Investment strategist and noted author Peter Marber
began his talk on globalization and emerging markets by
showing off his black-and-gray monotone attire. A guest
speaker for the intersession course on Globalization Theory
and Practice in the 21st Century, Marber told the gathered
25 students about his jacket manufactured in Turkey and
pants produced in Guatemala. He then tendered a $100 offer
to anyone who could guess where his sweater originated.
Several incorrect guesses later, he came clean.
"Mongolia," he blurted. "Now, how bizarre is that?"
Not an act of vanity, Marber's point was that the
global marketplace is here and its growth inevitable, as
each year more countries join the fray of those both
importing and exporting goods world-round.
An expert on investing in emerging markets, Marber is
currently president and chief strategist of the Atlantic
Funds. He has published two books on globalization,
Money Changes Everything: How Global Prosperity Is
Reshaping Our Needs, Values and Lifestyles (Pearson,
2003) and From Third World to World Class (Perseus
Publishing, 1998). A Johns Hopkins alumnus and chair of the
Decade Society, Marber three years ago founded the
two-week, eight-session Globalization course, which
introduces students to perspectives on globalization and
the global economy as practiced by leading professionals in
a range of fields.
The course's talks and readings focus on the changing
nature and importance of global trade and finance,
cross-culture marketing, human rights, sustainable economic
development, news media and entertainment industries, and
state sovereignty and national security. It is capped off
by a three-day, two-night trip to New York City, where
students have an opportunity to network and learn of career
possibilities related to globalization.
"The course was geared toward providing a broad
understanding of globalization and its complexities, and
how it will shape student careers," said Marber, who is
also an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School
of International and Public Affairs. "The course weaves
alumni presentations, select readings, discussions and a
class trip to provide a pragmatic perspective to complement
the school's normal academic curriculum. It also serves as
a model for alumni relations. We want current students to
know there are Hopkins alumni who care about them and their
futures, and we'd love these students to come back over
time and contribute to this and similar intersession
courses sponsored by alumni."
Globalization Theory and Practice in the 21st Century
is just one of the dozens of credit courses and personal
development workshops scheduled during the intersession
period. The diverse slate of 2005 intersession courses
includes Tropical Marine Ecology, the Nature of Infinity,
Appalachian Fiddle and the Entertainment State: A Critical
Look at Contemporary Media, which also includes a field
trip to New York City to meet industry insiders in film,
television and radio.
Nicole Suveges, a graduate student in the Department of Political Science and
the Globalization course's instructor, says the core
element of an experiential course like this is the speakers
like Marber who come in to share their unique
"These are experts and leaders in their field who
bring years of experience to the classroom," Suveges said.
"What's really important here is that [the class] exposes
students to careers and topics that they may not get from
regular academic courses."
Students who enrolled in the Globalization course were
required in December to go to the
where they received a resume critique and interview advice
from the center's staff. The staff also imparted proper
business etiquette tips to prepare the students for the New
York trip, where they will network with powerful and
influential executives and administrators.
The speakers lined up for the Globalization course
this year include Ricardo Reyes, manager of strategic
communications for the international law firm of Bracewell
and Patterson; Eric Bost, undersecretary of agriculture in
the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Ian Vasquez, a SAIS
alumnus and director of the Project on Global Economic
Liberty at the Cato Institute; and U.S. Army Maj. Scott
Bryson, who is with the Defense Attache Service. In New
York, the students are scheduled to meet with
representatives of Shearman and Sterling, Bloomberg Inc.,
the Cato Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the
Peace Corps and the Center for Emerging National Security
In his lecture, which has kicked off the course for
the past three years, Marber tries to emphasize the growing
importance of developing countries like China and India,
and how these and other countries will become more
interwoven in our lives in the future.
Marber said he likes to offer a big-picture overview
to ground students in topics they will hear about from the
other "talented" list of speakers.
"This course has been blessed by having excellent
Hopkins professors and alumni who bring an awesome mix of
perspectives and experience," he said. "Ask anyone who's
participated, both students and alums — it's been a
lot of fun. Whether you plan on a career as a doctor,
lawyer, businessperson, public servant or academic, global
forces are shaping the landscapes of all the professions,
and hopefully our class will give Hopkins students an edge
as they venture out into the world."