International Study Mission Program

“A Competitive Region in a Global Economy”

The International Study Mission program is a traveling university exploring the theme of what it takes to be a "Competitive Region in a Global Economy." The purpose is to create a cadre of Seattle-based senior level executives in business, government, education and civic leadership focused on the challenges of globalization to an urban metropolitan region. The issues selected for presentation to our delegation are a combination of the best practices and innovative programs in the visited city, combined with important issues facing Greater Seattle. Destination cities are chosen for their competitiveness as one of the world’s successful international cities. Most importantly, the trip allows Greater Seattle to benchmark itself against other competitive regions of the world.

The program offers an intense learning seminar, packing a whole course into one week, with meetings from early morning into the night. Participants make the journey to better understand what is happening in cities throughout the world. Greater Seattle is one of the most internationalized cities in the United States, and it is imperative that our civic leadership understand other cultures and countries. Greater Seattle’s customers and competitors are truly worldwide and not limited to a few countries.

The mission is designed to be a mutually beneficial experience, allowing both cities an opportunity to learn from one another. Presentations are geared to encourage two-way discussion, and opportunities for further relationship-building and exchange are available at a variety of other events. Select roundtables can also be organized to provide a forum for more in-depth discussion of business or governance issues of mutual interest to both cities. The mission provides a unique opportunity for collaboration and a strengthening of future ties with the city we visit.

Seattle is the only American city working to build a sophisticated civic leadership on international urban and business issues through this type of annual program. The intensity of the program is necessary to justify the time and expense of the undertaking. Senior American business and government leaders will not, and cannot, expend wasted time.

While the trip does build relationships with the city we visit and does examine business-related issues such as the economic structure, business climate, educational system and other urban topics, this is not a traditional business mission in any sense. The delegation is in essence a traveling university, seeking to learn from the successes and challenges of other competitive international cities around the globe.

Goals of the International Study Missions

Local Relationship Building
To enhance relationships between Greater Seattle and Washington State business, education, government and labor leaders.

Benchmarking and Learning from Other Cities
To develop a program that enhances the ability of Seattle area and Washington State decision-makers to profit from gaining a unique insight to the best practices and failures of other successful cities around the world. The trip enables us to compare our region’s success to that of other cities, while developing a cross-discipline of regional issues among decision-makers.

Promotion of Greater Seattle
To utilize the size and caliber of the delegation to build international awareness of Greater Seattle and its business, port, tourism, and educational opportunities. To develop a supplemental program of VIP visits, press and promotional opportunities to enhance the knowledge of our region or to target specific business objectives.

General Market and Business Relationship Building
To capitalize on the unique opportunity the International Study Mission affords in having high-level Greater Seattle industry and government leaders comprise dynamic teams to attract the interest of key industry-specific foreign representatives to the importance and relevance of related industries in Greater Seattle area.

Specific Market and Business Relationship Building
To make intentional, focused efforts to develop relations for Greater Seattle with leaders of targeted sectors and industries corresponding to the strengths of our region.

Upcoming International Study Missions

2009 International Study Mission to the UAE
March 4-14, 2009

Agenda & Program: Michelle Grey
Tel: 206.389.7227
Email: [email protected]

Registration & Logistics: Anne Maria Jacobson
Tel: 206.389.7220
Email: [email protected]


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