Explore New Markets At a Global Forum

Written By: PJ Wade
Friday, September 30, 2016

A recent global forum serves as an example of the importance of gaining perspective when considering business expansion into new markets.

In this column, "Decisions amp; Communities," I am asked to shine the real estate spotlight on economic, business, communication, and other >

Which context do you use to clarify your local potential and that of your business or practice, as well as its expansion opportunities?

Which process and >

When considering a new market or reviewing your current status with a target demographic, youre often too emotionally and professionally involved to be objective and inspired. And usually too busy serving clients to have time to develop the new perspective necessary for fresh thinking.

One quick and usually inspiring way to step outside "the box" you work in to gain room to think is to attend a conferenceideally by yourself.

PJs TIP: Step outside your industry and attend a forward-thinking forum that would attract your preferred or target client market.

Sometimes the best way to gain local insight is to think global. The issues in your microcosm are usually the same or similar, but the larger global scale can bring clarity to local issues. For instance, I recently attended a Global Forum entitled "Leading in Uncertain Times, which covered a wide range of globalization topics from disruptive technology and social entrepreneurship to the Fintech revolution and emerging markets. Exposed to expert discussions on subjects that challenge communities everywhere, I ended up with a variety of fresh perspectives on your businesses and practices.

The 10th annual Toronto Global Forum was designed to foster discussion on North American and global issues by bringing together heads of state, central bank governors, government ministers, academia, global economic decision makers, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, and 2600 delegates from more than 40 countries. Formal meetings and plenary sessions, coupled with more casual conversations and pointed discussions provided excellent context for forward-thinking.

This Forum is one of three annual global summits created by the International Economic Forum of the Americas IEFA to "promote the role of the Americas in major decisions and reforms >

The 130 speakers, leading specialists from a variety of professions and countries, stimulated imaginations and challenged norms. Their business insights had the potential to trigger fresh thinking when applied to the context each delegate was considering. You may be surprised at the ideas that pop into your mind when youre free from daily-work pressure and surrounded by others intent on capturing opportunity.

Here are a few highlights that may start you thinking about how to connect with the markets you want to serve. Your clients will be dealing with issues like these in their businesses and careers even if you dont feel you are:

"Riding the Wave of Disruptive Technologies"

In this panel discussion, panelist Adam Khan, Founder and CEO of Illinois-based Akhan Semiconductors and co-inventor of the Miraj Diamond Platform, explained that diamond semiconductor technology provides "new pathways of flexibility" that may facilitate breakthroughs in consumer electronics, wearable applications, and in many other fields. Diamonds offer an alternative to silicon that may provide greater cost-saving and improve returns while using less energy and resources. What changing or emerging technology could facilitate your adventure into new markets? Which disruptive influences will targets face?

"Social Entrepreneurship in the Mainstream"

Debra Schwartz, Managing Director, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation participated in a lively panel discussion of how real estate investment has developed a new and growing niche tied to social enterprise. Schwartz and other panelists shared many financial variations on funding for housing and community projects. The discussion highlighted two strong emerging economic trends:

  • "Nonprofit" now requires sophisticated financial thinking. Funding is less tied to donations and more directed to complex, customized, creative financial and investment solutions that support new initiatives and existing programs and communities. More about this in the following months.
  • "Nonprofit," "profit," and "risk" are three of many dated economic terms and concepts that need a twenty-first Century overhaul to facilitate widespread assimilation and truly-innovative thinking essential to building and sustaining strong communities. Out-dated thinking is often the main barrier to local improvement. When communication accurately explains actual opportunity and intent, instead of paying lip service to old-fashioned concepts, local initiates will benefit. [number list ends]

    Where does dated thinking get in the way of goal achievement for members of the markets youd like to target?

  • "Managing Risk in a Volatile World"

    Share in this significant highlight: Ian Bremmer, President and Founder of Eurasia Group and TIME Magazine Editor-at-Large informally in front of the entire Forum interviewed Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. What does this high-level interaction reveal about what youd like to communicate to emphasize how you serve clients and help them achieve goals?

    "Harnessing the Potential of Emerging Middle->

    Emerging markets continue expanding, with projected global growth of an additional 3 billion by 2030. Harvard-educated Tunde Kehinde, co-founder of Africa Courier Express ACE, a widely-acclaimed Nigerian online logistics startup, modeled after Amazon, stressed that Africa is the next big business frontier represented by more than a billion young consumers jumping online. Kehinde explained that since the internet enables wide-spread access to expanding middle->


    For more on global entrepreneurship and an interview with Adam Kahn, visit PJs blog: whatsyourpoint.mobi.

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