Wharton Summer High School Programs

Future of the Business World

The Future of the Business World online course is a dynamic learning experience for exceptional high school students from around the world. It is designed to introduce students to areas of research by the Wharton faculty and engage them as the next generation of global business leaders. Students attend live daily online events and work independently. Ultimately, they use all the ideas and insights from the course to create final projects that make predictions about the future of the business world. This new course is a chance for students to begin to identify interests and lay the foundation for future education and career goals.

Course Dates:

  • Session 1: June 7 – June 18, 2021
  • Session 2: June 21 – July 2, 2021
  • Session 3: July 12 – July 23, 2021
  • Session 4: July 26 – August 6, 2021

Wharton Global Youth Meetup access: June 7 – August 17, 2021

Priority Application Deadline: March 19, 2021
Final Application Deadline: May 7, 2021
Applications will be accepted until the final deadline, or until each session fills.

Location: Online (Monday-Friday)
Eligibility: High school students currently enrolled in grades 9-11 looking to advance their entrepreneurial mindset. International applicants are welcome.

Applications for summer 2021 programs are now open.

About Wharton Future of the Business World

The Future of the Business World course is a unique online experience for high school students to ask big questions about a world in the midst of dramatic change. The course applies innovative online tools used in Wharton undergrad and graduate classrooms to introduce different business themes in which Wharton’s faculty lead the global conversation.

The course conversation is anchored by the idea that the world is constantly changing, with new trends and scenarios emerging daily, propelling the business world into uncharted territory. Students gain new knowledge guided by the pillars of a Wharton education: Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Data Analytics; and the Future of Finance. The fully online course includes mini-lectures from Wharton faculty, opportunities for live engagements with faculty and Wharton instructors, collaborative projects with peers around the world, and original real-time business simulations.

Each summer, Future of the Business World students:

  • Explore various business topics and perspectives as presented in a Wharton education
  • Examine current issues facing the business world
  • Engage with peers and instructors to express personal points of view about the changing business landscape
  • Make predictions about what global business may look like when students achieve leadership roles
  • Produce group projects that present predictions about the future of the business world

“…FBW has opened me up to a world that I didn’t even truly know existed….I was even surprised to find out how much I enjoyed the entrepreneurial process in creating a product and selling it and understanding how to target certain demographics. All of the aspects intertwine with each other and form this complex understanding of the way business works in our world today, especially with the prevalence of COVID-19.”

– Summer 2020 FBW student Michael B.

Course Details and Requirements

Course Meeting Times:

Daily participation and engagement are required Monday through Friday. Each day will include some mixture of live, online class sessions; facilitated, small group discussions; collaborative group work; and independent work, completed within the Wharton Online Learning Platform. Live class sessions will follow a block schedule, outlined below. Students should attend the course block that best suits their time zone and/or personal preferences.

Live Programming Course Blocks:

  • Block A: 8:00AM-10:00AM Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)
  • Block B: 1:00PM – 3:00PM Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)
  • The same content will be presented in each block; students will choose the course block that suits their schedules best
  • Live, Small Group Activities: Within small groups students will work collaboratively on a capstone project, which may require additional live meetings, to be scheduled at the students’ convenience.

Technical Requirements:

  • In order to fully participate in this course, you will need a computer that meets minimum system requirements for both Canvas LMS and Zoom Videoconferencing. Refer to the following links:
    Canvas LMS Support Resources
    Zoom Requirements and Support
  • All programming originates from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Eastern Daylight Time)
“Wharton’s Future of the Business World online course encourages Gen Z to explore new models for organizational leadership in this era of pervasive uncertainty. As future business leaders, I invite them to start learning with Wharton.”
— Former Dean Geoff Garrett

Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM)

All Future of the Business World online students are granted access to Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM), a creative, extra-curricular community designed to connect students to one another — and Wharton — before, during, and after their courses. Featuring both live and independent programming, the GYM is designed to ensure virtual participants don’t miss out on valuable community building and networking.

  • Available for 10 weeks
  • Live lectures and discussions with Wharton faculty, students, and guests
  • Workshops to advance academic and personal skills
  • Earn badges, win prizes, and compete in business-themed challenges

Online Course FAQs

Why are you creating this course?

COVID-19 is impacting people all over the world, and in turn, changing the course of business. The Future of the Business World course was created to leverage this opportunity to engage students in a timely conversation about the future of business, a future they will lead. The course, built exclusively in an online format, brings the best of Wharton together with some of the brightest young people in the world.

What can I expect from this course?

You will be offered the chance to engage with nearly all of the 10 academic departments at Wharton. Like the now-famed Wharton 101 course, which all freshmen are required to take, this course will be a chance to identify areas of business where you see a personal connection. At the same time, the course will use specialized learning tools that are only available to Wharton students, such as case study seminars and interactive business simulations.

Will I have live sessions or is everything on-demand?

Yes! Each day will include a combination of live class sessions, group and independent work. This mirrors the on-campus experience of our summer programs. A course syllabus will be provided on the first day and will clearly outline daily plans and course expectations.

Is this program graded?

As the Future of the Business World online course is offered on a non-credit basis, no formal grades are assigned. However, students who successfully complete all assignments are awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Exploring the Issues:

The Wharton Global Youth Program KWHS website features articles, glossary terms and more to introduce high school students to the ideas and innovations that are shaping the Future of the Business World. Read current insights from Wharton faculty, and then check out comments from other high school students to discover diverse perspectives related to the topics explored in Future of the Business World.

Admission and Eligibility

Admission to Wharton’s Future of the Business World program is selective. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence and a genuine interest in developing business acumen and leadership skills. Interested students are strongly encouraged to submit an application by the priority deadline.

Program Leaders


Taylor Caputo is a product designer, artist, and academic with a background in fine arts, crafts, and 3D modeling. As an alum of the Integrated Product Design Program at Penn, she now teaches the interdisciplinary Product Design course (OIDD/MEAM 415, IPD 515) and created the courses The Design of Connected Objects and Experiences (IPD 529) and Advanced Tools & Methods for Product Design (OIDD 659). She has offered design consulting to various companies such as Away Travel, Puma, and BioMeme, and has exhibited her work internationally, notably at the 2016 Vienna Design Week and 2018 Milan Design Week. A proud lifelong Philadelphian, Taylor also enjoys indulging in the city’s vegetarian delights and is an avid ceramics artist when not teaching.

Please note that participation in Wharton’s Future of the Business World does not guarantee admission to Penn.

For more information, please contact whartonyouth@wharton.upenn.edu or call +1.516.414.5555.