Customized Workshops


What are the best ways to integrate into a GVC? What are some of the tools to identify different opportunities within GVCs? How are other international organizations, aid agencies and governments leveraging GVCs? For countries, how can understanding global value chains improve competitiveness? For local firms, where is your organization positioned within a GVC and where are opportunities for upgrading?

The Duke Global Value Chain Center addresses these types of questions as part of its teaching activities for senior level practitioners.


Professor Gary Gereffi, a co-founder of the Global Value Chain framework, is considered one of the leading GVC scholars in the world. A passionate and dedicated teacher, Professor Gereffi brings decades of research and experience into the classroom to show the real life application of global value chain analysis. In addition to teaching students and practitioners, he has also trained members of the Duke GVC Center research team to be competent, thoughtful and engaging instructors in the classroom.


Customized workshops have benefitted the likes of policymakers, economic developers, consultants and academics focused on improving country or company export competitiveness.

Course content combines the academic rigor associated with a reputable institution like Duke University and real world application stemming from the Center’s client-sponsored research activities. Learning outcomes are tailored for each particular context. The entire Duke GVC Center has extensive experience in utilizing the framework. We can put together a team that matches clients’ learning objectives to the Duke GVC Center researchers’ industry and geographic expertise.

Typically, the Duke GVC Center teaching team would lead an interactive case study presentation and then participants would use the methodology that was introduced and directly apply it using their own data. The members of the Duke GVC Center teaching team provide individual support to participants as they work on their assignments.

Read this story to see a practical example of how the Duke GVC Center teaching approach is applied in actual work with government officials.


Training clients have included the likes of the African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Center for Competitiveness, the Organization of American States and the Kazakhstan National Analytical Center. Here is a specific example of the impact that has been generated:

Client: Caribbean Center for Competitiveness (CCfC)

Learning Objectives: CCfC’s goal is to support private sector development. It is a challenge for many in the region to find new sources of revenue. CCfC wanted to equip trainees with methodologies for competitive and comparative advantage.

Deliverables: The CCfC engaged the Duke GVC Center to lead two different workshops for 30 individuals throughout the region with a vested interest in supporting private sector development: researchers, policy makers, consultants, and academics. The workshops focused on value chain analysis and writing case studies. A particular highlight was using video conferencing to interview one of the Duke GVC Center’s clients in Central America as it was a way for the participants to follow-up and ask questions of the decision-makers after they had done the case.

Results: Individuals left at the end of the workshops with a set of tools that they could apply to their own circumstances. This enabled them to see if their findings made sense through the lens of identifying opportunities for development. It also gave the participants the confidence to articulate strategies for development.

In post-workshop evaluations, participants were overwhelmingly pleased with their experience and many had requested additional workshops. In a separate survey, participants were asked if the trainings impacted their work. The resounding response was yes. It made a difference on the job and how they were able to convince their superiors what to do and how to go about it.

CCfC also has a book coming out from the University that features six different cases, a direct result from the learnings gleaned in the workshop.


“If you are looking for a set of practical tools to function more efficiently in your job and to be able to address issues of firm or industry competitiveness, then I highly recommend these workshops. The workshops were most beneficial to us because they were practical. We were to apply a theory and put it into practice. We particularly resonated with the case-based learning via Duke GVC Center’s client work. We thought the workshop was so good that we did it twice! That is testament to the value that we experienced.” – Indera Sagewan-Alli, Executive Director for the Caribbean Centre for Competitiveness

“The GVC approach we learned during the Duke workshops is very useful for collaboration. It brings people with different perspectives together and allows them to go through a useful process to evaluate opportunities. Sometimes when you go to workshops, there are times when the information is not relevant. That wasn’t the case with the Duke workshops. There was lots of energy around the topics and I know this is something we can use for our organization.” – Paula Bourne, Barbados Investment and Development Corporation


Contact Mike Hensen at to discuss how the Duke GVC Center teaching services might benefit your class or organization.