MBA students meet four Economic Sciences Nobel laureates

MBA Year 1 students Akira Muraoka and Yutaro Suhara had the opportunity to attend “Nobel Perspectives Live!” organised by UBS on 30 August. At the event, four Nobel laureates in economics – Roger Myerson, Peter Diamond, Michael Spence and Robert Merton – shared their views on a wide range of topics from automation to artificial intelligence, the future of the economy to education in a panel discussion.

MBA students Akira Muraoka (left) and Yutaro Suhara (right) together with three Nobel laureates Peter Diamond, Robert Merton, and Roger Myerson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two wrote about their experience and the insights they gained from the session:

Akira Muraoka:

The four Nobel laureates in economics gave us answers, which cannot be googled, to the questions raised by attendees. A wide range of topics were covered, e.g. role of Singapore in the world, potential of technology and automation, and future of economy and education.

In the talk, what firmly remains in my mind is the advice from Mr Robert Merton. He said “you should not be complacent. Keep questioning, can we make it better if it was successful yesterday?” before concluding “change is inevitable.”

Another advice which I was impressed was the one from Mr Roger Myerson. He mentioned “develop new skill as needed. Start with fundamental principles in any area, and keep learning specialised skills.”

Mr Peter Diamond also gave an invaluable advice: “Remember there are alternatives, and think about a current position as an experiment to be evaluated.”

According to polls made during the talk, 60 percent were afraid of machines catching up to human intelligence and more than 70 percent worried that they won’t find a fulfilling job after university.

To relieve their concerns, Mr Michael Spence told the audience to take a positive view and discover the opportunities out there. “Relax, you are going to have a lot more fun, enjoy the journey,” he said.

I decided to enrol into the MBA programme to see how I can change myself for the better and see how I can create more value in the world. The Nobel laureates have given me valuable pointers on how I can get to my goal. I am grateful to have the opportunity to hear from them.

Yutaro Suhara:

The Nobel laureates said that Singapore is a highly adaptable society due to its diverse society. This empowers Singapore to be able to respond to changes. Studying the MBA here in Singapore gives me the opportunity to learn and apply it to my career and life.

In the discussion on technology’s impact on our society, Mr Michael Spence said the focus should not be about the machines, but instead on how we interact with them. I agree with his view and this is what we, as future leaders, need to keep in mind as technology becomes more pervasive in our lives.

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