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Global Seminar Series – Fall 2021

The Global Seminar Series is a free, online seminar series that is open to all NC State students. Professors from around the world will present on a select topic in international business. Sign-up for the entire series and receive a joint certificate from the five participating universities or sign up for individual seminars.

Erratic Consumer Behavior: The Need for Resilient Business Models

In a time where consumers around the world are reacting to new and unprecedented issues impacting their daily lives, companies are trying to adapt and keep up in these turbulent times. What global issues are driving the erratic behavior of consumers? How do companies respond? Can their supply chains adapt as quickly as consumer demands change? How does this need for agility impact a company’s human resources? Can they adjust? Does this impact a company’s value chain? And how will a company’s ability to adapt, or not adapt, expose a company to increased risk? Finally, can companies maintain a constant business model or do they need to become more flexible and adaptable to meet a quickly changing consumer base? 

The Global Seminar series will look at recent trends in consumer behavior and examine through various lenses how companies need to have a resilient business model to meet the ever-changing needs of erratic consumers.


  • Hosting University:  WU – Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Professor: Dr. Eva Marckhgott,
  • Topic: Toilet Paper, Pasta, and Wine: Consumer Behavior in Times of COVID -19
  • Description: During the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, many consumers have changed their behavior. In this session we will discuss consumer behavior during times of crisis and uncertainty.
  • Hosting University:  North Carolina State University
  • Professor: Dr. Robert Handfield,
  • Topic: The Vulnerability of Healthcare Systems to Medical Shortages During the Pandemic and the Need for More Resilient Supply Chains
  • Description: Throughout 2020 and again in 2021, the world health care systems have been pressed to breaking point with an influx of patients (customers) and a shortage of critical supplies. In this seminar we will look at how critical supply chain systems could not keep up with the demands placed upon them.What we learned from this crisis will determine how businesses develop stronger supply chain systems and more resilent business models that can respond in an erratic, crisis situation.

  • Hosting University:  Universidad de San Andrés
  • Professor Alejandro Mashad,
  • Topic: Entrepreneurs, Start Up and New Consumer Behavior
  • Description: The pandemics sped up a process that started some time ago, in which digitalization and the new technologies such as AI, Blockchain, IoT, Robotics and others started to be part of every industry and the day to day life. This process has catalyzed the birth of new opportunities for entrepreneurs around the world, and specially in Latam, where a new wave of Unicorns and Venture Capitalists is blooming.
  • Hosting University:  The University of Leeds
  • Professor Diego Fieldstein
  • Topic: Strategy Implications with Subhashish Bharuka, Founder & CEO at NUTTYFOX and graduate of Leeds University. Moderated. by Professor Diego Finchelstein, UDESA
  • Hosting University:  NC State University
  • Professor Beth Ritter
  • Topic: Are there Ever Enough Wipes? A Look at Erratic Consumer Behavior and the Impact on the People Side of the Entity.
  • Description: One million, five hundred thousand (1.5 million) canisters and packages of wipes a day, and still not enough. What do you do when everyone wants your disinfecting wipes? Clorox, just like many other companies around the world faced this and similar challenges as they tried to meet the demands of the erratic consumer base. In this session, we will use the Clorox Company’s crisis in meeting consumer demands and the challenge it faced on the organization’s resilience. In particular, we will examine key tactics to build resilience in the people part of an entity. 

Partnering Universities