When Omanhene customer and seventh grade teacher Mary Stawicki asked me if I might visit her class, I didn’t hesitate. They were studying Africa and wanted as close to a first-hand visit as they could manage.
In another life, I might have been a teacher — I’ve always loved learning and to this day can list every teacher I’ve ever had. We discussed the history of Ghana, learned a word or three of the Twi language and of course, learned how to taste chocolate like a connoisseur. One of the highlights of the visit was running a simulation I’ve created that replicates the negotiating postures of Ghanaian cocoa farmers on the one hand and a multinational cocoa processing company, on the other. We divided the class into two sections, briefed each side on their particular goals and let them try to conclude a successful supply agreement. The purpose of the exercise is to introduce the concept of the economic value chain and how emerging economies might create wealth. The students did a terrific job — I always learn something with each school visit.