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Business in a Political Age Public Policy

Enrollment is Closed

About This Course

Business in a Political Age is a 7-week open, online course offered through the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. The course, designed and delivered by Professor Mark R. Kennedy, is centered around equipping business professionals with strategies for engaging shapeholders - the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors in society that shape an organization’s environment and opportunities. By the end of this course, you will be able to: 1. identify non-market actors (i.e. shapeholders) and analyze their potential impact on a business; 2. explain the 7As approach to shapeholder engagement and how a business can utilize the framework to develop a nonmarket strategy; and, 3. plan and execute mutually beneficial approaches to effective engagement with non-market players (i.e. shapeholders).

The live version of this course is now over. However, you can still enroll and participate in the course at your own pace. All course materials are still available with the exception of real-time instructor feedback to discussion forums and course assignments.


Although there are no academic or professional prerequisites for this open course, the course is designed with private sector professionals in mind. Therefore, at least some level of business experience may be helpful to you, although not required.

Course Instructor

Mark Kennedy

Hon. Mark R. Kennedy

The Honorable Mark Kennedy (MBA Michigan, BS St. John’s MN) reveals insights from a unique combination of experiences in Business - expanding Häagen Dazs globally, Treasurer of today’s Macy's; Government - U.S. Congressman, international trade advisor under both Presidents Bush and Obama; and three decades of active global engagement. Professor Kennedy now leads George Washington University's (GWU) Graduate School of Political Management, and is faculty at GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs' Institute for International Economic Policy. Kennedy chairs the Economic Club of Minnesota, the region's premier policy forum, and is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Kennedy teaches and speaks on how to engage to win in business, politics and world affairs. In Business in a Political Age Kennedy introduces the concept of "Shapeholders" to the field of business strategy - the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that shape a firm's opportunities and risks. Kennedy teaches how to effectively engage shapeholders both at home and abroad to profitably advance business strategies while benefiting society.

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