Marcela Otero is the Lead Staffer, APEC Business Advisory Council for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Chile. She studied on the 5 day intensive Managing Inclusive Development in Emerging Societies course.
The importance of collective thinking
I’ve worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the Government of Chile for more than 20 years and during my tenure I have seen the issue of inclusion gain real traction as parts of the population feel increasingly left behind by globalisation. Inclusion has to be a key part of the agenda today when we look at issues such as international trade policy. So for me it has been front of mind in my day to day work for some time.
I discovered the Managing Inclusive Development in Emerging Societies course at London School of Economics and felt an instant connection – here was a course offered by such a prestigious school, exploring the very issues that I had been working with for some time.
It’s hard to secure funding in my area, so I decided to enrol privately and pay for the programme myself. It’s a decision I will never regret. The experience was nothing short of excellent, from the faculty to the content, to the services provided by the school through to the cohort itself.
There were nine participants in my group, which meant there was a shared intimacy throughout the learning experience as well as an opportunity to interact with everyone on an individual basis. This was genuinely enriching as the group, though small, was very diverse. We came from geographies as different as Scotland and Nigeria, Ukraine and Chile, each of us with our own unique perspective on development and inclusion.
I think the major highlight of the programme for me was the opportunity to gain a really broad vision of development across time and across the globe. From the era of colonisation right through to the present day, we explored the big themes through a combination of lectures and class discussion and case studies that helped situate the critical issues in a helpful, real-world context.
The course has really opened my mind and broadened out my perspective on key issues. The topics we explored continue to inform the kinds of discussions I have on a day-to-day basis in my work: things like the importance of governance, the proven need to uphold democracies, the imperative for better balance between states and markets. And the primacy of inclusivity and collective thinking. That would be my major takeaway. That, and my honest belief that all of my colleagues and friends should take the course too!