This program is designed for professionals who want to transform their cities, regions, or the framework of development of their businesses and make them more competitive, such as managers, project managers, policymakers and economists in local and regional administrations, government bodies who are responsible for designing and shaping development, innovation and competitiveness policies, associations of companies, consultancy companies or international organizations.
In past editions of the school, participants have come from multilateral institutions, central ministries of economy, cities, development organizations, academies, cluster organizations, private-sector companies and consultants.
For the exchange of experiences to be enriching, the composition of the class should be diverse within competitiveness-related areas. Therefore, class discussions are expected to contrast the views of people from diverse regions and backgrounds, and different national, regional and local governments, support institutions and universities.
Most of the sessions will be taught using the case method. Participants will learn using real cases that bring fresh dimensions to business challenges that require tough decisions. Professors will encourage participants to build on each other´s knowledge to make decisions and find solutions. These case discussions will be complemented with conferences, guest speakers and round tables, to provide a comprehensive learning experience to all participants.
In past editions of the school, applications were received from candidates of 26 different nationalities. When asked about their decision to attend the BCSS, most attendees said they were practitioners who were motivated to learn about the latest techniques and practices for their jobs and to refresh their understanding of the theoretical concepts underlying their work.
According to Ernesto Flores, who works for the ITSON Technology Institute of Sonora in Mexico and who attended the II BCSS, “The international dimension of the participants was a real bonus. In addition to what I was learning from the professors in class, the other students opened my eyes to the unique approaches used in other countries.”
Lina Volpini de Carvalho, Manager of the Market Access Unit and International Relations at Sebrae-MG, Brazil, said she decided to attend the III BCSS because “it was a unique opportunity to learn cluster strategy from the world's leading theorists and practitioners while meeting other people from around the world who are involved with all aspects of cluster projects”.
Hakon Gunnarsson, Founder and Managing Director of Gekon in Iceland, attended the IV BCSS. He said, “I wanted to learn more about strategic analysis of clusters and value chain competitiveness management, and to have the chance to share my experience in the fields of innovation and competitiveness with professionals from other countries.”
Zorica Maric, Senior Advisor of the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development in the Republic of Serbia, was a student in the IV BCSS. She said, “At the school, I gained a profound understanding of cluster initiatives and their application in economic development policies.”