On what a native New Englander would deem a quintessential fall day in Massachusetts, CNBC’s “Squawk Box” production team hauled its set from New York City to the lawn of Baker Library last Thursday. Co-hosted by CNBC anchor and correspondent Carl Quintanilla and University Professor Michael Porter, the program focused on the state of U.S. competitiveness in the world economy, prescriptions for improvement, and the ethical role of business.

Second-year M.B.A. students Suchita Prasad, Aaron Mitchell and Courtney Hyland appeared in the first portion of the show to discuss their journey to Harvard Business School and post-M.B.A. goals.

Dean Nitin Nohria joined Quintanilla and Porter to speak about the future of leadership, as well as Americans’ trust in business leaders.

“It’s very important for business to return to the place where first and foremost it creates value for society. If we return to that, business will quickly restore the trust it has lost.”

Steve Pagliuca, M.B.A. ‘82, managing partner of Bain Capital and co-owner of the Boston Celtics, and Dan Smith, M.B.A. ’76, co-founder, chairman, and president of Sycamore Networks Inc., sat with Porter and Quintanilla to discuss the effect federal policies have on growing businesses.

“If we’re going to compete against the comparative advantages of other countries, given that we’re relatively higher in costs, innovation has to be the way that we do it. And that innovation has to be supported holistically,” said Smith.

Lawrence Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council and former president of Harvard University, also appeared via satellite to share his insight on economic recovery. Summers suggested that while it will take time for the American economy to recover, the current administration is working on several initiatives to enhance America’s competitiveness, including an emphasis on America as a global platform for production, investments in renewable technologies, and a goal of doubling exports in the next 5 years.

View Carl Quintanilla and Professor Porter’s interview with Dean Nohria.

View the conversation with Steve Pagliuca and Dan Smith.