After a busy week of Spring-A finals, two Italian exams and the officially unofficial End-of-Spring-A party I had a hard time getting up this morning. But since I had registered (and paid) for the 2008 Haas Asia Business Conference weeks ago, I felt obliged to go to the conference to claim my lunch box. And I an glad I went. Not just for the lunch, but for the conference as a whole.
Kudos to the organizing committee for setting up an amazing conference. My favorite events of the day were the keynote by Dr. Laura Tyson (Chairman of the National Economic Council and the President's Council of Economic Advisors under President Bill Clinton, former Dean of both Haas and the London Business School and currently a Professor of Business and Public Policy at Haas) and the Mobile Industry Panel.
Dr. Tyson's talked mostly about the current economic situation of Asian economies, with a heavy focus on China and India, but also touched upon the current economic crisis in the US. After 7 intense weeks of macro-economics it was nice to lean back, listen to her talk and see all those concepts and frameworks come together once more.
At the Mobile Industry Panel, I was once again impressed with the creative uses of mobile communications particularly in developing countries. Prepaid mobile minutes have become a de-facto currency in some developing countries and Nils Johnson, President & CEO of Gorilla Mobile and founder of Arity, explained how Arity facilitates remittance payments to the Philippines in the form of mobile minutes. Very creative use of an existing technology and a good demonstration of how new ideas can shake up decade-old industries like remittance payments service providers.
I am still tired. But I am glad I did not just stay in bed this morning.