Dr. Bill Bold, UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy – “Business in the Public Square: A Brave New World”

Thursday, January 18th, 2024

5:00 pm


Join us for a special ARNIC seminar on 1/18 5PM PT led by Dr. Bill Bold from UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy titled [Business in the Public Square: A Brave New World]

About the Talk

Nonmarket strategy is the study of corporate behavior outside a firm’s market environment, which is defined as encompassing customers, competitors, suppliers, and distributors. By contrast, a firm’s nonmarket environment exists in public spaces, including but not limited to governments, regulatory authorities, activists, the nonprofit sector, and media outlets, both new and traditional.

The importance of nonmarket strategy has never been greater for firms, especially those whose markets are international or global in geographic scope. Amidst a hollowing out of civil society, citizens around the world increasingly expect – and occasionally demand – corporations to publicly engage in social and political issues that often have only a tangential connection to their business fortunes. Rapid political polarization across the globe increases the benefits and risks of public behavior, as firms become avatars or enemies of regimes and political movements. Firms must appeal to a wide range of stakeholders whose interests are often irreconcilable. The increasing prevalence of social media accelerates these changes, leaving firms with less time to adjust their public strategies to avoid reputational damage and other liabilities.

Even the most sophisticated firms and institutions – from Disney to Google to Harvard University – have struggled to adapt to this new era. Using these and other contemporary cases, I will argue that nonmarket strategy must evolve and adapt to new economic and political realities. My talk will address the debate over ‘woke capitalism,’ the Sino-US rivalry, and end with a forecast of the year to come and a discussion of the role of the private sector in the 2024 American general election.

About the Speaker

Bill Bold is a lecturer at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, where he teaches courses on corporate nonmarket strategy and technology policy. Bold draws on a wealth of professional experience, having started and managed the Government Affairs function at Qualcomm from 1997 to 2017. During his tenure, Bold guided the company through trade disputes with the European Union and China and antitrust investigations in six jurisdictions, as the company grew from a $300m valuation to more than $90b and emerged as the world’s leading wireless semiconductor company. Bold has deep policy expertise in issues related to the wireless industry, intellectual property, antitrust/competition and trade in North America, the European Union, China and South Korea and has worked with policy makers in dozens of other countries. In addition to lecturing, Bold has served as a strategic advisor to several companies. 

Prior to Qualcomm, Bold managed public policy for the California Healthcare Institute, a trade association representing the bioscience industry. He began his career on Capitol Hill, serving as Legislative Director to US Congresswoman Lynn Schenk (D-CA) after graduating with a B.A. in the Political Economies of Industrialized Societies from the University of California, Berkeley. 


RSVP to arnic@usc.edu by 1/16 for details on location