MICANS GET LESSONS ON ‘STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DURING A CRISIS’ FROM SENIOR MANAGEMENT AT THE WORLD BANK

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Neil Patel

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The students of the Global, Change, and Transformation (GCT) course at MICA, Ahmedabad,recently got an opportunity to interact with senior management from The World Bank. Nearly 80 students who took GCT course as an elective got lessons on 'Strategic Communications and Outreach at Multilateral Development Organization' focusing on Strategic Communication during a crisis.

Mr.Sumir Lal, Director for External and Corporate Relations at The World Bank, and Mr.John Garrison, Senior Consultant at the World Bank Group, gave an overview of the World bank, stakeholders engagement, strategic goals, and rising challenges for a multilateral organization.

The GCT course, taught by Dr. Preeti Shroff, Dean, MICA and Sukaran Thakur, Adjunct Faculty, MICA, equips the managers of tomorrow with skills and tools to manage a rapidly evolving corporate landscape, especially in light of the recent Covid crisis.

Addressing the students virtually, Mr.Lal said, "As communicators, our strategic goals involve ensuring political and financial support, enhancing and protecting the World Banks' reputation, positioning ourselves as a thought leader, and managing reputation risks.
"Digital and social media presence is huge for us, and we have invested a lot in several languages across the world. Most of our social media engagement is from the developing world, including a huge component from India. Digital interaction is another form of stakeholder engagement”, he said.

Responding to a student query on the role of transparency protocol during conflict and crisis, they said, "In many ways, transparency is your best tool. The more information you put out, the more authentic your information is, and the more public will believe and trust you. Building trust is critical when you deal with public money. We do a lot of proactive disclosure even when the projects are underway, we make the documents public. Being as responsive helps a lot."

Instructor of the GCT course Sukaran Thakur said, “Bridging the gap between theoretical frameworks and practical applications has always been integral to MICA’s pedagogy. With the rich experience that John andSumir brought to the classroom, the students could see governance, crisis management, and change frameworks come to life.”

Sharing her experience, Pallavi Dwivedi, a first-year student, said, "The session helped us gain a global perspective on governance and development issues, which was incredibly interesting. It is such a rare opportunity to speak directly to the Director of a worldwide organization such as the World Bank in such a candid manner. We discussed stakeholder management, future-proofing plans, and global development goals.

"Other speakers of the GCT course include Mr. Abhay Mangaldas, Founder/Director, House of MG, Dr. Bhaskar Das, Group President, Republic TV, Mr. CD Mitra, Founder & CEO, PipalMajik, and many more.

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