the organization to concentrate more on highly skilled immigrants, and act as a convener for immigrant, refugee and other groups that focus on newcomers. He also plans to work with Global Cleveland’s staff to create closer linkages between Global Cleveland and university career offices – at CWRU and other institutions in the region. “The goal is to connect international students – who are among the best and brightest – to internship and job opportunities in Greater Cleveland,” said Fleshler. “We know – in fact many studies show – that immigrants create jobs in our country and we want to be sure that students at local colleges and universities have the option of remaining in Northeast Ohio.”
Fleshler is confident that Global Cleveland will continue to make significant progress in attracting, welcoming, and meaningfully connecting newcomers, especially highly trained and highly skilled immigrants and refugees, to the systems, networks, and career opportunities that Cleveland and Cuyahoga Country have to offer.