The Dean of the School of Business and Governance Enn Listra’s new term of office started on 1 January 2021. On 23 December last year, he gave an interview to Äripäev radio, where he spoke in more detail about the future trends of the School, economics education, and the world economy.
Enn Listra has clear goals for the upcoming three years. The TalTech School of Business and Governance is already known as a hub of excellence in its field, but he would like the importance of the School to increase even more. "If we want to keep up with the competition, we have to look twenty-five years ahead, the time when our today's students will make decisions, and they will have to make them competitively," Listra said in his interview. Therefore, the education provided by the School of Business and Governance must also be competitive, and in essence, the School has already achieved the ability to provide the same level of education as the Finns do. International recognition and high rankings are also needed. "The excellence of our level is what we need to achieve over time," Listra said.
According to the Dean, the coronavirus pandemic does not change the content of education much, but it may accelerate some processes. The issues of the digital organizations, i.e. the companies that use different ICT and digital solutions in their work processes, should be addressed more than earlier. It is necessary to find out to what extent and how this should be done and how it will change the business processes in the company. It may require more professional skills, which can be provided by the School of Business and Governance.
Listra is convinced that if the School wants to offer as good an education as foreign universities, keeping up with the times is inevitable. Twenty-five years ago, the economy was simple, and active and smart people who were most likely to succeed were involved in it. The competition was low because the features of Soviet society were still there. "People are in a habit of continuing their activities and decision-making based on their past experience, and I think that in our today's economy there is still a little bit of this candy floss industry left," Listra said. Today, the economy is much more complex and requires professional skills. Therefore, he considers the promotion of leadership skills both in the teaching of current students and in the context of lifelong learning to be of the utmost importance.
Listra couldn't point out anything definite about what the year 2021 will bring: it all depends on how long it will take us to get the virus under control. He highlighted two major crises that have been survived. The first one was after 1998, which had a cleansing effect on the economy as, after the crisis, the economy started to grow faster. The second crisis in 2008 also led to economic growth, this time the slower one than before the crisis. According to Listra, the future depends on how the coronavirus crisis will affect the economy, but he hopes that the crisis will clean up the weaker part of it. He is sure that the economy will become more IT and digital. "I am an incorrigible optimist by nature and I think that rather this general growth rate will remain the same or rather increase, but I’d not bet on that," Listra concluded.