At Reunions, HBS faculty and other thought leaders address a range of issues facing business and society.

Program recordings and materials (slide deck, handouts, etc.) are made available only when permission is given by the presenter. Links to available recordings and materials are included in the “More Info” sections below.

Available recordings are also accessible from the Live from Klarman Hall page.

2023 Fall Reunions

Faculty Presentations

Global Supply Chains: The Looming "Great Reallocation"
Professor Laura Alfaro

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Global supply chains have come under unprecedented stress as a result of US-China trade tensions, the pandemic, and geopolitical shocks.  We've documented US participation in global value chains over four decades, with particular focus on the last five years. Is there a "great reallocation" looming? The data shows a decrease in direct US sourcing from China, with low-wage locations (e.g., Vietnam) and nearshoring/friendshoring alternatives (e.g., Mexico) gaining in import share. In this session, we will discuss several cautionary notes on policies that have set this reallocation in motion. Will these measures reduce US dependence on supply chains linked to China? And what should we do with prices of imports from Vietnam and Mexico on the rise?

Paper on Global Supply Chain Great Reallocation


CASE STUDY Acquiring and Engaging Talent for the Future of Work
Professor Lynda Applegate; Khalil Smith, VP Inclusion, Diversity & Engagement, Akamai Technologies; Aliyah Torrance, Director of Talent Acquisition, Akamai Technologies
This modified case discussion did not require pre-reading.

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When asked to list key challenges, executives today are quick to focus on the difficulty of acquiring and engaging talent. These challenges are especially concerning as they attempt to define the future of work. The pandemic of 2020 forced executives to confront the challenges head-on. But years before the pandemic, in 2015, Akamai Technologies addressed its growing talent pipeline challenge by launching the Akamai Technical Academy, which asked the question: “Why don’t we go out and find smart people to train, and create our own talent pool?”

Slides


Impact Investing at a Crossroads
Amelia Angella (MBA 2001), Director, HBS Social Enterprise Initiative; Lisa Hall (MBA 1993), Impact Chairperson, Private Equity at Apollo; Tracy Palandjian (MBA 1997), CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance; Member of the Harvard Corporation; Fran Seegull (MBA 1998), President, US Impact Investing Alliance

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Impact investing has rapidly evolved from a niche practice to a mainstream movement. Join alumni experts to discuss impact investing innovations across asset classes, hot button topics like the anti-ESG movement, and critical public policy intersections. Alumni will leave this session with a better understanding of impact investing and the  opportunities and challenges for the future of the field.


Turning the Great Resignation into the Great Attraction
Associate Professor Ethan Bernstein (MBA 2002, DBA 2013)

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Talent markets are shifting. Until recently, job seekers focused mainly on what organizations would hire them to do: organizations posted jobs, and people applied for them. For many of us, however, the pandemic has brought back into focus the critical job we “hire” employers to do for us—make progress in our lives and careers—and how divorced that progress has become from the progression organizations offer. Participants will leave this “working on material” session (as comedians would call it) with a sneak peek into how we are reconceptualizing career development post-pandemic and the implications for us and our organizations.


Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier
Professor Arthur Brooks

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Happiness levels are plummeting in the United States. People disagree about why this slump is happening – technology, polarized culture, the economy, politics, etc. – but we all know it’s happening. Journeying toward greater happiness is possible, no matter how challenging life’s circumstances may be, and getting there is an art and a science. In this session, Professor Brooks will discuss his latest research on happiness, dispel the myths about finding unrealistic perfect bliss, and share ways to improve your life right now by making finding greater happiness a choice.

Video Recording


Leveraging HBS Online for Social Impact in the Education Sector
Senior Lecturer Monique Burns Thompson (MBA 1993)

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HBS and the Harvard Graduate School of Education have partnered to develop a multi-course leadership and management certification program for K–12 school leaders that integrates knowledge from the two schools and is delivered via HBS Online. In this session, participants will learn how the team is adapting business concepts for the education environment that are not typically taught to school leaders yet are critical for leading effective organizations. The reactions and feedback from the 21,000+ school leaders globally who have taken the courses. Excerpts from the courses will be shared.


Business Development in a World that Never Stops Changing
Senior Lecturer Frank Cespedes

Less Info

Business development requirements are changing, and the changes have been accelerated by technology, the pandemic, rising interest rates, and inflation. But the managerial and resource-allocation implications of these developments for start-ups and established companies are often misunderstood. This session will focus on what is and is not changing in buying and selling, why understanding the difference matters, and the implications for areas such as sales hiring, training, pricing, use of new tools, and performance management.

Slides


How to Make Hybrid Work Work
Associate Professor Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury (DBA 2010)

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Professor Choudhury studies the future of work, in particular how remote work, hybrid work, and work-from-anywhere is changing the geography of work. His talk will cover two related topics: Why organizations should embrace a flexible version of hybrid work that allows for work-from-anywhere flexibility and how to redesign management practices to make flexible hybrid work more productive and innovative.


How Not to Bankrupt Your Family
Professor Lauren Cohen

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In this session, we will explore pitfalls of succession and legacy planning from some of the largest and most storied families across the globe.


Dean's Welcome Address
Dean Srikant Datar

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Hear an update on the Dean’s key priorities, which will strengthen and accelerate the School’s impact in the world.

Video Recording


CASE STUDY The Tulsa Massacre and the Call for Reparations
Professor Mihir Desai (MBA 1993)
This modified case discussion did not require pre-reading.

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How should historic social injustices be addressed? Survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and their descendants believe they should be addressed through reparations. In this modified case discussion, participants considered the specific issue of reparations for the Tulsa Massacre, the idea of reparations generally, and the use of reparations to respond to the effects of slavery and racist governmental policies in the US. Participants left with a sense of how to engage with social issues as a business leader, a facility in talking about complex social issues, and a greater understanding of the merits of reparations.


A New Way to Measure Shareholder Returns / End to Magical Thinking
Professor Mihir Desai (MBA 1993)

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Total Shareholder Returns (TSRs) are a dominant measure of company returns but are deeply flawed. We propose an alternative measure that isolates operational performance from financial engineering, titled Core Operating Shareholders Returns (COSRs). In the process of disentangling COSRs from TSRs, we provide a comprehensive verdict on the buyback revolution and the results are fairly damning.


The Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well
Professor Amy Edmondson (PhDOB 1996)

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We used to think of failure as the opposite of success. Now, we’re often torn between two “failure cultures”: one that says to avoid failure at all costs, the other that says fail fast, fail often. The trouble is that both approaches lack the crucial distinctions to help us separate good failure from bad. As a result, we miss the opportunity to fail well. Join Professor Amy Edmondson to discuss her latest research on understanding failure and making it work for us.


Why Startups Fail
Professor Thomas Eisenmann (DBA 1998, MBA 1983)

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Most startups fail. About two-thirds of venture capital investments do not earn a positive return. Surprisingly, late-stage startups fail at the same high rates as early-stage ventures. Professor Eisenmann discussed patterns that explain a large fraction of these failures and what entrepreneurs can do to anticipate patterns and reduce mortality risk. Participants learned how founders can decide whether to pull the plug on their struggling startup, and if they do, how they can “fail well” in ways that leave their relationships and integrity intact, facilitate learning from the experience, and position them for their next career move.

Slides


The Future of Entertainment, Media, and Sports
Professor Anita Elberse

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What does the future of entertainment look like? Fueled by advances in digital technology, will a select few superstars in media and sports come to have a bigger impact on popular culture than they do now, and how will they use their power? Will we see bigger bets on likely blockbusters, more intense competition in areas such as streaming and esports, and more industry consolidation? Drawing on dozens of recent case studies, Professor Elberse walked participants through the likely future of the entertainment industry and outline the most effective business strategies and biggest entrepreneurial opportunities in these sectors.


Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work in the Post-Covid World
Professor Joe Fuller (MBA 1981)

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What is going on in labor market? How will generative AI and other technologies affect the future of work? How extensive is the hybrid/remote work ‘revolution’ and will it last? Why is the ‘skills gap’ so pervasive and enduring? Why is the workforce participation at historic lows across so many developed countries? What can be done to reverse the trend toward a barbell shaped income distribution? This session featured recent research from the School's Managing the Future of Work Project.

Slides

Readings:
Building from the Botton Up
Hidden Networks
The Partnership Imperative


Navigating the Brave New World of Cryptocurrency Bankruptcy
Professor Stu Gilson

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In this session, corporate restructuring expert Professor Stu Gilson discussed what we can learn from the recent spectacular failures of FTX, Genesis, Celsius, and other cryptocurrency firms, and whether existing bankruptcy laws and practices are up to the task of reorganizing these businesses; recovering value for customers, creditors, and investors and restoring confidence in this industry (and the financial sector more generally).


Love and Money
Rachel Greenwald, Founder & CEO, Elevated Connections

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Relationships are big business. Rachel Greenwald (MBA 1993) is a celebrity matchmaker, an executive fellow at HBS, and a New York Times bestselling author of two books about love and relationships. In this live recording of the Skydeck podcast, Greenwald gives expert advice on how to talk about money with loved ones, shares research that applies to the workplace, and reveals insights into the world of matchmaking, including tips for the parents of adult children looking for love. She’ll also answer the ultimate question: Can money buy love? Her answer may surprise you.

Skydeck Podcast


Spotting Financial Market Bubbles
Professor Robin Greenwood

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Over the past decade, researchers at Harvard Business School, through the Behavioral Finance and Financial Stability Project, have made tremendous strides in predicting financial market crashes, panics, and crises. Participants left this session understanding the state of the art in identifying financial market bubbles, and how predictable crises are.


Leading Your Business Through Turbulent Markets
Professor Ranjay Gulati (PhDOB 1993)

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Based on my recent Harvard Business Review article, I explore some of the novel strategies that businesses are using to turn adversity into opportunity. We examine how only a few companies master the craft of playing defense while also playing offense.

Deep Purpose Podcast


Innovation Opportunities Created by COVID: And How to Make Them Happen
Professor Regina Herzlinger (DBA 1971)

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The crush of patients created by COVID enabled the creation of sites for care outside the traditional hospital, such as retail pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care centers, telemedicine, and wireless sensors. Public policy enabled these changes in many  ways: allowing access to telemedicine and pharmaceuticals by mail; redefining sites of care, including  the home as an insured benefit, and relaxing the ownership role of physicians in such sites. Some health insurers added technology as a major asset, and VCs and PEs invested heavily in these innovative businesses. Many of these innovations spread to other continents, such as Africa.
How sustainable is this new health care system? How should we evaluate the risks and benefits it creates for patients, employers, and investors?


Emerging Strategic Priorities for Corporate Boards
Professor Linda Hill; Cheryl Beninga (MBA 1988); Shyam Gidumal (MBA 1983); Lisa Skeete Tatum (MBA 1998); Roberta Sydney (MBA 1983)

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Join us for a panel discussion on the ever-changing landscape of board governance. During this conversation, moderated by Professor Linda Hill, alumni panelists explore critical priorities that are shaping the future of corporate leadership. The discussion covers key emerging topics, including capital strategy, adaptability, and resilience, and the impact of cutting-edge technologies related to  artificial intelligence and climate change. We delve into the steps that boards are taking to promote diversity, not only in terms of gender and ethnicity, but also in skills, backgrounds, and industry expertise.


The Disruptive Journey from Detroit to Boston
Senior Lecturer Chet Huber (MBA 1979)

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Why is it so hard for successful, established organizations to sustain their success? How do they miss the threats and opportunities that seemingly play out in front of their eyes? And what causes the pursuit of new growth initiatives to face far more risk from friendly-fire incidents than external forces? In this session, we explore the dynamics described by Professor Clayton Christensen’s work on disruptive innovation and their practical implications for senior leadership decision-making via the lessons from the case he wrote about  GM's launch of Onstar. Participants left this presentation with an ability to identify and manage the unique challenges all companies face in pursuing new growth beyond their core business.


Can Consumers, Big Tech, and Retailers Fix Health Care?
Professor Rob Huckman (PhDBE 2001)

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Amidst calls to increase consumerism in health care, large tech companies and retailers are making bold moves into the industry. These health care “entrants” aim to leverage their general skills in serving consumers to address barriers in health care delivery. Will these new entrants be competitors or partners with respect to existing health care players? Drawing upon examples of entrant moves into health care—at Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon—this session helped participants understand the landscape of current efforts to embrace consumerism in health care and the significant challenges that remain in realizing its full potential.


Five Ways to Make Things Better: Taking Positive Action in a Troubled World
Professor Rosabeth Kanter

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Even can-do achievers can feel overwhelmed by big societal problems and the challenges they pose to business and personal life. Positive action requires leaders to “think outside the building” to open new pathways, forge new coalitions, and find sources of personal nurturance. Professor Kanter outlines 5 tactics for coping, transcending, and contributing to solutions to respond to health and wealth gaps, ethnic tensions and cultural conflicts, or climate crises, whether as entrepreneurs in startups, seasoned business leaders, or concerned citizens and parents. The session included lessons on what can make things worse, when the goal is to make life better.


Decarbonizing the Americas
Professor Tarun Khanna (PhDBE 1993)

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How can global energy companies, with substantial fossil fuel-burning assets, navigate decarbonization of their portfolio and the transition to renewables without sacrificing financial performance or putting off investors? Over what time horizon? In this session, we discuss how setting ambitious net-zero energy goals means taking calculated risks at the frontiers of science and technology, making the most of growing green energy public and private infrastructure, working with your shareholders, and convincing the board to go along with the plan.


China, The United States, and The Quest for Global Leadership
Professor Bill Kirby

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In an era of growing geopolitical tension between the United States and China, how do companies--and universities such at Harvard—navigate the political crossfire?  We look at a set of new HBS Cases of American and Chinese companies and reflect on the lessons of my new book, Empires of Ideas (Harvard University Press).


Building AI for All
Associate Professor Rembrand Koning

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The most valuable companies and startups increasingly rely on technology—from AI to advanced batteries—to create value for their customers. Yet, this technology is still primarily built in developed economies for customers in these economies, and even within countries like the US, there remain stark inequities. Science, innovation, and entrepreneurship still fail to include and build for women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and more.
Co-director of the D^3 Institute’s “Tech for All” lab, Professor Koning, shared how his lab collaborates with scientists, startups, investors, and tech companies worldwide to drive innovation for all. Participants learned how to support and leverage inclusive innovation in their philanthropic and business endeavors.

Slides


Competing in the Age of AI
Professor Karim Lakhani

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We have entered a new era in which artificial intelligence (AI) is challenging the very concept of how a company is put together. AI-centric organizations exhibit a new operating architecture, redefining how they create, capture, share, and deliver value. Professor Lakhani discussed how reinventing the firm around data, analytics, and AI removes traditional constraints on scale, scope, and learning that have constrained business growth for hundreds of years. From Airbnb to Ant Financial, research shows how AI-driven processes are vastly more scalable than traditional processes, enable companies to straddle industry boundaries, and open up powerful opportunities for learning.

Video Recording


CASE STUDY The Rise of DTC Brands – Implications for Legacy Brands
Professor Rajiv Lal
This modified case discussion did not require pre-reading.

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We discuss the forces that have given rise to many direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and the challenges they pose for legacy brands. Understanding the key to their success allows us to understand what legacy brands should be doing differently. Participants left the session with an understanding of the challenges facing legacy brands and what to do about it.


The Venture Capital "Big Bang" and Its Aftermath: Death Star Ahead?
Professor Josh Lerner

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2021 saw an unprecedented explosion of venture capital activity worldwide, far eclipsing 2000 and earlier venture peaks. What was behind this dramatic surge of activity? How severe will be the inevitable downturn that followed? How will these events affect the nature of entrepreneurship and society more generally in the years to come? What should venture and angel investors anticipate in the future?


Climate Adaptation: How Investors Think About Resilience
Senior Lecturer John Macomber (MBA 1983 D)

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Wildfire, river flooding, drought, extreme heat, and sea rise perils seem to be getting worse in many parts of the world. The impacts vary depending on location, peril, types of structures, wealth, point of view, and the priority of other pressing concerns. There are substantial openings for organizations and investors to play offense, as well as defense. We will use case studies from Miami, FL (flooding) and Sonoma, CA (wildfire) to illustrate techniques and best practices. Participants left with a toolkit to help assess the severity of exposures and to use probabilities and risk maps to make investment choices.


A Profound Threat: The Rising Challenge to Democracy Around the World
Professor David Moss

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After spreading rapidly in the late 20th century, democracy has been on the defensive around the world—and arguably receding—in the 21st century. This represents a profound threat to freedom and stability, as well as to the health and vigor of the global economy. Professor Moss explores what’s happened, what it means, and what can be done, drawing especially on the history of democracy, democratic capitalism, and past democratic breakdowns to help make sense of this tectonic shift and how it might be reversed.


The Psychology of (In)equality
Professor Mike Norton

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Our research reveals that people all over the world prefer less inequality – in wealth, health, and income. For example, Americans report an ideal CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 7:1 and prefer to buy from firms with lower pay rations; however, the actual ratio is more like 300:1. Can increasing awareness of current inequality shift preferences toward policies that reduce it?


Crafting Your Life: Are You Living Consistent with What Matters Most to You?
Professor Leslie Perlow

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It’s never too late to pause, reflect, and better use your key resource: time! Take a moment today to explore how you spend time and where you might refocus based on your values. Try the new LIFE Matrix tool to discover how you can live your best life. Join Professor Perlow to learn about your classmates and alumni from cohorts that came before you. How do they spend their time? What brings you – and them – life satisfaction? Hear about the MBA course — Crafting Your Life — that Professor Perlow recently introduced to help students live consistently with their values and handle life when it doesn’t go as planned. Join a growing community of students and alumni committed to thoughtfully crafting their lives.


The Overlooked Key to Successful Scale-Ups
Senior Lecturer Jeffrey Rayport

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Conventional wisdom says there are two phases of a company’s development—exploration and exploitation. But this overlooks a critical period in between. It’s what we call the Extrapolation Stage, where many growth-stage ventures lose momentum and even squander success. Understanding how to unlock and manage through such rapid growth is particularly pressing for technology ventures, where revenues often expand at exponential rates. Success hinges on specific approaches to leadership and management that differ radically from what’s required in either exploration or exploitation. Participants left this session with a better understanding of how to make and manage such hypergrowth—and how to build more successful and sustainable tech ventures.

Article


CASE STUDY Facebook (Meta): Can Ethics Scale in the Digital Age?
Senior Lecturer George Riedel (MBA 1987)
This modified case discussion did not require pre-reading.

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Facebook, renamed Meta, has built a hugely successful in a very short period of time, and it’s done so largely without any legal or regulatory guardrails. Join us for a case discussion exploring two major challenges facing the company and society: privacy and trust breaches, and a growing sense of the “tragedy of the commons” in moderating content. Can management be trusted to self-regulate, or will regulators or other stakeholders need to play a more significant role to address a growing range of harms? Participants left with an understanding of how the business model creates challenges at scale and a greater sense of complexity of the regulatory and governance issues facing this and similar business.


Reskilling the Workforce
Professor Raffaella Sadun

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The session focuses on the research conducted at the newly founded digital reskilling lab at HBS. Participants left with an understanding of the major drivers of reskilling investments, as well as the challenges and successes that are being experienced by firms in the US and globally.


Entrepreneurial Solutions to World Problems
Professor Emeritus William Sahlman (MBA 1975 F)

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The world has a seemingly infinite supply of problems. Fortunately, entrepreneurs view problems as opportunities. In this talk, I focus on entrepreneurs trying to deliver better health and education outcomes at lower cost and in less time. I also discuss the role of ventures in addressing climate change. Some of the popular solutions to these challenges (e.g., Medicare for All, free community college, and elimination of fossil fuels) seem unlikely to work as currently envisioned. I also address the current preoccupation in the media and politics with what is wrong, rather than how to fix problems at scale.


Learning from Harvard’s Great Negotiators
Professor James Sebenius (PhDBE 1980)

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Since 2001, the Program on Negotiation—an interuniversity consortium involving Harvard, MIT, and Tufts—has annually bestowed the Great Negotiator Award on men and women such as George Mitchell, Bruce Wasserstein, Richard Holbrooke, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and Charlene Barshefsky. In a closely related initiative, faculty have also conducted detailed, videotaped interviews with former American secretaries of state—Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton—about their most challenging negotiations. Having systematically probed the strategies and tactics of this distinguished group, Professor Sebenius, who chairs the Great Negotiator program and coauthored the recently published book Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level, offered session participants valuable lessons about complex public and private dealmaking.


Business in Global Society
Professor Debora Spar (PMD 62) and panel

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Capitalism is under increased scrutiny. From across the political spectrum, critics have decried business’s role in increasing economic inequality, driving environmental destruction, and sustaining systems of racial injustice. Join Professor Debora Spar and a panel of fellow alumni for a discussion about where business and society interact and occasionally collide, and how business can help address some of society’s greatest challenges.


ESG Amnesia in M&A Deals: The Case of Musk and Twitter
Professor Guhan Subramanian (MBA 1996)

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This session examines the legal and business issues raised by Elon Musk's recent acquisition of Twitter, now known as X.  The focus will be on the social media platform’s  board of directors, and what that board could/should have done differently to protect longstanding ESG values at the company.  Participants left the session with a better understanding of the corporate law and business issues raised in complex corporate deals.

Slides


Ending Alzheimer’s Disease by Preserving Brain Health
Professor Rudolph Tanzi

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, impacting 1 in 5 families in the United States. It causes profound suffering for patients, and is heartbreaking for families to witness. This disease also places an enormous burden on society. Delaying the onset of AD by just 5 years can save nearly a trillion dollars in the next decade in the US alone. Despite growing knowledge, treatments for AD have been largely ineffective because changes in the brain of AD patients begin to develop decades before symptoms appear. In this session, we discuss the current Early Prediction – Early Detection – Early Intervention strategy, with its goal of preventing the onset of AD before symptoms arise or progress, and how we are now poised to take a giant step forward in preventing and curing Alzheimer’s disease.

Video Recording


The Power of Business Experimentation
Professor Stefan Thomke

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When it comes to improving customer experiences, trying out business models, or developing new products, even the most experienced managers often discover that intuition, experience, and big data alone don’t work. What does work? Running disciplined business experiments. What makes a good experiment? How do you test in online and brick-and-mortar businesses? How do you build an experimentation culture? Professor Thomke introduces you to best experimentation practice, explain how that works at leading companies like Amazon and Booking.com, and address some fundamental questions. He’ll also explain how these and other organizations have discovered that experimentation provides considerable competitive advantages.


What Really Matters in Living a Fulfilled Life?: Lessons from Studying Lives over 80 Years
Dr. Robert Waldinger

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What keeps people happy and healthy as they go through life? The Harvard Study of Adult Development is one of the only studies in history to track the same people from adolescence into their 90s, to find out what really makes us thrive. We find that the breadth and depth of our relationships with others are keys to wellbeing—not just happiness, but physical health. In this talk, I consider how we can actively tend to our connections with others in order to foster our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those we care about.

Slides


Elevating the MBA: HBS's Strategy for the MBA Program
Professor Matthew Weinzierl

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The future of the MBA is bright, and we want you to be a part of charting it. Join Prof. Weinzierl, faculty chair of the MBA Program, for an interactive discussion of HBS’s ambitions for elevating the MBA, both in our classrooms and around the world. This is an exciting time for the program, as we invigorate our sense of purpose, center the education in the MBA experience, and ensure that the HBS MBA Program continues to attract the world’s most promising young leaders.


The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation and Power
Professor David Yoffie

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Digital platforms have become the most successful business model of the 21st century, as well as the most problematic. Based on more than 2 decades of research, this presentation explores the power of digital platforms, how to build platforms, and how to manage the numerous problems platforms can create. Participants left this session with a deeper understanding of the upsides and downsides of the emerging platform economy, and the strategic challenges faced by business leaders and regulators alike.

Slides


2023 Spring Reunions

Friday, June 2

8:30 am

Dean’s Welcome Address
Dean Srikant Datar

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Hear an update on the Dean’s key priorities, which will strengthen and accelerate the School’s impact in the world.

Video Recording

9:00 am

CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Career Coaching | 9:00 am – 3:45 pm

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Meet 1:1 with a career coach to discuss all aspects of professional development, including job search strategies, networking, interview prep, evaluating job offers, and more. An E-mail will be sent to registered alumni to sign up for a coaching session.

BAKER LIBRARY
Stamps Reading Room | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Exploring a new career opportunity, working on a pitch deck, or interested in finding out more about a competitor? We can help! Talk to a Baker librarian to learn how to best use our resources and services to support your research. Contact us at infoservices@hbs.edu with your questions or just stop by!

10:00 am

Business Development in a World that Never Stops Changing
Senior Lecturer Frank Cespedes

Less Info

Business development requirements are changing, and the changes have been accelerated by technology, the pandemic, rising interest rates, and inflation. But the managerial and resource-allocation implications of these developments for start-ups and established companies are often misunderstood. This session will focus on what is and is not changing in buying and selling, why understanding the difference matters, and the implications for areas such as sales hiring, training, pricing, use of new tools, and performance management.

Slides (pdf)

A New Way to Measure Shareholder Returns
Professor Mihir Desai (MBA 1993)

Less Info

Total Shareholder Returns (TSRs) are a dominant measure of company returns but are deeply flawed. We propose an alternative measure that isolates operational performance from financial engineering, titled Core Operating Shareholders Returns (COSRs). In the process of disentangling COSRs from TSRs, we provide a comprehensive verdict on the buyback revolution and the results are fairly damning.

CASE STUDY: Wynton Marsalis & Jazz at Lincoln Center
Professor Emeritus Rohit Deshpandé

Less Info

This modified case discussion does not require pre-reading.

Join a case discussion about the business of jazz in America. Excerpts from the “Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center” multimedia case will be shown during the session, featuring video interviews with Marsalis, executives at Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC), and audience members. The case covers the history of jazz music, the evolution of the music industry, and changing tastes of consumers. Participants will explore how the declining interest in, and sales of, jazz music can be reversed; the role of Marsalis and JALC in this context; and the lessons for arts and cultural institutions worldwide and for cultural entrepreneurs.

Slides (pdf)

CASE STUDY: Investing Sustainably
Senior Lecturer Sara Fleiss (MBA 2006)

Less Info

This modified case discussion does not require pre-reading.

Can one be a fiduciary and invest sustainably? Are these roles at odds with one another? What does it mean to be an ESG investor? In this session, we will use a case study on JP Morgan Private Bank to learn about and debate these issues and consider the future of the ESG investing.

Managing a Polarized Workforce
Professor Francesca Gino

Less Info

One of the toughest challenges leaders face is managing diverse perspectives. At the same time, productive disagreement and engagement with opposing views are crucial to high-functioning teams and organizations. Drawing from my research I will discuss how leaders can approach disagreements productively and help employees at all levels do so. Tactics include training that defuses fears of disagreeing; encourages people to cultivate a receptive mindset; teaches people to choose words carefully, hedge claims, and emphasize areas of agreement; and fosters a culture of tolerance. Honing these skills can decrease frustration and negativity and is well worth the effort.

Slides (pdf)

Leading Your Business Through Down Markets
Professor Ranjay Gulati (PhDOB 1993)

Less Info

Based on my recent Harvard Business Review article, I will explore some of the novel strategies that businesses are using to turn adversity into opportunity. We will examine how only a few companies master the craft of playing defense while also playing offense.

Can Consumers, Big Tech, and Retailers Fix Health Care?
Professor Robert Huckman (PhDBE 2001)

Less Info

Amidst calls to increase consumerism in health care, large tech companies and retailers are making bold moves into the industry. These health care “entrants” aim to leverage their general skills in serving consumers to address barriers in health care delivery. Will these new entrants be competitors or partners with respect to existing health care players? Drawing upon examples of entrant moves into health care—at Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon—this session will help participants understand the landscape of current efforts to embrace consumerism in health care and the significant challenges that remain in realizing its full potential.

Competing in the Age of AI
Professor Karim Lakhani

Less Info

We have entered a new era in which artificial intelligence (AI) is challenging the very concept of how a company is put together. AI-centric organizations exhibit a new operating architecture, redefining how they create, capture, share, and deliver value. Professor Lakhani will discuss how reinventing the firm around data, analytics, and AI removes traditional constraints on scale, scope, and learning that have constrained business growth for hundreds of years. From Airbnb to Ant Financial, research shows how AI-driven processes are vastly more scalable than traditional processes, enable companies to straddle industry boundaries, and open up powerful opportunities for learning.

Video Recording

Why Is Gender Equity So Hard?
Senior Lecturer Kristin Mugford (MBA 1993)

Less Info

Over the last decade, firms have begun to recognize the power of gender diversity and have worked to actively hire and retain more women. While we see improved diversity at junior levels, industries such as finance (“PE bros”) and tech (“tech bros”) still struggle to translate hiring into thriving at senior levels. What does gender research tell us about why this is happening and what firms and individuals might do to help? Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of the obstacles at play and some strategies they can employ to build organizations where top talent of any gender can thrive.

Reskilling the Workforce
Professor Raffaella Sadun

Less Info

The session will focus on the research conducted at the newly founded digital reskilling lab at HBS. Participants will leave with an understanding of the major drivers of reskilling investments, as well as the challenges and successes that are being experienced by firms in the US and globally.

CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Career Check-Up

Jonathan Shepherd, Director of Corporate Relations, Career and Professional Development

Less Info

You give your automobile regular maintenance check-ups, why not do the same with your career? Too often, days lead to months and years without reflecting on what is working in your career and what isn’t. Using a very simple framework, this program will give you with an 8-point career inspection from which you can define what is working well, along with areas that need attention. Takeaways will include greater professional self-awareness, goal setting and action steps.

Elevating the MBA: HBS’s Strategy for the MBA Program
Professor Matthew Weinzierl

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The future of the MBA is bright, and we want you to be a part of charting it. Join Prof. Weinzierl, faculty chair of the MBA Program, for an interactive discussion of HBS’s ambitions for elevating the MBA, both in our classrooms and around the world. This is an exciting time for the program, as we invigorate our sense of purpose, center the education in the MBA experience, and ensure that the HBS MBA Program continues to attract the world’s most promising young leaders.

TOURS AND INFO SESSIONS

Tour of the Live Online Classroom | 10:00 am – 11:15 am

Jonah Sobol, Associate Director of the Live Online Classrooms

Less Info

Step into a space that feels both futuristic and familiar! The HBS Live Online Classroom is a one-of-a-kind virtual classroom that allows faculty to interact in real time with students and alumni from around the world, much as they would in a traditional HBS classroom. Through this platform, now in its second iteration, we have created a space that will allow engagement with up to 96 participants at a time in a fully immersive produced experience. Join a tour of the virtual classroom to hear about how and why this unique learning platform was built.

This tour will begin at the Cumnock Hall entrance and can accommodate 20 people at a time. Tours will be staggered every 20 minutes for the time block.

11:45 am

Turning the Great Resignation into the Great Attraction
Associate Professor Ethan Bernstein (MBA 2002, DBA 2013)

Less Info

Talent markets are shifting. Until recently, job seekers focused mainly on what organizations would hire them to do: organizations posted jobs, and people applied for them. For many of us, however, the pandemic has brought back into focus the critical job we “hire” employers to do for us—make progress in our lives and careers—and how divorced that progress has become from the progression organizations offer. Participants will leave this “working on material” session (as comedians would call it) with a sneak peek into how we are reconceptualizing career development post-pandemic and the implications for us and our organizations.

Is the Inflation Crisis Over?
Associate Professor Alberto Cavallo

Less Info

We will present research being conducted at the new D^3 Pricing Lab at HBS to answer this timely macro question. We use novel statistics developed with real-time data and apply them to measure stockouts and detect structural breaks in inflation trends. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the drivers of inflation during Covid, how these dynamics changed over time, and the likelihood that the crisis is over in the US and more than 20 other countries.

Slides (pdf)

CASE STUDY: The Tulsa Massacre and the Call for Reparations
Professor Mihir Desai (MBA 1993)

Less Info

How should historic social injustices be addressed? Survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and their descendants believe they should be addressed through reparations. In this modified case discussion, participants will consider the specific issue of reparations for the Tulsa Massacre, the idea of reparations generally, and the use of reparations to respond to the effects of slavery and racist governmental policies in the US. Participants will leave with a sense of how to engage with social issues as a business leader, a facility in talking about complex social issues, and a greater understanding of the merits of reparations.

The Trusted Leader: Building, Rebuilding, and Maintaining Trust
Professor Frances Frei

Less Info

Trust is the foundation for everything we do. By learning to trust one another more, we can unlock unprecedented human progress. In this highly interactive session, Professor Frei shares an intuitive framework for building and maintaining trust. Through introspection, you will identify how to earn trust, rebuild it if broken, and how to avoid trust shortfalls in the future.

The Good Jobs Challenge: The US Labor Market and the Problem of Low-Wage/High-Turnover Work
Professor Joseph Fuller (MBA 1981)

Less Info

It is generally held that America suffers from a shortage of workers with the requisite skills to fill the many good-paying jobs that are available. HBS's ongoing research into the future of work has revealed that there is, in fact, a shortage of good jobs and that the large supply of unskilled workers encourages employers to design business models around their availability. Participants will leave the session with a detailed understanding of the current dynamics of the US labor market and the steps policymakers and business executives should consider to interdict the cycle of low-wage/high-turnover work and underemployment that drives economic insecurity.

Slides (pdf)

Cybersecurity: Emerging Trends for Business Leaders
Hosted by the Class of 2008
Senior Lecturer Hise Gibson (DBA 2015)
Anita Lynch (MBA 2008)

Less Info

Join our panel of cybersecurity experts as they delve into emerging trends and technologies in cyber risk management, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and cyber insurance. We will discuss useful frameworks for integrating cyber risk management into the overall risk management framework of the organization, including board oversight, stakeholder engagement, and compliance with regulatory requirements. The board and C-suite of firms managing digital strategy successfully today must also be well-equipped for collaboration and communications with law enforcement and regulatory agencies plus other stakeholders in the cyber risk management community.

Panelists also include Corey Thomas (MBA 2002), Michael Coden (Associate Director, Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan).

Five Ways to Make Things Better: Taking Positive Action in a Troubled World
Professor Rosabeth Kanter

Less Info

Even can-do achievers can feel overwhelmed by big societal problems and the challenges they pose to business and personal life. Positive action requires leaders to “think outside the building” to open new pathways, forge new coalitions, and find sources of personal nurturance. Professor Kanter will outline 5 tactics for coping, transcending, and contributing to solutions to respond to health and wealth gaps, ethnic tensions and cultural conflicts, or climate crises, whether as entrepreneurs in startups, seasoned business leaders, or concerned citizens and parents. The session will include lessons on what can make things worse, when the goal is to make life better.

Healthy Aging and the Heart
Professor Richard Lee, M.D., Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology

Less Info

W.C. Fields once said, “Don't worry about your heart, it will last you as long as you live.” This turns out to be bad advice--not just because heart disease is so common, but because there are so many ways to reduce your cardiovascular risk. In addition, measures to prevent heart disease often also reduce risk of cancer and brain diseases. Participants will leave the session with a different perspective on the modern heart disease epidemic, and we’ll also tell you how you may be able to make your heart younger.

Slides (pdf)

A Profound Threat: The Rising Challenge to Democracy Around the World
Professor David Moss

Less Info

After spreading rapidly in the late 20th century, democracy has been on the defensive around the world—and arguably receding—in the 21st century. This represents a profound threat to freedom and stability, as well as to the health and vigor of the global economy. Professor Moss will explore what’s happened, what it means, and what can be done, drawing especially on the history of democracy, democratic capitalism, and past democratic breakdowns to help make sense of this tectonic shift and how it might be reversed.

Shareholders vs. Stakeholders: Who Is Winning the Battle for Corporate Governance?
Professor Lynn Paine

Less Info

The past few years have seen an outpouring of statements heralding the arrival of a new and more inclusive form of capitalism often called stakeholder capitalism. In line with the new ideology, corporate boards and business leaders are being urged to replace the shareholder-centered governance model that has guided their work for the past several decades with a multi-stakeholder approach that puts the interests of employees, customers, suppliers, and communities on par with those of the company’s shareholders. In this session we will examine these contending views and take stock of where the debate currently stands.

Entrepreneurial Solutions to World Problems
Professor Emeritus William Sahlman (MBA 1975)

Less Info

The world has a seemingly infinite supply of problems. Fortunately, entrepreneurs view problems as opportunities. In this talk, I will focus on entrepreneurs trying to deliver better health and education outcomes at lower cost and in less time. I will also discuss the role of ventures in addressing climate change. Some of the popular solutions to these challenges (e.g., Medicare for All, free community college, and elimination of fossil fuels) seem unlikely to work as currently envisioned. I will also address the current preoccupation in the media and politics with what is wrong, rather than how to fix problems at scale.

CASE STUDY Managers in the Future of Work
Associate Professor Christopher Stanton

Less Info

This modified case discussion does not require pre-reading.

Through the late 2010s, most discussion of technology and automation surrounded the impact on frontline workers. New developments in AI instead appear to shift the role of knowledge workers and managers. How will manager roles change with technology like natural-language tools? This will be a case-based discussion through the lens of Akooda, a company that is selling these tools.

The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation and Power
Professor David Yoffie

Less Info

Digital platforms have become the most successful business model of the 21st century, as well as the most problematic. Based on more than 2 decades of research, this presentation will explore the power of digital platforms, how to build platforms, and how to manage the numerous problems platforms can create. Participants will leave this session with a deeper understanding of the upsides and downsides of the emerging platform economy, and the strategic challenges faced by business leaders and regulators alike.

Slides (pdf)

TOURS & INFO SESSIONS

Campus Sustainability Tour | 11:45 am – 1:00 pm

Jessica Fixsen, Campus Sustainability Manager

Less Info

Come walk the HBS campus and learn more about the sustainability efforts at HBS. Participants will leave this tour with an understanding of how HBS is working on sustainability and steps that they can take.

This tour begins at Cumnock Hall and can accommodate 25 people.

Contemporary Art Tour | 11:45 am – 12:30 pm
Melissa Renn, Collections Manager, HBS Art and Artifacts Collection

Less Info

Led by Melissa Renn, Collections Manager of the HBS Art and Artifacts Collection, this tour will feature highlights of contemporary art here on campus, from works in the Schwartz Art Collection to outdoor sculptures on view through the C. Ludens Ringnes Sculpture Collection. This walking tour will feature works by a diverse and international group of artists, including Marina Abramović, Shimon Attie, Melvin Edwards, Simone Leigh, Thaddeus Mosley, Lorraine O’Grady, Jaume Plensa, and Yinka Shonibare.

This tour begins at the Cumnock Hall and can accommodate 25 people.

The Grand HBS Campus Tour
Mark Cautela, Director of Communications;
Brian Kenny, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Less Info

The Harvard Business School campus started out with seven buildings in its original campus plan in the 1920s (a number of years after the School’s founding in 1908) and has since grown to more than 35. Take a historical walking tour of the campus’s main buildings, with anecdotes and explanations galore. Who was HBS’s first benefactor? What was the first HBS case about? Who is Arthur Rock? Where are the Harvard Innovation Labs? What are the newest buildings, including the newly opened Klarman Hall? At the end of this fun- and fact-filled tour, participants will know all that and much more.

This tour begins at Cumnock Hall and can accommodate 50 people. If you would like to take a self-guided tour, check out the Smartguide tour app.

Tour of the Live Online Classroom
Jonah Sobol, Associate Director of the Live Online Classrooms

Less Info

Step into a space that feels both futuristic and familiar! The HBS Live Online Classroom is a one-of-a-kind virtual classroom that allows faculty to interact in real time with students and alumni from around the world, much as they would in a traditional HBS classroom. Through this platform, now in its second iteration, we have created a space that will allow engagement with up to 96 participants at a time in a fully immersive produced experience. Join a tour of the virtual classroom to hear about how and why this unique learning platform was built.

This tour will begin at the Cumnock Hall entrance and can accommodate 20 people at a time. Tours will be staggered every 20 minutes for the time block.

1:00 pm

Business & Environment Initiative and Social Enterprise Initiative Open House & Networking Session
Location: Smaller meal tent closer to Baker Library

Less Info

The Business & Environment Initiative and the Social Enterprise Initiative invite alumni to join us from 1:00-2:00pm to learn about HBS activities on climate and social enterprises and to network with other alumni working in these spaces.

2:30 pm

Crafting Your Life: Are You Living Consistent with What Matters Most to You?
Professor Leslie Perlow

Less Info

It’s never too late to pause, reflect, and better use your key resource: time! Take a moment today to explore how you spend time and where you might refocus based on your values. Try the new LIFE Matrix tool to discover how you can live your best life. Join Professor Perlow to learn about your classmates and alumni from cohorts that came before you. How do they spend their time? What brings you – and them – life satisfaction? Hear about the MBA course — Crafting Your Life — that Professor Perlow recently introduced to help students live consistently with their values and handle life when it doesn’t go as planned. Join a growing community of students and alumni committed to thoughtfully crafting their lives.

BAKER LIBRARY
Celebrating Your History: The HBS Archives | Archival Display for MBA Classes of 1948 and 1953

de Gaspé Beaubien Reading Room | Baker Library | First Floor

Less Info

Join HBS Archivists in exploring materials from your years at HBS including yearbooks, course catalogs, photographs, issues of the HarBus and other materials from the HBS Archives.

Saturday, June 3

8:30 am

Community Conversation Breakfasts | 8:30 am – 9:30 am
Batten Hives

Less Info

Connections, Conversations, and Community. Enjoy Breakfast in Batten while engaging with others and contributing to conversations. This is an opportunity to meet, hear from, and foster relationships with fellow alumni and HBS leaders who share in issues and challenges that matter to you. The following connection topics and conversations will be taking place:

How Can Leaders Address Diversity Backlash?
With any great change, resistance is sure to follow. Join us for a discussion on what we can do as leaders to eradicate gender, race, and other forms of inequity, despite what feels like growing resistance.

Non-Profit Board Service
Do you currently serve on a non-profit board, or are you considering a seat on one? Come together with other alumni to share your experiences on effective non-profit governance and the essential roles and practices and trends in modern board leadership.

The Power of Mentorship in Life Sciences
In a March, 2023 HBS conversation about the pathways from business school to biotech, Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan mentioned that mentorship is a critical component of career success. This breakfast conversation will focus on how mentorship has positively benefitted both students and alumni. Guests include Jenny Herbach (MBA 2013), Rahul Mehendale (MBA 2003), Dan Ahlstedt (MBA 2021, Blavatnik Fellow), Steven Kasok (MBA 1992).

9:00 am

CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Career Coaching | 9:00 am – 3:45 pm

Less Info

Meet 1:1 with a career coach to discuss all aspects of professional development, including job search strategies, networking, interview prep, evaluating job offers, and more. An E-mail will be sent to registered alumni to sign up for a coaching session.

BAKER LIBRARY
Curators Exhibit Tour | 9:00 am – 9:45 am
South Sea Bubble, 1720: Narratives of the First International Bank Crash

Baker Library | Bloomberg Center, North Lobby, First Floor

Less Info

British citizens from all walks of life invested in the South Sea Company: a public-private enterprise that was granted a trade monopoly with Spanish colonies in South America in return for converting British government debt into company shares. The exhibit explores the dramatic rise and fall of the company stock, drawing on materials from Baker Library, which holds one of the world’s most extensive collections relating to the financial crisis. From Parliamentary decrees to financial instruments to satirical prints, the collection reveals economic, political, and cultural narratives of the investor frenzy and ensuing financial collapse of 1720.

BAKER LIBRARY
Begin with Baker | 9:00 am – 9:45 am

Less Info

Better research begins with Baker. Bring your morning coffee and find out how Baker Library can help you even after you graduate. We’ll provide an overview of our alumni services, introduce you to resources you can access from home, and share examples of how we work with alumni.

10:00 am

BAKER LIBRARY
Stamps Reading Room | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Baker Library | Bloomberg Center, Third Floor

Less Info

Exploring a new career opportunity, working on a pitch deck, or interested in finding out more about a competitor? We can help! Talk to a Baker librarian to learn how to best use our resources and services to support your research. Contact us at infoservices@hbs.edu with your questions or just stop by!

Dignity, the Populist Backlash, and the War in Ukraine: How to Imagine the Next Global Economy
Professor Rawi Abdelal

Less Info

The greatest challenge to the sustainability of our current era of globalization comes from within the US. Most Americans now reject globalization. What can we learn from parts of the developed world where the backlash is also profound—or more muted? One conclusion: It is not just about money. Those who feel left behind feel they have lost respect and dignity. The populist backlash also coincides with a shift in the global balance of power. We will explore the ways in which the disappointments with globalization in the West connect to the efforts of other great powers to rewrite the rules of the system.

Video Recording

Complicit: How We Enable the Unethical and How to Stop
Professor Max Bazerman

Less Info

It is easy to condemn obvious wrongdoers such as Elizabeth Holmes, Adam Neumann, Harvey Weinstein, and the Sackler family. But we rarely think about the many people who supported their unethical or criminal behavior—business partners, employees, investors, news organizations, and others. And whether we’re aware of it or not, almost all of us have been complicit in the unethical behavior of others. In his book Complicit, Professor Max Bazerman offers strategies for recognizing and avoiding the psychological and other traps that lead us to ignore, condone, or actively support wrongdoing in our businesses, organizations, communities, politics, and more.

Slides (pdf)

CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Renew Your Work and Life | 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Dr. Timothy Butler, Senior Fellow; Director of Career Development Programs
*this session will run for 90 minutes

Less Info

Reunion brings the opportunity to reflect. Do you find yourself considering new ways to contribute to family, community, or work? This program will allow you to look more deeply into the essential elements that are always present when making the decisions that bring you closer to work and life fulfillment. Dr. Tim Butler will guide participants through exercises, working individually and in small groups, to help you gain clarity about what matters most in your work and life, better understand what you need and want in your life, and determine what action needs to be taken in your life.

How to Make Hybrid Work Work
Associate Professor Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury (DBA 2010)

Less Info

Professor Choudhury studies the future of work, in particular how remote work, hybrid work, and work-from-anywhere is changing the geography of work. His talk will cover two related topics: Why organizations should embrace a flexible version of hybrid work that allows for work-from-anywhere flexibility and how to redesign management practices to make flexible hybrid work more productive and innovative.

Navigating the Brave New World of Cryptocurrency Bankruptcy
Professor Stu Gilson

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In this session, corporate restructuring expert Professor Stu Gilson will discuss what we can learn from the recent spectacular failures of FTX, Genesis, Celsius, and other cryptocurrency firms, and whether existing bankruptcy laws and practices are up to the task of reorganizing these businesses; recovering value for customers, creditors, and investors and restoring confidence in this industry (and the financial sector more generally).

Slides (pdf)

Health Care Innovations in the Age of COVID-19
Professor Regina Herzlinger (DBA 1971)

Less Info

More information about this session will be published soon.

CASE STUDY: The Dark Side of AI: Algorithmic Bias and Discrimination
Associate Professor Ayelet Israeli

Less Info

This modified case discussion does not require pre-reading.

Digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) have made an abundance of data and technological tools available to companies. Firms are increasingly personalizing their offerings to increase the effectiveness of their interventions and benefits consumers who now receive communications that are more relevant to them. However, algorithmic personalization poses risks for firms, consumers, and society. One risk is to underserve customers from protected or underrepresented groups, even if the firm does not intend to discriminate based on those characteristics. In this session we will discuss ways in which algorithmic bias occurs in practice, and present practical solutions to overcome those biases.

Slides (pdf)

Climate Adaptation: How Investors Think About Resilience
Senior Lecturer John Macomber (MBA 1983)

Less Info

Wildfire, river flooding, drought, extreme heat, and sea rise perils seem to be getting worse in many parts of the world. The impacts vary depending on location, peril, types of structures, wealth, point of view, and the priority of other pressing concerns. There are substantial openings for organizations and investors to play offense, as well as defense. We will use case studies from Miami, FL (flooding) and Sonoma, CA (wildfire) to illustrate techniques and best practices. Participants will leave with a toolkit to help assess the severity of exposures and to use probabilities and risk maps to make investment choices.

Lessons from Major League Baseball’s Game-Changing Innovations
Chris Marinak (MBA 2008), Chief Operations and Strategy Officer for Major League Baseball

Less Info

As the chief operations and strategy officer for Major League Baseball (MLB), Chris Marinak (MBA 2008) helped launch the headline-grabbing innovations the league rolled out this season to make the game quicker and more exciting—including the introduction of larger bases and a pitch clock. In this live taping of the HBS alumni podcast, Skydeck, Marinak talks about what it is like to lead change at a historic brand, how to build and nurture an organizational culture of innovation, and what his experience at MLB can teach any business leader about successful product development.

The Stock Buyback Controversy: Facts, Fiction, and Policies
Professor Charles Wang

Less Info

Stock buybacks have been a perennial subject of controversy in corporate governance. Citing the high level of stock buybacks over the last 15 years, critics warn that buybacks starve firms of capital necessary for securing their long-term prospects, impairing firms' ability to invest, innovate, and provide good wages. These concerns have led to several proposals for regulating stock buybacks, culminating in President Biden's 1% tax on such payouts. In this session, Professor Wang will lead a discussion about the merits and problems associated with stock buybacks and discuss the likely effects of Biden’s tax on them.

Slides (pdf)

The Art & Science of Selective College Admissions
Laurie Weingarten (MBA 1993), Co-Founder, Director of College Admission Counseling at One-Stop College Counseling

Less Info

This session is for teens and their parents. College admissions has changed dramatically over the past few decades and continues to evolve, often leaving students (and parents) overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. In this session, Ms. Weingarten will examine the objective (class rigor, grades, test scores) and the subjective (extracurricular activities, teachers/counselor recs, essays, interviews, and character) measures most valued by admission officers. She will cover application strategies, including demonstrating interest and choosing early-action/early-decision schools. Participants will leave with a clear picture of what really counts and be better equipped to tackle the complex world of college admissions.

CASE STUDY Government in the Metaverse: A Live Case Discussion
Professor Mitch Weiss (MBA 2004)

Less Info

This modified case discussion does not require pre-reading.

Web3 has come for government. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies have wound their way into public services. DAOs and NFTs have arrived on the political scene. Now public officials are tip-toeing into the metaverse. Seoul’s mayor planned for a metaverse platform for his city and then followed through with an early version. What have they learned? Should others in public and private life follow? McKinsey predicts a $5 trillion opportunity just as some companies are backing off early metaverse forays. Participants will leave with a sense for metaverse technologies being explored by governments and the private companies that engage with them, as well as the potential political, social and commercial implications of these new partnerships.

Why Some Platforms Thrive and Others Don’t
Professor Feng Zhu (PhDSTM 2008)

Less Info

In the digital economy, scale is no guarantee of continued success. After all, the same factors that help an online platform expand quickly—such as the low cost of adding new customers—work for challengers too. What then allows platforms to fight off rivals and grow profits? Participants will leave this session with a framework to evaluate the likelihood of success of a digital-platform business.

Entrepreneurs Exchange
Batten Hives

Less Info

Calling all Founders, Innovators and Entrepreneurs. This session is an opportunity to connect with fellow alumni to discuss hot topics on opportunities and obstacles in all aspects of entrepreneurship. While your individual path is certainly unique, our collective experience and your alumni network should support your journey. Please join us for an informal conversation to share perspective on lessons learned, understand the community available to alumni and exchange ideas to better enable the road ahead. This is an opportunity to connect with others who share the drive to create and build new businesses.

Tour of the Live Online Classroom | 10:00 am – 11:15 am
Jonah Sobol, Associate Director of the Live Online Classrooms

Less Info

Step into a space that feels both futuristic and familiar! The HBS Live Online Classroom is a one-of-a-kind virtual classroom that allows faculty to interact in real time with students and alumni from around the world, much as they would in a traditional HBS classroom. Through this platform, now in its second iteration, we have created a space that will allow engagement with up to 96 participants at a time in a fully immersive produced experience. Join a tour of the virtual classroom to hear about how and why this unique learning platform was built.

This tour will begin at the Cumnock Hall entrance and can accommodate 20 people at a time. Tours will be staggered every 20 minutes for the time block.

11:45 am

Spotting Financial Market Bubbles
Pofessor Robin Greenwood

Less Info

Over the past decade, researchers at Harvard Business School, through the Behavioral Finance and Financial Stability Project, have made tremendous strides in predicting financial market crashes, panics, and crises. Participants will leave this session understanding the state of the art in identifying financial market bubbles, and how predictable crises are.

CASE STUDY: The Rise of DTC Brands – Implications for Legacy Brands
Professor Rajiv Lal

Less Info

This modified case discussion does not require pre-reading.

We will discuss the forces that have given rise to many direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and the challenges they pose for legacy brands. Understanding the key to their success allows us to understand what legacy brands should be doing differently. Participants will leave the session with an understanding of the challenges facing legacy brands and what to do about it.

The Venture Capital "Big Bang" and Its Aftermath: Death Star Ahead?
Professor Josh Lerner

Less Info

2021 saw an unprecedented explosion of venture capital activity worldwide, far eclipsing 2000 and earlier venture peaks. What was behind this dramatic surge of activity? How severe will be the inevitable downturn that followed? How will these events affect the nature of entrepreneurship and society more generally in the years to come? What should venture and angel investors anticipate in the future?

How to Promote Innovation and Entrepreneurial Spirit in Growing Organizations
Professor Tatiana Sandino (DBA 2004)

Less Info

As businesses grow, founders lose their ability to set direction through informal interactions. They increasingly rely on formal structures and systems to implement their strategies and hold employees accountable. Yet many executives worry that these systems could reduce employees’ sense of empowerment and hinder their entrepreneurial spirit. Professor Sandino will share insights from her research with multi-unit organizations on how to build systems that promote adaptability and entrepreneurship in growing service organizations. Participants will learn how to build systems that incorporate flexibility of strategy implementation, promote critical thinking and innovation, and emphasize a common purpose throughout a growing organization.

Learning From Harvard’s Great Negotiators
Professor Jim Sebenius (PhDBE 1980)

Less Info

Since 2001, the Program on Negotiation—an interuniversity consortium involving Harvard, MIT, and Tufts—has annually bestowed the Great Negotiator Award on men and women such as George Mitchell, Bruce Wasserstein, Richard Holbrooke, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and Charlene Barshefsky. In a closely related initiative, faculty have also conducted detailed, videotaped interviews with former American secretaries of state—Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton—about their most challenging negotiations. Having systematically probed the strategies and tactics of this distinguished group, Professor Sebenius, who chairs the Great Negotiator program and coauthored the recently published book Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level, will offer session participants valuable lessons about complex public and private dealmaking.

Video Recording
This video will be available to alumni until August 9, 2023

Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experimentation
Professor Stefan Thomke

Less Info

When it comes to improving customer experiences, trying out business models, or developing new products, even the most experienced managers often discover that intuition, experience, and big data alone don’t work. What does work? Running disciplined business experiments. What makes a good experiment? How do you test in online and brick-and-mortar businesses? How do you build an experimentation culture? Professor Thomke will introduce you to best experimentation practice, explain how that works at leading companies like Amazon and Booking.com, and address some fundamental questions. He’ll also explain how these and other organizations have discovered that experimentation provides considerable competitive advantages.

The Portfolio Life: How to Future-Proof Your Career, Avoid Burnout, and Build a Life Bigger Than Your Business Card
Senior Lecturer Christina Wallace (MBA 2010)

Less Info

If there's one thing that the pandemic and the resulting economic volatility has made painfully clear, it's that most people need—and want—a dramatically different relationship with work. Whether you are personally experiencing this shift, or you're seeing the transformation in the teams you manage, the demand for a new model is clear. Join Senior Lecturer Christina Wallace for a discussion of her new book, The Portfolio Life, which offers a framework for work and life. Participants will leave this session with a new model that upends the notion they should have ever been at odds.

Video Recording

Perspectives on the Conflict in Ukraine – Panel Discussion
Hosted by Graham Weihmiller (MBA 2003), CEO of Business Network International
Moderated by Professor Rawi Abdelal

Less Info

This panel discussion will take a thoughtful and multi-dimensional view of this evolving conflict. We’ll examine the historical context, present status, and possible future trajectories of the situation. Both a regional and global impact will color the conversation, and the humanitarian, business, geopolitical, and military dimensions will be incorporated. Personal experiences will be shared, and opportunities for further engagement on the issue will also be suggested.

Panelists include Jessica Bleyzer (Founder, Ukraine Rises), Mariana Budjeryn (Sr. Researcher, Harvard Kennedy School), Nataliya Gumenyuk (Ukrainian Journalist, Founder, Public Interest Journalism Lab), Katherine Kostereva (OPM 57, CEO, Creatio), Dan Pasko (MBA 2010, Founder, Children of Heroes), Natalie Polischuk (MBA 2003, Independent Director, Ferrexpo)

The Art & Science of Selective College Admissions
Laurie Weingarten (MBA 1993), Co-Founder, Director of College Admission Counseling at One-Stop College Counseling

Less Info

This session is for teens and their parents. College admissions has changed dramatically over the past few decades and continues to evolve, often leaving students (and parents) overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. In this session, Ms. Weingarten will examine the objective (class rigor, grades, test scores) and the subjective (extracurricular activities, teachers/counselor recs, essays, interviews, and character) measures most valued by admission officers. She will cover application strategies, including demonstrating interest and choosing early-action/early-decision schools. Participants will leave with a clear picture of what really counts and be better equipped to tackle the complex world of college admissions.

TOURS & INFO SESSIONS
Contemporary Art Tour | 11:45 am – 12:30 pm

Melissa Renn, Collections Manager, HBS Art and Artifacts Collection

Less Info

Led by Melissa Renn, Collections Manager of the HBS Art and Artifacts Collection, this tour will feature highlights of contemporary art here on campus, from works in the Schwartz Art Collection to outdoor sculptures on view through the C. Ludens Ringnes Sculpture Collection. This walking tour will feature works by a diverse and international group of artists, including Marina Abramović, Shimon Attie, Melvin Edwards, Simone Leigh, Thaddeus Mosley, Lorraine O’Grady, Jaume Plensa, and Yinka Shonibare.

This tour begins at Cumnock Hall and can accommodate 25 people.

Behind-The-Scenes: Tour of Baker Library Special Collections & Archives | 11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Laura Linard, Senior Director of Special Collections & Archives

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Join the Director of Special Collections & Archives for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Library’s stacks, vault, and conservation lab, and see some of the rarest materials in the collection. Unique among business school libraries, Baker Library holds extraordinarily comprehensive and diverse special collections documenting over six centuries of business and economic history. On display will be some of the unique and irreplaceable materials from a Medici Family 15th century ledger volume to Digital Equipment Corporation’s nine-page business plan from 1957.

This tour begins in the Baker Library lobby and can accommodate 20 people.

Tour of the Live Online Classroom | 11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Jonah Sobol, Associate Director of the Live Online Classrooms

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Step into a space that feels both futuristic and familiar! The HBS Live Online Classroom is a one-of-a-kind virtual classroom that allows faculty to interact in real time with students and alumni from around the world, much as they would in a traditional HBS classroom. Through this platform, now in its second iteration, we have created a space that will allow engagement with up to 96 participants at a time in a fully immersive produced experience. Join a tour of the virtual classroom to hear about how and why this unique learning platform was built.

This tour will begin at the Cumnock Hall entrance and can accommodate 20 people at a time. Tours will be staggered every 20 minutes for the time block.

2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Moving from Strength to Strength in Work, Life, & Happiness
Professor Arthur Brooks

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Our skills and interests naturally change as we age—a fact that can be difficult and frightening for many “strivers.” How can we prepare for the changes that come later in life, and how can we structure our lives in a way that uncovers new strengths and leads to lasting happiness? Blending the latest in behavioral social science research, ancient wisdom, and historical analysis, Professor Arthur Brooks will reveal how effectiveness and wellbeing at all stages of life come not from holding on to past achievements, but from cultivating new habits and a different understanding of success and fulfillment.

Video Recording

To view presentation materials from prior reunions, please visit past Reunions Presentations pages: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018.