Elective Course Offerings


WDI works in close partnership with the University of Michigan Ross School of Business to offer several courses that focus on global issues especially as they relate to emerging markets.

The WDI Scaling Impact Initiative offers a course that integrates concepts of strategy, international business, non-profit management, and poverty alleviation to stimulate the leadership skills and competitive imagination needed to design successful ventures at the Base of the Pyramid. The condition of the world’s poor is the subject of growing attention. Global poverty is increasingly seen as an unacceptable outcome of the current economic system, and there is interest in exploring new market-based approaches to poverty alleviation. The emerging base of the pyramid (BoP) perspective aligns business-oriented incentives for growth, innovation, and profits with the development community’s efforts to create a more inclusive capitalism. In fact, the relationship between profits and poverty alleviation in pursuit of mutual value creation is a central component of the BoP perspective.

To explore these issues, this course integrates concepts of strategy, international business, non-profit management, and poverty alleviation to stimulate the leadership skills and competitive imagination needed to design BoP ventures. Through combination of cases, readings, lectures, videos, and outside guests, class session will engage students in discussions aimed at: 1) identifying the opportunities associated with a new perspective on serving BoP markets; and 2) developing the strategies, business models, and partnerships required to productively explore those opportunities.

This course will look at business models for health care delivery in emerging markets. During Winter A, we will review a number of different examples, and the challenges facing those institutions. Students will work on team projects that delve more deeply into specific institutions in select countries. Students will travel to the specified country over spring break to interview relevant stakeholders. In Winter B, the teams will complete their data gathering and analysis and develop recommendations to be presented to the entire class and then the sponsors in April. Projects proposed for 2019 will be located in Ethiopia, Peru, Rwanda, and possibly Haiti.  Projects will be discussed at the Information Session on Tuesday, October 30  2018, from 5:30-6:30 PM in B1560 Blau at the Ross School of Business.

The course is open by application only and limited to 25 students. If you are interested, we strongly recommend attending the Information Session on October 30 for specific instructions on the application process. Applications will be accepted through M-Compass beginning October 30, 2018.

You will be notified on your acceptance to the course by 5 PM EST on November 5 (in time for your other course bidding). We do not expect the total student expense to exceed $1000 per student. For more information, please email:  BA685-Healthcare@umich.edu.

New business models built around operational efficiency offer tremendous potential to improve people’s health worldwide. This course will examine how innovations in business models, operations, financing and supply chains are allowing far more people to access better quality healthcare. The course draws extensively on real-world case studies and latest research in this field. Class sessions will feature thought leaders from the field of global health delivery and involve lively debates on important topics. Concepts and approaches from strategy, operations, finance, and supply chain management will be used to understand what determines success and failure of businesses that seek to provide healthcare to low income populations. While there will be a strong emphasis on global health, some of the concepts will be applicable more generally to product and service delivery in emerging markets.

This course is divided into two modules: The first part of the course will focus on design of systems that ensure access to medicines, vaccines and other health technologies. The second part of the course will focus on design of systems for health service delivery.

Specific learning objectives for this course are:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the key issues in designing and managing healthcare delivery (products and services) in emerging markets.
  • Understand the important role of operations and supply chain management in improving effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare delivery in emerging markets.
  • Ability to formulate strategies for market entry in the healthcare/life sciences sector in emerging markets.
  • Understand the role of product and process innovation in global health delivery (through practical examples and cases).
  • Understand factors that influence the adoption of new health technologies in emerging markets and operational strategies to speed up adoption.
  • Understand the roles played by different agencies in the provision of healthcare in emerging markets and understand the critical value of inter-agency coordination in this context.
  • Discover and understand high impact opportunities for social entrepreneurship and operational innovation to improve global health delivery.
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