Global Forum: Teaching Overview

In addition to pursuing research projects and hosting conferences and workshops, the Global Forum started teaching classes in Fall 2017 as yet another way to facilitate discussions about how political economy considerations can impact the long-term resilience of places and communities. These classes are taught in conjunction with partnering institutions on campus, including the Honors College and the Urban Affairs and Planning program in the School of Public and International Affairs. Our goal in teaching these classes is to offer students the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary exploration and analysis of the most pressing and significant issues and problems facing society.

Honors College Classes

The Global Forum offers a suite of classes within the Virginia Tech Honors College titled “Disruptive Development: Money, Machines, and Monopolies.” These classes are all part of the Honors College’s Discover and Innovation Studios classes, which focus on the discovery and definition of critical, real-world problems within VT’s Destination Areas and Strategic Growth Areas. Classes are to a large extent guided by students’ interests and passions, and emphasize on transdisciplinary collaboration and collective problem solving efforts. The Disruptive Development classes focus on the political economy of money and finance, investigating how incentives and institutions combine to affect the resilience of financial, monetary, social, and political systems.

Wal-Mart vs Amazon: Innovative business models in Global Production Networks (Spring Semester)

This studio class seeks (1) to unfold the challenges businesses face and confront in their constant reexamining of the way they do business, and (2) to develop creative thinking around the ways nations may support and guarantee the development of new business models in the 21st century.

Wall Street

(Fall Semester)

This class uses the framework of political economy to study disruptions in the financial arena – money, debt, financialization, and financial crises.

Robots: AI, Algorithms, and the Smart Machines (R)evolution

 (Fall Semester)

This class will focus on the challenges robots, automation, and artificial intelligence bring to the organization and function of economic institutions like markets, firms, trade, and the income distribution.

FinTech: Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Algorithmic Trading

(Spring Semester)

This class will study the modern Fintech industry through the lens of creative destruction – how bitcoin, blockchains, and algorithms are revolutionizing the financial and social worlds.