“Outsourcing Arguments Pro & Con” Panel at Middlebury May 3rd

D.K. Smith Forum presents:

“Outsourcing:  Opportunity or Threat?”

Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 4:30-6:00 P.M.

216 McCardell Bicentennial Hall, Middlebury College

A reception will follow in the Tormondsen Great Hall


Pieter J. Schiller ’60, Partner(retired), Advanced Technology Ventures, Waltham, MA


Nick Laird ’88, Chief Executive Officer, Global Realty Outsourcing.  GRO is one of the leading providers of business process outsourcing solutions to the real estate and financial services industries.
Michael E. Zeliger, Partner, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, Nicholson, Graham, LLP.
  Mr. Zeliger focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, with particular emphasis on patent and other intellectual property litigation.
Scott Hardy, Founder and President, NEOS Overshoes.  New England Overshoes is a Vermont firm designing and selling “performance overshoes” for personal, recreational and professional use.

In The World is Flat, Tom Friedman contends that software, the global fiber-optic network and ubiquitous Internet access is fundamentally altering virtually every aspect of our lives. For one, it is empowering individuals, groups and countries to collaborate and compete globally:

   We are all becoming neighbors.

   People can now go global seamlessly.

   Outsourcing is a direct consequence of a flat world, and is here to stay.

   Distance no longer insulates us from competition or impedes seizing global opportunities.

   We can now run global businesses, collaborate with (outsource to) partners and feel competition from around the globe without ever leaving home.

   Globalization is fundamentally altering how:


            Are educated and prepare themselves for careers;

            Communicate and establish, build and maintain relationships;

            Work and play; and


            Conceive, launch and grow entrepreneurial enterprises;

            Develop and secure intellectual property;

            Operate within increasingly transparent, global supply chains; and

            Compete and collaborate for markets and customers.

Questions and Issues

Does outsourcing jobs really mean we are outsourcing America? Or does outsourcing create more jobs than it moves offshore?

Does outsourcing mean that America will not be able to compete in anything, and that eventually there will be no jobs here?

If so, how do we explain the fact that, because outsourcing is making it so much more efficient and competitive, U.S. manufacturing is increasingly healthy, growing, and vibrant?

What are the implications of a “flat world” for intellectual property?

   Can companies secure world-wide protection? What are the critical factors and costs?

   What are the distinctions between “hard” products like shoes and machinery, and “soft” products like business processes, software and services?

   How do we deal with the reality that some countries do not recognize IP?

   How are courts looking at IP in this new environment?

A special thanks to the late Edward Schaefer ’56, Laura Schaefer Buckley ’79 and Edward Schaefer III ’84 for their generosity in establishing the Professor David K. Smith Visiting Economic Lecture Series in honor of David K. Smith’s work as a teacher and mentor at Middlebury College.

This event is free and open to the public.


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