Rob Schulze’s move from the US – when already established as a senior leader in the entertainment sector – gave him an awareness of local / global business and trends. He now divides his time between Yorkshire and London as a Global Entertainment consultant.
After my own move to London, Rob became one of my first examples of a global citizen when he brought me on as a consultant at the National Research Group. His balance of personal curiosity for the world and business goals were always inspiring, and he has been a dear mentor to me for nearly eight years.
Rob has thought deeply on what today’s global world faces as we balance hyper-mobility vs. local needs, and here you can see his thoughts and experiences.
Introducing Global Citizen… Rob Schulze
- What do you do? Consultant in Global Entertainment with a focus on technology and consumer research
- Years Abroad: 12 years
- Home? The UK
- Languages: 3
- Where will you be five years from now? Most likely the UK
Dear Global Citizen…
While I consider myself at home in the UK, I am culturally an American.
I was born in New York, had the benefit of spending part of my university studies in Germany and ultimately settled for the formative years of my career in the film industry in Los Angeles.
In 2008, I had the good fortune of taking a job in London to run a fledgling consumer research agency that had a focus on entertainment.
Hyper-mobility and a global career
I daresay that I didn’t realize the broader implications of how the move and professional shift would alter my perspective and life.
During my tenure, my team and I grew the business by expanding our commercial footprint from key European markets to across the globe. With each new market, we had to consider a near infinite number of things, balancing local / global business; market size, social and cultural history as it related to US films and TV shows, local technology and, in the case of China, party politics.
The role truly catapulted me into the global arena and ultimately, transformed me into a global citizen. I loved many aspects of those years. I was already an avid traveller, so very happy with the hyper mobility that came with the job. I enjoyed meeting new people, exploring new cultures, problem-solving across multiple timezones with teams in a range of countries and the commercial benefit of accessing new markets. It was local / global business and a constant balance between the two.
I didn’t realize the broader implications of how the move and professional shift would alter my perspective and life.
In 2018, I transitioned to a consultancy-based work mode. I was grateful for the slower pace, the ability to spend time with friends on a regular basis and to enjoy my neighbourhood without the haze of jet lag or the challenge of 6 am calls with Beijing or 10 pm video conferences with clients in LA.
Right time, all the different places
I think that I have been particularly lucky.
Being born at the end of the Baby Boom allowed me to benefit from various trends and movements that corresponded to my specific life stage. The new- found mobility that the 747 ushered in in the 1970’s made Europe my college campus.
With one technological shift, I was able to actually experience the great cathedrals of Europe firsthand and understand the significance of how engineering, politics, theology and art all came together to create some of the most important and iconic architecture in history.
I was able to study with students from all across the world which created a comfortability with different cultures and belief systems that would never have been possible if I had been confined to a college classroom in New England.
Technology as well as economic factors drove the consolidation of business in the US in the 80’s. Film distributors no longer needed branch offices in cities all across America, so I had followed the work and moved to LA.
My move to London in my 50’s allowed me to leverage both of those earlier experiences; I exploited my cultural curiosity and professional knowledge on a global basis just as the entertainment industry shifted their focus to overseas markets.
Where our Global Citizen has called home
COVID-19’s impact on local / global business and tensions
Covid is now the filter through which we need to view the concept of what it means to be Global or a Global Citizen.
Perhaps it’s time to confront the negative consequences of globalization such as hyper consumption, wasteful business practices that exploit local communities and the environment as well as the elephant in the room, the role it has played in escalating the current pandemic.
We can use our technology to maintain our global perspective and connections, while anchoring the resulting initiatives to local resources and community.
The local and local community seem to be the anti-thesis to our previous concept of being Global or Globalization.
Maybe the future to our success as a society is to reconsider all these ideas for the benefit of a broader group of people. Perhaps we consider a new mindset that takes best global practices (ideas, business models, talent, etc) and more rigorously aims to resource them locally or re-think them to mitigate any negative impact on the local community and environment.
What better compromise is there? We can use our technology to maintain our global perspective and connections, while anchoring the resulting initiatives to local resources and community.
Let’s re-prioritize in favour of how things benefit our day-to-day lives, our communities and those that have been left behind by “old school” globalization. We can do this without giving up the all-important cross-pollination of global ideas, talent and culture!