MSM Global Network Conference


On 14 September 2022, MSM is celebrating its 70-year anniversary with a hybrid Global Network Conference. This special event is bringing together MSM’s global network of partners in emerging economies, business relations, alumni, students, consultants, faculty and staff.

The event provides the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge through plenary presentations and breakout sessions on the selected topics of: 

  • Youth employment in the digital era  
  • Climate-smart agriculture and climate change
  • Inclusive organizations and approaches 

To join the conference online, please use this Zoom link.

Shaping the economy

This conference is organized at a time that we are faced with huge challenges. For the first time ever, more than 100 million people are on the run due to conflicts and violence (UNHCR, 2022). Human-induced climate change has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people (IPCC, 2022). The (geo-)political landscape has changed drastically in 2022, which has impacted highly on the global economy. And the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our normal way of living, accelerating the use of digital technology and impacting global value chains.

These are challenges that affect all of us. The conference will zoom in on how these challenges impact on emerging economies, and specifically how they impact on women, children, and marginalized groups in these economies. This asks for reflection on and rethinking of economic issues, and the conference aims to contrtibute to this.

Two megatrends can be identified in how economies are organized. On the one hand, the drive for sustainability has seen a shift towards a Green Economy (and also Circular Economy and Bioeconomy). On the other hand, developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are steering a digitalization era, the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. These two trends are creating new challenges and new opportunities, especially in emerging economies. Emerging economies tend to be less technologically savvy and often have relatively weak ICT infrastructures. The paradigm shift may leave them further behind. On top of that, large global technology providers could capture disproportionate shares in these emerging economies.

MSM, through its educational programs and its Expert Centre on Emerging Economies (ECEE), focuses on the role of international and local businesses in promoting economic and sustainable development in the Global South. Within this context, the conference wishes to generate recommendations on how we, MSM and its global network of partners, could further sharpen our strategies to jointly contribute to an inclusive and economically viable society that benefits all.

During the conference we will be concentrating on how these megatrends will impact on three areas in which MSM and its partner network are active. We wish to create deeper insights in how we can contribute with knowledge, networks, education and research to:

  1. Stimulate youth employment, in particular in emerging economies which are characterized by a predominant young population and high youth unemployment
  2. Innovate agricultural practices to become more climate-smart and sustainable, from the context that the agricultural sector in most emerging economies is the foundation of the economy
  3. Strengthen inclusivity in organizations and approaches, because every person can contribute to economic development and should not be left aside.


The Global Network Conference will be organized in a hybrid format, meaning that you can join online or at the MSM campus in Maastricht.*

Please click here to register your online of on-location presence.
Registrations will close on 7 September 2022.

In case of questions please contact us on

Background information per break-out session 

Youth employment in the digital era 
A growing number of youths is seeking for employment: 50.3 mln. unemployed young people live in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, which is 85 per cent of all unemployed young people globally (ILO, 2017). Further, the informal economy seems to be the only sector that provides employment opportunities. However, these tend to cater for low productivity jobs, essentially leaving many as working poor.

One important question is how organizations and companies can absorb as many youths as possible while also being able to further innovate. Another is how the informal economy can be upgraded to be able to provide decent jobs.

This employment challenge takes place in a context of new capabilities and fundamental changes in the nature of work through digitalization. Increasingly, technology is available to replace or complement workers at all levels. Economic models are being disrupted, creating new industries and business models that are based on emerging platform economies. This technological revolution is being referred to as the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) (WEF 2017). Relevant these days is to know how the pandemic and its resulting accelerated digitalization, as well as other global trends,  have impacted on emerging economies and inclusivity. Are there lessons to be learned?

As an educational institution, MSM addresses these and other challenges by strengthening linkages between university and industry. Pivotal in MSM’s approach is the Triple Helix Model (THM) in which industry, academia and government are brought together and collaborate towards local economic development. Central to the Triple Helix Model is the blurring of boundaries between government-industry-research/knowledge institutions with each actor assuming some roles of “the other” (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 2000; Etzkowitz, 2003). 

This working group session will showcase practices of stimulating youth employment in the digital era. It looks at examples from different countries and will seek to formulate recommendations on the role of management education and research. 

Climate smart agriculture and climate change 
Agriculture is critical to the growth and development of many emerging economies. Now more than ever, climate change brings a great risk. It could destabilize local markets, slow down economic growth and employment, and increase risks for investors in the sector. Rural areas that now feed the cities can become less reliable. Rising climate hazards might cause such systems to fail, for example if key production hubs are affected (McKinsey, January 2020).

The Sixth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown climate-related extremes have affected the productivity of all agricultural sectors. Droughts and floods contribute to reduced food availability and increased food prices, threatening food security, nutrition, and livelihoods of millions (IPCC, 2022). The 2020 World Population Data Sheet (SDG Knowledge Hub, 2020) shows that the world population is projected to increase from 7.8 billion in 2020 to nearly 10 billion by 2050.

Societies need to adapt to this changing climate with an increasing pace and scale, soon. Agriculture now finds itself at a technological crossroads. Success of climate-smart production may well depend on a technology transformation, using digital connectivity technologies. It is expected that those that embrace these technologies may be best positioned to prosper in a climate-smart agriculture future. For example, irrigation and nutrient distribution equipment, using connected-sensor data and imagery analysis, can substantially optimize resource usage and crop growth.

Successful CSA application by farmers depends on their ability to uptake climate adaptation and mitigation technologies. As a management school, MSM works with agricultural stakeholders in the Global South to help develop CSA Triple Helix ecosystems that support farmers in transitioning from traditional to climate-smart farming.

This working group session will look at some examples from different countries. How can such CSA support structures be designed, developed, and managed? What should be the focus, and what are the do’s and don’ts in this processes? We will seek to formulate recommendations on the role of management education and research in this domain.

Inclusive organizations and approaches 
Working towards ’the inclusive organization’ requires proactiveness because inclusiveness is about making sure that no groups or individuals are excluded. This includes participation and representation in (public) services, businesses, training, social activities and society in general. People that are or may feel excluded are often from historically disadvantaged groups and/or minorities. This could include, for example, youth, women, ethnic groups, people with disabilities, or people with mental health problems. Sometimes, concrete barriers prevent such groups from being part of any form of economic or social activity (including labor processes or even family life). To ensure maximum inclusiveness, it is not sufficient to just identify the specific excluded groups and allow them to participate. For them to truly and equally benefit, tailored approaches need to be developed and implemented.

Challenging the attitudes and perceptions of people, through training on and social inclusion and gender transformative approaches, will benefit organizations in becoming more inclusive. By working on a parallel trail on improving policy and strategies in these organizations (for example in education or government) enables such changes to be put into practice and embedded, both within the organizations and in its surrounding society. This brings about sustainable change.

Private sector organizations too can play a crucial role by shifting from a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSRs) approach towards a more Inclusive Business (IB) model that seeks to include the ‘excluded’ in their value chains.

This working group session will showcase practices of strengthening such inclusive approaches, using examples of organizations from different countries. It will specifically focus on gender and female empowerment and will seek to formulate recommendations on the role for and potential of management by education institutes in this domain.

Conference speakers

Subject to change

Professor An Tongliang - Dean of the Business School of Nanjing University

Professor An Tongliang, holding PhD in Management, is PhD Supervisor, Changjiang Scholar Professor (2014) and a recipient of State Council Government Special Allowance (2015). He has been selected into National High-level Talent Special Support Program (Ten Thousand Talents Plan) in philosophy and social sciences (2018); Cultural Masters Talent Project (2018); New Century Excellent Talent Support Program by the Ministry of Education (2005), the second-level training target of the 333 High-level Talent Cultivation Project in Jiangsu Province (2013). He also serves as an anonymous reviewer of Economic Research.   

He concentrates on study on industrial economics and tracks academic trends with international vision and method in long term. He has published more than 50 papers in SSCI journals, such as Pacific Economic Review, Contemporary Asia, Industry and Innovation and Economic Research. His paper, published in SSCI Journal of Pacific Economic Review in 2005, has been listed as one of Homepage Highlights Theses in recent years. Since 2002, Professor An has published 8 academic papers in top-ranked economic journal Economic Research in China. Many papers have been reproduced in full by People's Congress. His views have been reported by the People's Daily theoretical page.

He has also provided consultation for government and enterprises, and has successfully hosted nearly 30 consulting projects, mainly including IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, compensation systems, industrial planning and corporate development strategies. In addition, Professor An is deeply devoted to public service, and has been awarded Advanced Donation Individuals by Hebei Province.  

H.E. Meaza Ashenafi - President of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia

Meaza Ashenafi is the first federal female Chief Justice of Ethiopia. Under her leadership, the Federal Supreme Court has embarked on a comprehensive judicial reform program supported by different international organizations. She also spearheaded the development of a common agenda for other Justice Sector Institutions which will be implemented in coordination with her new appointment as Chief Justice, where she envisions to restore public trust on the judiciary and ensure judicial independence. 

Before her appointment as Chief Justice, Meaza was engaged in the promotion of human rights, advocacy on violence against women and ensuring women’s access to finance as well as in resource mobilization for various aspects of development.

Meaza is the co-founder of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) where she served as the Executive Directress for eight years and vocalized the needs of women marginalized in the economic and social structure. With the cause close to her heart, she co-founded Enat Bank, the first women’s bank in Ethiopia with the goal of ensuring financial independence of women while providing all clients with exemplary service. She chaired the Bank’s Board of Directors for six years.

Furthermore, Meaza has contributed to the promotion of African women’s rights in her capacity as Gender Advisor at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa over several years.

Her work has received international recognition including the African Leadership Prize, Hunger Project Award and Women of Courage for Ethiopia Award by the US Government in 2008 among many others.

Meaza’s formal education includes an L.L.B from Addis Ababa University and an M.A in International Relations and Gender Studies from the University of Connecticut in the United States. 

Andre Dellevoet, Senior Project Consultant MSM

Andre Dellevoet is Senior Project Consultant at MSM. He is an expert in private sector development, development finance, corporate social responsibility and good governance, having worked with over 600 companies across Africa under different private sector development programs.

He began his career in the Dutch diplomatic service, working mostly on African affairs and was the chief adviser on economic growth and private sector development in Africa for the Directorate General for International Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has lived and worked for most of his career in various African countries, amongst them Zambia, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya and the DRC.

He has worked with international private partners such as AGRA, the Gates Foundation and SNV as well as a large number of bilateral and multilateral development partners such as the European Commission, World Bank and the African Development Bank.

Andre Dellevoet has served as a Member of the Board of Pugwash, The Netherlands, on the North-South Advisory Committee to the Members of Parliament of the Dutch Labour Party, on the Board of the Dutch National Commission for Sustainable Development and on the Board of The Netherlands-Africa Business Council. He is an alumnus of the Said Business School of Oxford University.

Dr. Rose Ngugi - Executive Director at KIPPRA 

Dr. Rose Ngugi is the Executive Director of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA). She is involved in providing technical guidance in public policy research and analysis as well as capacity building in promoting evidence-based policy making process, with the overall aim of contributing to the achievement of the national development goals.

Before then, she was a Senior Advisor in the Office of Executive Director, Africa Group 1, International Monetary Fund, Washington D.C. Dr.

Ngugi has been a member of Central Bank of Kenya, Monetary Policy Committee and has vast teaching experience from the University of Nairobi, School of Economics. She has published widely with research interests in public policy, financial sector, investments, public sector reform agenda and institutional issues.

She holds a PhD from Business School Birmingham University, UK, Masters and Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. 

Julián Cardona - Conservation Finance and Sustainability Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy Colombia

In the beginning of his professional career, Julian Cardona was part of technical teams in the public sector dedicated to the design and implementation of public policies to reduce poverty at regional and national levels.

Later in his career, he moved to the non-profit sector where he had the opportunity to work for two important environmental NGOs (Fondo Acción and Conservation International Colombia). As Operations Manager at both organizations, he participated in structuring long-term financial mechanisms for project funding related to biodiversity conservation.

Following this position, he moved to the corporate sector and worked for a leading sugar cane producer in Colombia as the corporate foundation’s Executive Director. In this role, he was responsible for managing social investment programs and became an active member of the team implementing the company’s sustainability strategy.

Currently, Julián works for The Nature Conservancy - Colombia, as Conservation Finance and Sustainability Coordinator, collaborating in building up a vision for conservation finance products associated with scaling up conservation strategies. Prior to this, he was Water Security Coordinator for the Northern Andes and South-Central America Conservation Program. In that position, he contributed to strengthening water funds’ governance and financing strategies in Ecuador, Perú, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panamá.

Conference Program

Subject to change

09.30 hrs. Registration with coffee and tea
10.00 hrs. Opening Dr. Ir. Huub Mudde,
Senior Project Consultant MSM
10.10 hrs.  Welcome Meinhard Gans,
10.20 hrs. Partnership message Prof. Dr. An Tongliang, 
Dean of the Business School of Nanjing University
10.25 hrs. The power of Africa: inclusivity in business and governance (incl. Q&A) H.E. Meaza Ashenafi,
President of the Supreme Court, Ethiopia
11.00 hrs. Break
11.25 hrs. A business perspective on greening the global economy Andre Dellevoet
Senior Project Consultant MSM
11.40 hrs. Climate change and the impact of private capital flows Julián Cardona, 
Sustainable Finance and Innovation Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy
11.55 hrs. Introducing the working groups Dr. Ir. Huub Mudde
12.00 hrs. Parallel working groups, session I
13.00 hrs. Lunch break
14.00 hrs. Parallel working groups, session II
15.15 hrs. Break
15.45 hrs. A policy perspective on the digitalized economy Dr. Rose Ngugi,
Executive Director Kenya Institute Public Policy Research and Analysis
16.00 hrs. Main recommendations from the working groups Presentation by the three working group moderators
16.15 hrs. Closing remarks Dr. Diederik de Boer,
Director Expert Centre on Emerging Economies MSM
16:30 Looking back at 70 years MSM and a glance into the future
17.00 - 19.00 hrs Network dinner

*Please be aware that attending the Global Network Conference on location in Maastricht, the Netherlands will be at your own expenses. For more information about hotel room reservations, click here.  For the latest Covid-19 updates, please check the following links for the Covid-19 rules in the Netherlands, and travel regulations.
** Please note that MSM does not issue visa invitation letters to attend the Global Network Conference on location.

Conference Booklet

For your convenience you can download the MSM Global Network Conference Booklet here.