• GTM Oakland GTM Oakland


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Mission Statement

Oakland Schools Global Trade Mission an Entrepreneurship and Innovation through Market Diversification Program engaging high-school students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today's dynamic world economy.

GTM is an intensive, three-day, hands-on virtual learning experience that simulates an entrepreneurial international trade mission for high school students with collaboration of government, education, business and the community.


Oakland Schools Global Trade Mission

Entrepreneurship and Innovation through Market Diversification

Since 1998, Oakland School's Global Trade Mission (GTM) has provided more than 2,000 high-school students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today's dynamic world economy. GTM is an intensive, three-day, hands-on virtual learning experience that simulates an international trade mission. Through this extraordinary opportunity, awareness is being created among students about exciting careers in international business and in the following high-tech industries, emerging technologies and disciplines with the most promising future growth potential overseas. They include:

  • Cleantech and Renewable Energy
  • Defense and Homeland Security
  • IT (Information Technology) & Cyber Security
  • Life Sciences and Medical Devices
  • Robotics and Automation

With collaboration from business, education, and government, working in cross-functional and cross-district teams of four (with dedicated business experts and coaches to guide them along the way), students are presented with a real-world case study on how to best market and sell a U.S. company's product, service, or technology overseas based on the opportunities, challenges and unique characteristics of doing business in a particular country. This year's GTM will focus on the following 5 regions with high projected demand for the technologies noted above: Africa, Asia, Australia/North America, Europe, and Latin America.

Numerous decision-making factors come into play which compels students to think critically and learn how to quickly adapt to rapidly changing circumstances in the international marketplace. They include: local market demand; consumer tastes and cultural preferences; modes of entry and trade barriers; cost and quality; protection of intellectual property; trade finance; supply chain management; and legal considerations. Students will develop international business plans and strategies on how to overcome these common hurdles which companies typically face on a daily basis. At the conclusion of the three-day event, each student team will present their findings to a panel of business executives who will judge them on content, quality, originality and feasibility of their business proposals.

The overall mission of GTM is to create a pipeline of qualified young professionals whom are adept at problem solving which local companies can draw on in the future to enhance Michigan's overall global competitiveness. It also aims to stimulate a spirit of entrepreneurialism as Michigan's economy shifts to higher-value added technologies while ensuring that our economy remains at the forefront of innovation. More than 150 students from Oakland and other will participate in GTM this year and will be tasked with one of the five Entrepreneurial Global Challenges:

1. Cleantech and Renewable Energy

Cleantech and renewable energy solutions will result in a cleaner environment, increased energy efficiency and productivity. These technologies such as biomass, solar, tidal, wind, advanced batteries, fuel cells, hybrid systems, and vehicle electrification have unleashed an unprecedented wave of innovation which will affect our energy infrastructure. Infrastructure such as storage, transmission, and distribution networks with energy efficiency such as green building designs, materials, glass and lighting to continue to reduce our carbon footprint and power our vehicles, homes, and businesses more efficiently.

2. Defense and Homeland Security

In 2008, global military expenditures exceeded $1.46 trillion. The defense industry consists of companies involved in manufacturing advanced weapon systems and intelligence gathering technologies for the battlefield (e.g., Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), tanks, ammunition, artillery, bombs, missiles, communication and navigational/guidance systems). Since 9/11, these contractors have also expanded their reach into homeland security to counter cyber-threats and other security breaches to our digital networks.

3. IT & Cyber Security

IT (Information Technology) is used to track, manage, and analyze information for agile business operations. Cyber security standards have been created recently because sensitive information is now frequently stored on computers that are attached to the internet. Also many tasks that were once done by hand are carried out by computer; therefore there is a need for Information Assurance (IA) and security. Cyber security is important to individuals because they need to guard against identity theft. Businesses also have a need for this security because they have to protect their trade secrets, proprietary information, and customer's personal information. The government also has the need to secure their information. This is particularly critical since some terrorism acts are organized and facilitated by using the internet.

4. Life Sciences and Medical Devices

With aging populations worldwide and growing demand for improved healthcare, the medical and life science industry will continue to grow enormously into the foreseeable future. Simply stated, life science is a biologically-based discipline which aims to diagnosis, treat, and prevent disease in man, animals and plants. It focuses on the research and development of new drugs and targeted delivery systems, diagnostic and imaging equipment (MRIs and Positron Emission Tomography (PET)), less-invasive surgery techniques using medical devices, robotics, implants, prosthetics and therapeutic care.

5. Robotics and Automation

Today's fast-growing and increasingly sophisticated robotics industry is performing many commercial, industrial and medical procedures that would have been unthinkable when the first digitally-programmable robot was created in 1961. Using a combination of electronics, mechanics, and software, these semi- or fully-autonomous machines carry out many dirty, dangerous, or dull jobs more cheaply, accurately, and reliably than humans. For example, robots are commonly used in the mass production, manufacture, assembly, and packaging of products; quality control and testing, automated



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