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

A livestream of select presentations will be available on the Live from Klarman Hall page.

2024 Spring Reunions

Last updated: July 18, 2024

Faculty Presentations
Friday, May 31, 2024

Dean's Welcome Address
Dean Srikant Datar

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Dean Srikant Datar kicks off Reunion Weekend by sharing his key priorities, which will strengthen and accelerate the School's impact in the world.

Video Recording


Competing in the Age of AI
Professor Karim Lakhani
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT
Both livestreamed and recorded

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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 Karim Lakhani discusses how reinventing the firm around data, analytics, and AI removes traditional constraints on scale, scope, and learning that have limited business growth for hundreds of years. From Airbnb to Ant Financial, research shows how AI-driven processes are vastly more scalable than traditional ones, enable companies to straddle industry boundaries, and open up powerful opportunities for learning.

Video Recording


After the Boom and the Bust— What’s Next for Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship?
Professor Josh Lerner (PMD 62)
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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Venture capital—and high-potential entrepreneurship—underwent a tremendous boom in the early 2020s. And as has happened many times before, the heady boom was followed by a sharp correction—at least for entrepreneurs in all arenas except for artificial intelligence. What happens next, however, is unclear. This talk seeks to understand the implications of these recent events for the future of venture activity, with special attention to the two largest markets, the US and China.

Slides


Digital Platforms: The Business Model of the 21st Century
Professor David Yoffie
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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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 two decades of research, this presentation will explore the power of digital platforms, the emergence of AI as a platform, and how to manage the numerous problems digital platforms can create. Participants will leave this session with a deeper understanding of the upsides and downsides of the emerging platform economy, how AI will impact the digital economy, and the strategic challenges faced by business leaders and regulators alike.
Slides


Three Ways to Innovate Health Care
Professor Regina Herzlinger (DBA 1971)
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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The crush of patients created by COVID enabled the creation of sites for health care outside the traditional hospital, such as retail pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care centers, telemedicine, and wireless sensors. Public policy mirrored these changes by allowing access to telemedicine and pharmaceuticals by mail and by redefining care of the home as an insured benefit and the ownership role of physicians. Some health insurers added technology as a major asset, and VCs and PEs invested heavily in these new businesses. But the powerful status quo opposes these innovations unless they own them.


Space, the Final Economic Frontier
Professor Matthew Weinzierl
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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The business of space is undergoing a historic transformation, with implications for all of us as individuals and our organizations. How can you better understand what’s changing in the space sector and why it matters? How might the new commercial activities in space matter for you? We’ll discuss these questions, including how SpaceX features in the answers, and much more.


Learning from Harvard's Great Negotiators
Professor James Sebenius (PHDBE 1980)
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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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 Jim Sebenius, who chairs the Great Negotiator program and coauthored the recently published book Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level, offers session participants valuable lessons about complex public and private dealmaking.

Slides


From Enron to FTX: Lessons from Corporate Scandals
Professor Jonas Heese
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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Corporate scandals remain a threat to organizations and markets. Learning how to avoid them has broad applicability for executives, business leaders, and market participants. In this session, we discuss lessons learned from some of the most sensational global scandals of this millennium.


Is it China’s Century? The Logic and Limits of Party-State Capitalism
Professor Meg Rithmire
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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The emergence of the People’s Republic of China as a global, political, and economic power has generated much consternation and celebration in different parts of the world. In recent years, the West has gone from championing China’s integration into the global economy to mitigating the economic risks associated with it. Developing countries are trying to make sense of China’s economic plans and ambitions and their role in competition between the US and China. Domestically, China’s economy is said to be at a standstill, plagued by a collapse in the property sector and, perhaps, a lack of confidence among consumers and entrepreneurs. In this session, Professor Meg Rithmire draws on a body of work on China’s political economy and role in the world to answer questions about how the Chinese Communist Party has survived, whether the country is experiencing economic crisis, and whether the West can survive China’s rise.

Slides


CASE STUDY: The Tulsa Massacre and the Call for Reparations & A New Way to Measure Shareholder Returns
Professor Mihir Desai (MBA 1993)
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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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 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 debate around reparations. NOTE: This modified case discussion does not require pre-reading. The case is available here.


Business Development in a World That Never Stops Changing
Senior Lecturer Frank Cespedes
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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Selling and sales management requirements are changing quickly and are having an impact on other activities in companies. But key facts about sales in the 21st century, and the implications of those facts for resource allocations and selling behaviors, are not typically discussed in the business press and sales books. This session examines some current conventional wisdom about sales, what is changing in this core aspect of business, what is not, and why knowing the difference matters. Participants will leave the session with practical guidelines concerning effective sales hiring, training, and performance management practices.

Slides


Climate Rising Podcast: Live Recording with Erik Snyder (MBA 2009)
Professor Michael Toffel
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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Professor Michael Toffel, host of the HBS Climate Rising podcast, will interview Erik Snyder (MBA 2009), cofounder and CEO of the Drawdown Fund, which invests growth capital to scale businesses that are reducing emissions or sequestering greenhouse gases. They will discuss the opportunities and challenges of finding companies offering attractive returns while seeking to address climate change, following the strategy laid out in the bestselling book: Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan to Reverse Global Warming. They will also talk about how HBS and Snyder’s earlier career decisions led him to cofound and lead the Drawdown Fund. A Q&A with the audience will follow the interview.


Career Check-up
Jonathan Shepherd, Director of Corporate Relations, Career and Professional Development
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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You give your automobile regular maintenance check-ups, so 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.

Slides


Crafting Your Life: Are You Living Consistent with What Matters Most to You?
Professor Leslie Perlow
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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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 Leslie 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 created jointly with members of the Class of 2019 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. Please take 15 minutes to complete the LIFE Matrix before your reunion.


Reddit's Rise: A Conversation with COO Jen Wong and Patrick McGinnis (MBA 2004)
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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Reddit went public in March with a $6.5 billion valuation. Six years into her tenure, COO Jen Wong (MBA 2004) talks about her journey from HBS to leading operations at one of the world’s most visited sites. She’ll also discuss how Reddit developed its innovative content moderation strategy, how it’s boosted ad revenue, and what lies ahead on the road to profitability. This Skydeck Live recording features Sapiens podcast host Patrick McGinnis (MBA 2004), managing partner at Dirigo Advisors. Come with your own thoughts and questions!


Where Are Interest Rates Heading? Inflation, Savings, and the Capex Revolution
Professor Luis Viceira
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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Interest rates have experienced a sharp upturn in the last 24 months in the US and other developed economies, after almost four decades of persistent declines that sent interest rates into negative values. This recent increase in rates towards their average historical values has been welcome news for savers. While it is tempting to attribute this behavior of interest rates to inflation, which has experienced a similar evolution, this is not by far the whole story. Real interest rates have also experienced a secular decline and a subsequent sharp reversal which cannot be attributed to inflation. Their evolution suggests that other important factors related to real economic activity, specifically savings, investment, and productivity, are at play. Understanding these factors is key to determining if the recent uptick in interest rates is a mirage that will eventually reverse, or if we are witnessing a historical reversal in interest rates towards normalization. This presentation will explore how these factors have driven the secular decline in nominal and real interest rates in the last four decades. It will also examine how their recent trends and their potential evolution in a world characterized by structural changes in the way economies are organized and in geopolitical tail risks might result in persistently larger interest rates. In addition, the presentation will consider the implications of these changes for investing.


The Future of Work in the Era of AI
Professor Joe Fuller (MBA 1981)
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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What is going on in the US labor market? How are jobs affected as AI penetrates the workplace? What are the long-term consequences of COVID-19 on the workforce? What is the explanation for America having a record number of job openings and near record-low workforce participation at the same time? What can be done to create opportunity for the 40 percent of American workers stuck in low-wage jobs? This session will feature recent research from the School's Managing the Future of Work Project. Participants will gain an understanding of what lies beneath the headlines and of the various forces that will shape work in years to come.


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

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The world has a seemingly infinite supply of problems. Fortunately, entrepreneurs view problems as opportunities. In this talk, Baker Foundation Professor Bill Sahlman will focus on entrepreneurial actors trying to deliver better health and education outcomes at a lower cost and requiring less time for more people. He also will discuss the role of ventures in addressing climate change. Some of the oft-mentioned solutions to these challenges (e.g., Medicare for All, free community college, and elimination of fossil fuels) seem unlikely to work as currently envisioned. In this talk, Professor Sahlman also will discuss the current preoccupation in the media and politics with what is wrong (i.e., pervasive negativism), not how to fix problems at scale.


Trade, Logistics, and Geopolitics: New Realities for Supply Chains
Professor Willy Shih
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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From the 1980s until around 2009, we lived in a world of expanding trade, ever more efficient logistics, and a relatively benign trading environment. Revolutions in transportation and communications empowered the reconfiguration of global supply chains and a dramatic shift in production to Asia. But the global financial crisis began an awakening to the uneven consequences of this move. The rise of a more authoritarian regime in China and a competition narrative began a rethinking of this model. This was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which shined a spotlight on the vulnerabilities of extended supply chains to not only natural disasters and disruptions, but to geopolitical risk. We have entered an era of supply chain rebalancing, driven not only by the desire to improve resiliency, but also to mitigate geopolitical risks. In this talk, we will discuss some of the changes taking place, and the new forces driving those changes.


Five Ways to Make Things Better: Taking Positive Action in a Troubled World
Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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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 Rosabeth Moss Kanter will outline five 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.


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 David Moss explores what has 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.


Climate and Biodiversity Finance
Professor Boris Vallee
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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The planet is warming fast and biodiversity is collapsing across the world, both phenomena being by-products of our consumption and financial decisions. But can the engine of finance be used in the opposite direction and foster the changes needed to address these two pressing issues? What can and cannot be achieved through financial tools such as divestment, carbon offsets, or sustainability-linked securities? This session will bring together insights from academic research with real-world examples to foster a constructive discussion around these often overwhelming issues.

Slides


A New Way to Measure Shareholder Returns / End to Magical Thinking
Professor Mihir Desai (MBA 1993)
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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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.


“Storrowed”: A Generative AI Game
Professor Mitch Weiss (MBA 2004)
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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Leaders everywhere are making decisions about how their organizations should and shouldn't use generative AI tools; first, they must know how they could and couldn't. "Storrowed" is an HBS-built exercise for increasing capacity with AI tools in a fun, provocative, hands-on setting. It is designed for new and even experienced users. Participants will leave this session with increased proficiency with generative AI tools for innovation and with generative AI tools overall. They will leave with new prompting techniques and deals about how to deploy them in their work (and beyond).


Family, Finance, and Philanthropy
Anne McClintock, Senior Director of Development, Planned Giving at HBS; Alasdair H. Halliday, Director, University Planned Giving, Harvard University Development Office
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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What are the different dimensions of family wealth? Why is material wealth a blessing for some and burden for others? How can philanthropy help raise healthy, happy, and productive family members? These and other questions will be explored as we look at the intersections among family, finance, and philanthropy.


The Cost of Perfection: Is it time to end to pretend?
Hosted by the Class of 2019, Open to All Session
2:30–4:30 p.m. EDT

Saturday, June 1, 2024

War and Peace: Geopolitics and the Global Economy
Professor Rawi Abdelal
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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The constant changing of the geopolitical landscape is undermining the current era of globalization. The fragmentation of the system is leading to regional wars in Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East with reach far beyond their borders. In this session, we will explore how recent events are impacting the state of the economy, life on the Harvard campus, and more.


TEEN CASE: Do You Want to Race?
Senior Lecturer Kevin Mohan (MBA 1989)
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT and
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT
*Registration required

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Explore the thrilling world of high-stakes decision- making. Join Senior Lecturer Kevin Mohan (MBA 1989) for a dynamic exercise and lively debrief and uncover valuable lessons in strategy and risk-analysis along the way.


How Investors Think about Climate Adaptation
Senior Lecturer John Macomber (MBA 1983)
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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Participants will leave this session with a framework for how to think about action by individuals, businesses, and investors while considering probabilities and costs of future sea level rise, wildfires, extreme heat, river flooding, and drought.


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)
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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If there’s one thing that the pandemic and the resulting economic volatility have made 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 evident. Join Professor Christina Wallace for a discussion of her new book, The Portfolio Life, which offers a framework for an anti-hustle, pro-rest approach to work/life balance built on three tenets:

  1. You are more than any one role or opportunity.
  2. Diversification will help you navigate change and mitigate uncertainty.
  3. When—not if—your needs change, you can and should rebalance.

Participants will leave this session with a new model that upends their previous notions about work/life balance.


Managing Performance Through a Basket of Motivators
Professor Susanna Gallani
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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In this session, participants will discuss the importance of considering sources of motivation and demotivation beyond monetary rewards. The central question for consideration will be: How do we create a work environment where people feel valued? The discussion will lead to considerations about the variation in individual reward preferences and how managers could embrace this diversity to foster an inclusive environment while driving performance.


Digital Innovation
Professor Feng Zhu (PHDSTM 2008)
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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This session presents some of the latest perspectives on digital innovation. It outlines strategies for traditional businesses to effectively compete with digital giants, and how to develop a resilient, disruption-proof company. Attendees will gain insights into the key mindsets required to succeed in the digital age.


Predicting Market Bubbles and Financial Crises
Professor Robin Greenwood
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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Over the past decade, researchers at HBS, 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.


Preserving What is Human in Business
Professor Nien-hê Hsieh
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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Developments in digital technology carry great promise for business and society. This session explores risks that have been less discussed. The hope is that participants will leave this session with a greater appreciation for these risks and, more generally, an appreciation for how to preserve and promote what is human in business.

Slides


What Really Matters in Living a Fulfilled Life?: Lessons from Studying Lives over 80 Years
Dr. Robert Waldinger
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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What keeps people happy and healthy as they go through life? In an era when wealth, fame and high achievement are often glorified as the keys to success, the Harvard Study of Adult Development examines what actually helps people thrive by studying thousands of lives unfolding across nearly a century. This lecture reports on the longest study of adult life ever done and presents scientific findings about human wellbeing throughout the lifespan.

Slides


Conducting Business Experimentation
Professor Ben Roth
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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This interactive lecture will introduce the tools of randomized experimentation (A/B tests, RCTs, etc.) for both measuring and driving impact. We will explore these tools in the context of Opower, a software company that encourages households to reduce their energy consumption. From Opower's earliest days, its managers utilized experiments to amplify their environmental impact and enhance customer value. We will revisit some of their most consequential experiments and simulate the process of commissioning a study and engaging with its results to inform strategic decision making.

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College Admissions: Everything You Need to Know
Mandee Heller Adler (MBA 1999), CEO and Founder of International College Counselors
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT and
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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The college admissions process can seem confusing and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Students and their parents will gain insights into: 

  • How to Stand Out from the Crowd—What students need to do in high school to distinguish themselves, improve their odds of admission, and make a college want them.
  • Making the College List—What students should look for in selecting a college.
  • What's Trending? —What's changing in college admissions including standardized test requirements, institutional priorities, Early Decision, and legacy status.
  • What Do Colleges Consider? —The role grades, standardized tests, course load, extracurricular activities, and the essay play in college admissions. 

Slides


Women Protagonists: On and Off the Page
Carin Knoop (MBA 1994), Executive Director, Case Research and Writing Group at HBS
10:00–11:15 a.m. EDT

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Representation matters, and how we portray people matters greatly to how they are perceived in the classroom and on the various stages of our lives. Looking back on decades of writing about women from the very first HBS case study to more contemporary portrayals of women protagonists, we will share how case authors opted to describe and write about women leaders, their decisions, and the effects of those decisions on the dialogue between text and learner. Together we can reflect on what the trends around presentation might reveal about current challenges for women, and determine what the telling of these stories can teach us about how we tell our own.

Slides


Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier
Professor Arthur Brooks
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT
Both livestreamed and recorded

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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 Arthur 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


Accelerating Climate Solutions
Senior Lecturer James Matheson (MBA 2001)
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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Climate change is one of the defining topics of our time. During this session, we will examine and discuss the causes, indications, challenges, and opportunities of our changing climate. In addition, we will explore some of the many exciting and emerging examples of innovative technologies, financing structures, policies, and geo-politics that are reshaping our global economy as it struggles and strives to transition to a lower carbon footprint and unlock the trillions in investment required to affect this transition.


Growth Strategies for Turbulent Times
Professor Ranjay Gulati (PHDOB 1993)
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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How do organizations leverage uncertainty as an opportunity to drive growth? What works and what doesn’t? Using examples from the recent past, we will explore how organizations can truly turn adversity into opportunity.


Shared Value: Improving Outcomes for Frontline Workers
Professor Ethan Rouen
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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This session will highlight various programs and experiments that have sought to increase employee engagement, employee career outcomes, and firm performance. Participants will leave this session with a deeper understanding of the vast array of ways in which managers, executives, and investors can invest in human capital more efficiently.


The Dark Side of AI: Algorithmic Bias and Discrimination
Professor Eva Ascarza
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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The present era of digitalization and artificial intelligence has made an abundance of data and technological tools available to companies. Firms are increasingly personalizing their offerings—doing so not only increases the effectiveness of their interventions but also benefits consumers who now receive offers and communications that are more relevant to them. However, algorithmic personalization poses risks for firms, consumers, and society as a whole. One of those risks is to underserved customers from protected or underrepresented groups, even when the firm does not intend to discriminate against customers based on those characteristics.

Slides


Can Consumers, Big Tech, and Retailers Fix Health Care?
Professor Rob Huckman (PHDBE 2001)
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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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 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.


Retiring: What You and Your Organization Need to Know
Professor Emerita Teresa Amabile
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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Most organizations have a standard process for the retirement transition and assume that it’s working well. Most people assume that, if their long-term finances are on track, their eventual retirement transition will be smooth and easy. Our research shows that, when it comes to retiring, both organizations and individuals have a lot to learn. In this interactive presentation, Professor Emerita Teresa Amabile will describe the nine years of research she and her team did to uncover surprising answers to key questions on the retirement transition: What do organizations do that helps—or hinders—the transition, and what are the consequences for the organizations and their people? What unexpected issues arise for people—even financially secure, healthy people—as they approach and move through the retirement transition, and what are the consequences for their well-being? Through this lecture, exercises, and discussions, you’ll experience some of what retiring entails and gain insight to guide your own decisions as an organizational leader; as the colleague, child, or friend of people who are retiring; and, – eventually, – as someone facing the end of your own career.

Slides


CASE STUDY: Silicon Valley Bank: Gone in 36 Hours
Professor Charles Wang
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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In this session, we will examine factors contributing to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) in March 2023, an event as unpredicted as it was quick. SVB funded nearly half of all U.S. venture-backed startups and at the end of 2022 held $173 billion in deposits, largely comprising the venture capital those startups had raised. On February 28, 2023, Moody’s warned SVB about a potential credit rating downgrade, reflecting concerns over “funding, liquidity, and profitability” which factored in substantial unrealized losses on SVB’s debt securities. To strengthen its balance sheet, SVB sold $21 billion in securities on March 8, but the move shocked its customers as it resulted in a realized loss of $2 billion. The ensuing bank run intensified as SVB proved unable to placate investor fears or raise capital to plug that hole, and SVB was placed in receivership on the morning of March 10. Finger-pointing began immediately. Some argued that misguided pressure from Moody’s over the fair value of SVB’s debt securities prompted the bank’s death spiral. Others blamed SVB management and directors, its regulators, and the venture capitalists whom SVB otherwise benefited. What went wrong, and what lessons could be learned? NOTE: This modified case discussion does not require pre-reading. Should you be interested in reading the case, it can be accessed here.


Aging Parents: Navigating the Journey Successfully
Janet Simpson Benvenuti (MBA 1985)
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

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Are you growing concerned about your aging parents? Are you planning for your own longevity? Learn how to support aging parents without derailing your career, damaging your health, or unnecessarily depleting the family’s assets. Join your peers to discuss specific legal, financial, medical and caregiving strategies along with resources that will save time, money and heartache, enabling us to enjoy long healthy life spans and the benefits of our multi-generational families. Janet Simpson Benvenuti (MBA 1985), founder of Circle of Life Partners, will facilitate a conversation that has been one of the most popular reunion sessions for more than a decade.


Perspectives on Harvard Climate Leadership: Veritas vs. Human Nature—Which Future Will We Choose?
Hosted by the Class of 1974, Open to All Session
2:30–4:00 p.m. EDT

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"Climate change has been described as “the most consequential threat facing humanity” by Harvard President Bacow, and as “the defining challenge of our generation” by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

How well our generation responds to this challenge will make a huge difference for the world that we experience in the coming decades—for our children, and for the world that future generations inherit. The Climate Leadership Panel, moderated by HBS Class of 1974 MBA Roger Shamel, will offer a variety of helpful perspectives on global climate change leadership challenges and opportunities.

Hosted by the Class of 1974, moderated by Roger Shamel, MBA 1974. Panelists include: Harvard Medical School professor, and author of “Minding the Climate,” Ann-Christine Duhaime; U.S. Medal of Science award-winning, special guest climate scientist, Ohio State Professor Lonnie Thompson; climate-concerned MIT engineer/entrepreneur/activist, Glenn Weinreb; HBS/Harvard Kennedy School student, Lucas Peilert; director of the HBS Business & Environment Initiative (BEI), Lynn Schenk; director of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA), Robert Manson; and Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability director and Harvard Vice Provost, James Stock.

Slides (pdf)



To view presentation materials from prior reunions, please visit past Reunions Presentations pages: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018.