When this kind of interaction isn't possible, the next best thing is to move online. Photo: CIBER's 2019 pedagogy workshop

Editor’s note: This sponsored post was written by Tamer Cavusgil, Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business, and Executive Director of Georgia State CIBER, a national resource center in international business.

During the global pandemic, flexibility has become a byword for those in the business community, particularly for firms managing complex cross-border issues.

We quickly found that the same goes for those of us who study global business here at the Georgia State University Center for International Business Education and Research, a federally funded center with a particular interest in bolstering international business instruction at minority-serving institutions.

Tamer Cavusgil during a webinar on the future of globalization.

The pandemic was declared in March at a decidedly inopportune time in our schedule: One of our signature in-person events, the International Business Pedagogy Workshop in which academics swap best practices for teaching, was coming up fast.

Like the rest of the world, we swiftly pivoted toward a virtual format, and like many organizations, the positive response to the unsung advantages of online learning pleasantly surprised us.

The pilot run in April morphed from a single event into a series of weekly international pedagogy webinars that have helped us stay connected with our traditional audience of educators.

But GSU-CIBER has also innovated to better connect with the international business community both locally and abroad by launching a more public-facing series of webinars designed to inform faculty, students and the business community at large.

The International Business Webinar Series is a project of the national CIBER Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Consortium, led by Georgia State University CIBER and sponsored by CIBERs at Florida International University, George Washington University, Indiana University, Loyola Marymount University, Michigan State University, Temple University, Texas A&M University, University of Colorado-Denver and the University of Maryland.

The output has turned out to be prolific, while the favorable feedback has continued to roll in. Now, 14 webinars and 2,187 registrations later, GSU-CIBER remains committed to fully deploying its rich assets of faculty talent and educational offerings to serve the academic and business communities with international business expertise during this time of social distancing.

An added advantage of hosting virtual events this year is the opportunity to reach a larger audience. Participants of this webinar series represent 52 countries and over 200 institutions with almost a third being MSIs.

We have tackled topics as vital as China’s Belt and Road initiative, how family businesses navigate global crises and how Brazil’s ambassador explains its pandemic response, and as technical as designing introductory IB courses and using multimedia for interactive, synchronous online teaching.

Whatever happens with in-person instruction at various universities this fall, GSU-CIBER intends to continue offering the series into the coming semesters.

These one-hour webinars are offered free to the public and address three topical categories: pedagogy for teaching international business, contemporary trade and investment issues, and research trends in international business.

Speakers are experts drawn from Georgia State CIBER and the national MSI CIBER network, targeting an extensive outreach network which includes MSIs, two- and four-year colleges, and trade practitioners.

Upcoming webinars include a forum on the Italian experience with the global pandemic and a workshop on teaching international business.

For a list of upcoming virtual events and to view recordings of past events, please visit ciber.gsu.edu.

For further information about CIBER and how to partner on an upcoming program, please contact Hannah Tripp, managing director, at htripp@gsu.edu.

Follow us on Twitter at @GSU_CIBER