The Wharton School’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management was founded in 1990, thanks to a generous and forward-thinking gift from Alfred P. West, Jr., founder, Chairman and CEO of SEI Investments. In a world in which management practice and knowledge is changing rapidly, the center was designed as the first “think tank” on the future of management education. It has helped to understand the emerging business environment and develop educational programs for this environment. The center has engaged in global surveys and brought outstanding executives and thought leaders to campus. It has sponsored dozens of industry-academic conferences on important topics and initiated research projects on issues that are shaping the future of business. It has translated these insights into new educational models to prepare business students for success in this changing environment.
The Center has been a catalyst for transformation. It has brought the insights of challenging thinkers to campus, including Peter Drucker, Kenichi Ohmae, Percy Barnevik, Esther Dyson, John Seely Brown, CK Prahalad, Arno Penzias and Amati Etzioni. The perspectives from these and other speakers helped inform our work in transforming business education at Wharton, which has had ripple effects throughout management education and business practice. The result has been a steady stream of new curricula and program platforms, articles and books, conferences that have involved numerous participants, and research projects in diverse areas.
The world has changed, and continues to change in fundamental ways. When the Center was started, the Internet was a tiny backwater inhabited by technologists and academics. Today, it is fundamentally changing the practice of business, and now the world is going wireless and becoming flatter. The Center is continuing to understand and shape the future with major projects on network-based organizations, the future of advertising and other topics.
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