Natural Resources, Global Markets, and Social Impact

III. August 8–12, 2022
Day & Time:
Monday–Friday, 9:10–11:00 a.m. and 1:10–3:00 p.m.
Sue A. Aguilar, Wanda J. Bell
Algebra 1

“My favorite part of the class was how we were able to apply our knowledge to real-world situations.” — From a program course evaluation 

Course Description

How has the US–China trade war affected the growth of world economies? Why has Latin America, a region rich in natural resources, not been able to attain economic growth levels similar to those in Asia? What implications does a potential global water crisis pose to how nations interact with one another? How has the mix of traditional and renewable energy sources made an impact on the United States? Is it unethical to apply economic principles to natural resources?

This course examines these type of questions as it dives into the fundamentals of natural resources, their pivotal role in the development of OECD (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development) and non-OECD economies, and the monetization impact from Wall Street to the end consumer on Main Street.

Through case study analyses of current events, students develop an understanding of global reserves and yields of natural resources, identify world consumers and producers – i.e. export (supply/origin) and import (demand/destination) hubs – along with transportation channels, and conduct deep dive analyses in group settings on the financial life of these resources and their contribution to the pace of global growth.

Complementary to these topics, participants debate the basis for responsible business procurement of natural resources – including those that are sustainable – and their effect in the global landscape.

Students gain an understanding of – and think critically about – various natural resources (agricultural, energy, mineral, and livestock) and the key challenges of international trade in an interconnected world. They also learn about the social impact of exploration and production of these raw materials. Topics explored include the relevance of geopolitical analysis, how shipping markets and freight rates/chartering are crucial to world trade, and the growing presence of private capital in shoring up global imbalances.


Sue A. Aguilar

Sue A. Aguilar is a strategist with over a decade of experience as a financier for financial institutions and development finance sectors. She has structured and pioneered global transactions with a primary focus on providing capital to complex investments across commodities, infrastructure, and emerging markets for the International Finance Corporation and earlier at Bunge. Most recently, her interest in the intersection of global economics, financial analysis, and geo-political dynamics have led her to advise the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on developing a strategy for its multi-currency lending goals. Sue holds a master’s degree in international finance and economic policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Prior to her graduate studies, she built a solid foundation focused on alternative investments and emerging markets by working for Merrill Lynch and FT Interactive Data. Sue has served on the board of the Women’s Network for Energy, Environment, and Transportation, Inc., and mentors undergraduate and graduate students.

Wanda J. Bell

Wanda J. Bell is a banking professional with over ten years of experience in natural resource production and transportation sectors. Wanda has held leadership positions with Barclays Capital, building out their physical commodities desk; Hess Corporation, managing refinery supply; and JPMorgan Chase and Co. project management in capital markets. She has served on the boards of the Financial Women’s Association and Women’s Network for Energy, Environment, and Transportation, Inc.& Wanda holds a masters degree from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs and has extensively studied management and policy in the United States, France, Brazil, and Spain.

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.