Category Archives: Speakers

Who, Me?

RotmanPSO

Well it looks like I have one last deliverable to complete my program 🙂 I am truly honoured to be selected by my classmates and am so thankful for a unique way to reflect back on this entire experience. As I work on preparing one of the most important speeches of my life (no pressure!) let me leave you with some inspiration from some of my favourite convocation speeches and in particular, one from this same program last year.

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LEAN Startup: Eric Ries at Rotman

So you know how much I love all the speakers events at Rotman and Eric Ries was one of the first of this new school year! Unfortunately, I was unable to attend but thankfully it was recorded and posted online.

A few thoughts:

  • the LEAN concept (think Toyota LEAN production) has been a hot topic in my classes especially Operations Management, Integrative Thinking Practicum and my Service Operations elective. I just read an HBR article about applying the concept to consumption as well as production.
  • Eric really challenges the concept of “the customer is always right”. This is a great linkage to human-centered design or business design that Rotman is well known for (and I am also quite intrigued with)
  • Eric is very open and honest with the fact that being an entrepreneur is hard and entrepreneurship is often associated with many failures. Maybe this is why I don’t want to be an entrepreneur?

Enjoy!

UPDATE: read more about Eric Ries & LEAN startup on Rypple’s blog

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Other Great Convocation/Commencement Speeches

Inspired by the recent Rotman graduation for the class of 2011 and inspiring valedictorian speeches, I wanted to share some of my other faves:

  • Conan O’Brien’s recent Commencement address at Dartmouth
    • Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement address at Stanford
    • JK Rowling’s 2008 Commencement address at Harvard

     

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    Entrepreneurs

    I am one of the many TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) fans out there and this talk from Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva, was brought to my attention recently by one of my classmates.

    It’s no surprise that I’m heavily interested in the nonprofit sector and I think that this TED talk is a great example of why I wanted to do my MBA at Rotman to help prepare me for the next step in my career. Jessica is a self-proclaimed Philosophy and Poetry major but managed to create a website/community/service that supports microfinancing to entrepreneurs living in poverty around the world. After only a few years, it has facilitated over $100 million in loans. I would love to apply my integrative thinking skills to support causes like those at Kiva and entrepreneurs like Jessica.

    What also struck me is Jessica’s own emotion and passion behind Kiva. This is almost as important or even more than creating the perfect business plan or operations strategy. It’s a component that we often overlook. I’m discovering at school what my professors and classmates are passionate about. This makes the education come alive and motivates us to keep plugging away especially in courses that don’t necessarily interest us…

    I was honoured to have a classmate ask me to join her in a business plan competition at Rotman facilitated by the Rotman Entrepreneurship Association (REA). This is my first time competing at Rotman but I’m excited about the experience. But what I’m most excited about is helping my classmate put together a business plan so that she can explore her passions.

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    How Web Video Powers Global Innovation

    And more great thought leadership on collaboration, social innovation and globalization:

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    Macrowikinomics

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended a speakers event at Rotman to hear Don Tapscott & Anthony Williams talk about their new book Macrowikinomics. It’s a follow up to their Wikinomics book and focuses on economic and social innovation and it’s effect on collaboration in a global environment.

    Don shared some of his insights on looking at fields such as healthcare, education and media in the light of economic and social innovation. I feel that is very aligned with the integrative thinking focus here at Rotman. We are always being encouraged to look at things in a different way and be relevant and innovative in our approach.

    And Don “practices what he preaches” so to speak by even allowing his blog readers to weigh in on the title for Macrowikinomics.

    He also shared a video of starling mumuration:

    “This is a murmuration. There is no one leader but they never manage to go wrong. This is amazing synchronicity and collaborative leadership.” (taken from his keynote speech at Google Atmosphere 2010 conference in Paris)

    I definitely agree with Don’s point of view and was inspired by some of the ideas that he brought forth. I was even able to meet him and chat with him afterwards (a huge benefit of attending these speaker series).

     

     

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    Back to School #4: Speaker Series

    Last year I blogged about speaker events that I attended and this year is no different! One of the great perks about studying at Rotman is the access to all the speaker events. These are not only good networking opportunities but fantastic exposure to thought leaders in diverse industries.

    This year, I was able to visit the new Saatchi & Saatchi offices and learn about how they incorporated business design into creating a space that allows them to be more productive.

     

    Saatchi & Saatchi

    Saatchi & Saatchi

     

     

    unique reception area

    unique reception area

     

     

    iconic love chair

    iconic love chair

     

    I also got to hear from Bill Downe, President & CEO of BMO (they also announced a very generous donation) and Don Tapscott for his book launch Macrowikinomics. You can check out upcoming events on the Rotman website. My only suggestion is to be selective because there are so many good ones that it leaves very little time to study!

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