Looking Back on This Year’s Impact Tour

Collage of Wharton Impact Tour event images
Dean Erika James visited six cities in different corners of the world for this year's Wharton Impact Tour.

During this year’s Wharton Impact Tour, Dean Erika James shared her hopes for the Wharton School with alumni in six cities around the world: Atlanta, Seoul, Shanghai, Seattle, New York, and Hong Kong. She acknowledged the School’s resiliency in the face of challenges and celebrated its MBA and undergraduate programs continuing their reign as the best in the world. She also examined the evolving global economy and answered questions from attendees. In each city, Dean James was joined by another business superstar from the Wharton community.

On September 28 in Atlanta, Rekha Menon-Varma, WG’06, co-president of the Wharton Club of Atlanta and an expert on sustainability, joined Dean James for a conversation about how business leaders can expand opportunity. Dean James shared how Wharton’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) majors can equip students to find solutions to the world’s pressing business issues.

Less than a month later, on October 11, Dean James flew to Seoul to recognize Wharton’s influence on the Korean economy. She was welcomed to the stage by Sanghyun Samuel Kim, C’85, W’85, the president of the Wharton Club of Korea. The dean praised local alumni for relaunching in-person events, following several years of virtual programming due to the pandemic.

Days later, Dean James made her way to China. On October 17 in Shanghai, the dean and David Hsu, Richard A. Sapp Professor of Management, talked about the triumphs and troubles of entrepreneurship. When one of the attendees asked Dean James and Hsu how AI will affect entrepreneurs and laborers alike, they agreed computers will never replace humankind’s empathy and judgment.

The Impact Tour returned to the United States, with a stop in Seattle on November 19. Dean James was joined by Mike Sievert, W’91, the president and CEO of T-Mobile. Sievert shared how he drove T-Mobile from its spot as the fastest declining wireless provider to the fastest growing. The dean and Sievert explored what it means to leverage technology to connect team members and shape their organizations’ cultures.

On February 21, more than 500 members of the Wharton community came together in New York City, for the Impact Tour’s penultimate stop. The iconic Jeremy Siegel, the Wizard of Wharton, delivered his legendary lecture on the stock market before sitting down with Dean James for a thoughtful conversation that touched on the power of a Wharton education. Siegel shared his appreciation for his relationship with the School and emphasized the value it added to his career. We recorded Siegel’s program and Q&A session with Dean James, and you can watch it on YouTube.

To close out this year’s Wharton Impact Tour, Senior Vice Dean João Gomes joined Dean James for an engaging program in Hong Kong, on March 12. Gomes highlighted Wharton’s competitiveness among other schools. He said one of the reasons Wharton stays at the forefront of business education is because of its diversity in classrooms.

The Impact Tour is one way Wharton keeps its alumni close to each other and the School. Where will the Wharton Impact Tour go next? We can’t wait to tell you. When we bring the best of Wharton around the globe again, we hope to see you there.