Professor Emeritus of Economics
Michael Claudon is a teacher and academic entrepreneur. Having a particular passion for the art of starting and growing new business concepts into successful enterprises, he has taught applied economics and competitive strategies ever since joining the Middlebury College faculty in 1970. For over three decades, he has mentored Middlebury students, entrepreneurs and emerging leaders from Vermont and beyond. Innovating strategies for extending learning beyond the classroom to the real world of live problem solving and entrepreneurial endeavors has consistently been the driving force of his career.
In 1987, Claudon co-founded the Geonomics Institute. He successfully grew it into an internationally respected, independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helped accelerate economic and political transition, focusing on enterprise restructuring and business development in the Former Soviet Union. After serving as Geonomics’ president for eight years, and dedicating most of that time to teaching and mentoring emerging business leaders in the region, Claudon returned to his first love, teaching Middlebury College students.
In January 2000, Claudon organized a January term course that explored the emerging digital economy. Riding the excitement and momentum generated by students and alumni working and learning together, what was to be a one-time event has become a multi-faceted Middlebury College initiative. DigitalBridges2.0™ currently creates and facilitates programs that help people transition and propel thought into action. In addition to the annual January course and conference, DigitalBridges2.0™ has expanded to include the Middlebury Solutions Group, an undergraduate venture consultancy dedicated to helping Vermont’s entrepreneurs grow ideas into viable enterprises.
Most recently, Claudon introduced an experimental teaching paradigm, a business boot camp as it were, to the liberal arts. MiddCORE enriches the liberal arts, empowers students to pursue their intellectual and academic passions and prepares them for success in their personal and professional lives. It is taught in a hands-on, experiential learning manner by engaging executive, entrepreneur and innovator mentors who create an intensely interactive and rich learning experience.
MiddCORE drives students out of their comfort zones as they acquire skills and experience using creativity, opportunity identification, risk-taking and entrepreneurship; engage in problem-solving and decision-making at levels far beyond any previous experience; and sharpen their analytical, presentation and writing skills in collaborative and competitive settings.
The author or editor of two-dozen books and over a dozen research articles, Claudon earned his BA in economics and zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD in economics from The Johns Hopkins University.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ECON 0150 - Intro Macroeconomics
An introduction to macroeconomics: a consideration of macroeconomic problems such as unemployment and inflation. Theories and policy proposals of Keynesian and classical economists are contrasted. Topics considered include: banking, financial institutions, monetary policy, taxation, government spending, fiscal policy, tradeoffs between inflation and unemployment in both the short run and the long run, and wage-price spirals. 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0455 - Competitive Strategy
What drives sustainability and market success in business and social organizations? How do competitive forces within and among industries shape competitive strategy? We will focus on the dynamics of how organizations create, execute and evaluate competitive strategies in diverse competitive environments using real-world cases. A premium will be placed on improving your writing and public speaking skills. Your Middlebury Solutions Group engagement will give you critical applied analysis and teaming experience in developing paths to profitability for early-stage enterprises. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem., 1.5 hrs. lab
ECON 0500 - Individual Special Project
Individual Special Project
If you choose to pursue an area that we do not offer or go in depth in an area already covered, we recommend the Individual Special Project option. These ECON 0500 proposals MUST be passed by the entire department and are to be submitted to the chair by the first Friday of fall and spring semester, respectively. The proposals should contain a specific description of the course contents, its goals, and the mechanisms by which goals are to be realized. It should also include a bibliography. According to the College Handbook, ECON 0500 projects are a privilege open to those students with advanced preparation and superior records in their fields. A student needs to have a 3.5 or higher G.P.A. in Economics courses taken at Middlebury in order to pursue an Individual Special Project. ECON 0500 does not count towards the major or minor requirements.
INTD 1089 - Middlebury Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is the mindset and skill set that allows passionate people to execute business plans and create lasting, influential companies. Students will go from idea to company launch quickly and effectively through deliverables, class discussions, and hands-on mentoring both from professors and visiting entrepreneurs and investors. Class will be focused on building a prototype, testing the market, and engaging with customers, so students should be prepared for significant hands-on work outside of class time. At the conclusion of the course, students will compete with their classmates in a pitch competition. To enroll in the course, students must submit a business proposal (either for profit or not for profit idea) and meet in person with one of the instructors, prior to registration. In one paragraph, please explain: 1) the problem or opportunity you will address; 2) the proposed product or solution to solve this problem; and 3) why you are well-suited to tackle this project. Please submit proposals to MiddEnt@middlebury.edu (by Friday October 24th at the latest). If you do not have an idea but are interested in being a team member, please indicate your interests and relevant skill sets in an email to the same address. (Approval Required; Pass/Fail)