International Speaker Series

May 2017

Governments around the world have opened data for public consumption and now deliver citizen services via digital channels. Manufacturers, bankers and other industries are building new digital businesses to transform capital intensive products into on-demand, pay-as-you-go services. Nonprofit institutions are connecting donors directly to people in crisis. As a result, now and well into the future, global demand for data engineers, data scientists and business analysts far exceeds available talent supply. Partial solutions to the talent shortage will be found by intrepid and inventive scientists, engineers, analysts and businesspeople, whether from academia or industry, thereby creating tremendous wealth. Nonetheless, rapid economic expansion usually shifts capital from one sector of the economy to another and from one country to another. This creates wrenching societal dislocations, perhaps of a magnitude similar to those seen at the dawn of the 20th century.

September 2016

Company owners and husband and wife team, Steve and Angela Watts, will share the story of Slyde Handboards, which they developed from a small California start-up to a million-dollar enterprise. Steve Watts identified a niche market that had yet to exist, and with Angela, brought the business idea to ABC’s Shark Tank, where they secured funding from Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher. The founders will discuss the impact of securing mentors and advisors, the difficulty of starting a business as an immigrant to the United States, and the importance of never losing sight of your passion.

May 2016

For nearly 40 years, TaylorMade has been the industry’s leading innovator, driving a technology revolution that has advanced the game forward and helped consumers around the globe play better golf. TaylorMade experienced years of tremendous global growth, dominant market shares and growing revenues, en route to becoming the biggest and most profitable golf company in history. In what has long been considered a “no-growth” industry, TaylorMade achieved unprecedented growth, rocketing from $300M to over $1.7 billion in sales in less than a decade. But, like many industry leaders, TaylorMade has also battled through challenges. In recent years, TaylorMade has faced increased competition, endured a depressed marketplace, and seen a dramatic decline in both size and brand perception. In early 2015 a new team was assembled with the challenge of turning the company around. Today, TaylorMade is mobilizing for a return to its innovation core and industry leadership position—driven to once again advance the game of golf forward for the next 40 years.

May 2016

The conundrum of running a profitable business and supporting new ideas that don’t (yet) make money is something that Melanie and Clark grapple with constantly at IDEO. The challenge can be best summed up by Kanye West: “I care about innovating. I don’t care about capitalizing off of something that we’ve seen or heard a thousand times. I’m not a capitalist in that way. I’m an innovator. That’s my job….Innovation almost gets too much credit in a way. The money is in the repetition.” Innovation costs. Repetition earns.

Clark Scheffy and Melanie Bell-Mayeda, Managing Directors of Studio Hatch at IDEO have been tasked with simultaneously running a core piece of the IDEO design business, as well as supporting the emergence of new businesses or offers for IDEO, and ultimately investing in them towards clear failure or market success. This presentation will give you insight into IDEO and how innovation really happens at the storied design and innovation consultancy.

March 2016

In this presentation, Michael J. Dunne, author, entrepreneur, speaker and resident of China for 15 years, will reveal the coming trends in the Chinese automotive industry and the role that Chinese companies (and government) intends to play. He will do so by tracing the history of Chinese automotive companies from ponderous state enterprises to highly agile private firms, and he will reveal what this means for business in California.

December 2015

iPai (Shanghai) Auction Company was the first foreign auction company to receive an auction license in China in 2012. iPai works with Western companies who are interested in selling their products to Chinese consumers through iPai’s auction platform, and provides these companies with comprehensive market research. Mr. Gibson discusses lessons learned after launching a new business model in China, and insight gained in marketing and attracting new clients over the past three years.

November 2015

From Stone Brewing’s humble yet self-assured beginnings in 1996 to its modern global expansion, the San Diego-based brewery has grown while remaining rooted in the philosophies of the artisanal entrepreneur. In this discussion by Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch, we explore the processes of running a business built on passion and quality mixed with a rebellious spirit. These are the three things Stone won’t do, and the many things they will always do: never sell out, only brew beer WE want to drink and amplify the reach of craft beer worldwide. This is the story of how a small, 30-barrel brewhouse located virtually in the middle of nowhere has grown into the ninth largest craft brewer in the U.S., evolving from local to bi-coastal to global in less than 20 years.

October 2015

In this presentation, Roshan Paul, CEO of the Amani Institute, discusses trends that are changing the nature of work and shaping its future. He also describes the key skills and experiences that employers are seeking, and ways to find jobs in the realm of social innovation and entrepreneurship.

September 2015

Michael Reddington, Vice President of Executive Education, Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, gave a presentation on The Disciplined Listening Method: Leveraging Truth to Create Strategic Business Advantages. Lead-Negotiate-Sell-Interrogate. These terms are strikingly synonymous. Business executives and Certified Forensic Interviewers have much more in common than either may expect. Both earn their success, in large part, with their ability to crystallize their vision, establish relationships, solidify agreements and inspire change. One of the common threads that bind these achievements is the individual’s ability to identify and leverage the truth. A common perception is that evaluating behavior, or identifying truths and non-truths, is a unique skill that can be difficult to master and has limited applications – especially in international business interactions. In fact, the opposite is quite true.

April 2015

In this presentation, Bob Langert illustrates the journey of McDonald’s and describe how a sustainable Big Mac can connect with consumers. Mr. Langert discusses challenges, opportunities, and risks inherent in CSR and Sustainability. He offers insight into navigating the waters of non-governmental organization (NGO) activists to make progress with one of the most visible brands in the world.

April 2015

“We can’t pose Patagonia as the model of a responsible company. We don’t do everything a responsible company can do, nor does anyone else we know. But we can illustrate how any group of people going about their business can come to realize their environmental and social responsibilities, then begin to act on them; how their realization is progressive: actions build on one another.” – Excerpt from the book, The Responsible Economy, by Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley.

February 2015

Dr. Mansour Javidan, Garvin Distinguished Professor and Director of the Najafi Global Mindset Institute, Thunderbird School of Global Management, coverered the concept of Global Mindset, what it is, how it can be measured, and in what way it helps managers and corporations in global environments. He also shared his experiences with hundreds of managers and executives in a variety of global corporations in the U.S. and other countries in terms of the challenges they face and steps they take to measure and develop the stock of Global Mindset in their organizations.

November 2014

Dr. Vijay Govindarajan, Coxe Distinguished Professor at the Tuck School of Business Dartmouth, and New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Author. His presentation centered around “Reverse Innovation” which demonstrates that innovations will no longer move the globe in one direction, from developed nations to developing ones, but now also flow in reverse.

October 2014

With the rapid evolution of relevant technology to make intelligent, capable, low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) possible, we are at the very forefront of a flying technological revolution. Lightweight, low-power computers, along with the advance of Lithium Polymer batteries, has enabled a step function in flight capacity and availability of UAV technology to consumers and commerce. San Diego’s strong UAV engineering presence, along with our location across the border from the premier manufacturing capabilities of Tijuana, make us the ideal location for developing this revolutionary technology.

October 2014

Mondragon is one of the leading international examples of cooperative ownership of enterprise and inter-firm collaboration. Mondragon has not only made these characteristics its foundational values, but it also uses them strategically, to complete around the world in advanced manufacturing, retail, finance and knowledge. This presentation introduces Mondragon, its special features and particular international challenges.

September 2014

This presentation covers the story behind the Juan Valdez character, the positioning achieved as an advertising icon, the evolution of becoming a premium coffee brand, and the strategic challenges the company now faces in achieving differentiation and growth in a global context. Mr. Mendez became CEO of Procafecol S.A. in August, 2010. To further leverage the successful Juan Valdez global brand, Mr. Mendez focuses on increasing retail sales through traditional channels, establishing and growing a global franchisee network of the award winning Juan Valdez Café, and continuing with sustainable development of the Colombian coffee industry.

May 2014

In 2012, Google acquired Nik Software the company where the concept of potential capital was born. From a two-person startup to the leading software company in the field of digital photography, Nik Software grew through innovation, strategy, investment and its ability to scale. With a self-funding strategy that avoided venture capital, Michael J. Slater grew his company through an unwavering belief in shareholder value and potential as opposed to pure monetary valuation. Michael shared the story of Nik Software, its transformation, and his path to becoming a Potential Capitalist.

April 2014

Chris Crane, President of Edify, a humanitarian organization he founded to support schools in low-income communities in Africa and Latin America, shared insight into the ways of thinking and ways of being that can contribute to being an effective change maker.

November 2013

Mr. Zimmerman shared insight on the leadership changes and policy implications that have had a profound impact on foreign business in China.

March 2014

The more dynamic and innovative a business strategy, the more likely that a firm will encounter opportunities and face challenges in legal arenas. In this discussion, Dr. Ariel Casarin discussed how legal arenas offer firms non-market strategies to manage risks and increase realizable value vis a vis other players in the value chain.

February 2014

Mr. Olivieri, CEO of the Tijuana Economic Development Corporation, highlighted the many opportunities available for U.S. companies looking to supply their goods and services to manufacturers in Baja California. Mexico is currently California’s largest export market, bringing in $26.3 billion in exports in 2013, and the Cali-Baja region is home to hundreds of large multinational companies that have set up manufacturing operations in Tijuana.

November 2013

Going International… In a Small Way. Mr. Tim DeMarco, president of International Decisions, Inc. shares his extensive international business consulting experience advising large companies by detailing a “road map” for small entrepreneurs who wish to enter the international marketplace and make an impact.

March 2013

China and India: Models of Compassionate Socio-Economic Globalization. In this presentation, Dr. Kapur discussed the interplay of societal, historical, and cultural imperatives on policy formulation for two major economic forces: China and India. He postulated that a new socio-political policy that integrates historical perspectives, culture and compassionate economic growth is developing in both countries, which deserves to be recognized, explored, and potentially adopted in other societies.

April 2013

Business Strategy for Innovation and Global Growth: The Case of CEMEX. In this presentation Hector Medina shared the major decisions taken by CEMEX over a 20-year period in which the company was transformed from a local mexican cement player to a global construction materials supplier. Mr. Medina highlighted the key cultural changes that CEMEX underwent to support this growth, with innovation playing a fundamental role in the process.

March 2013

Rachelle Snook provided insights on ways U.S. and multinational companies search for talent, looks at the application process through the eyes of the recruiter, and described frequently used candidate evaluation methods. She also offered tips and tricks for job seekers to successfully brand themselves to excel in the international work environment.

November 2013

Global Brand Expansion through the Great Recession and Beyond. In this presentation In this presentation Ms. Wight described how Taylor Guitars, a San Diego based company, has evolved into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic and electric guitars, while also promoting innovation in manufacturing and eco-responsibility at every level. Headquartered in El Cajon, Taylor Guitars employs over 700 people and currently produces hundreds of guitars per day. The company maintains an active dealer network with Taylor Guitars being available in over 800 retail location in North American and international distribution to 60 countries.

March 2014

Mr. Deering shared the story of Deering Banjos, and its 38-year history from a small family-owned business to a global leader in banjo sales. Founded in San Diego, Deering Banjos still maintains administrative and manufacturing headquarters here, surviving against low-cost Chinese imports and costly California labor laws. Greg Deering started with nothing but a passion to succeed, propelling his company into a global brand that dominates the banjo market.

March 2013

“Innovating for Impact” – on his visit to USD, Mr. Camil discussed the role of technology and the tech sector on the culture of social enterprises. He shared his learning as Co-founder of Enova about the optimal uses of partnerships (NGO, Government and Corporate) when scaling social innovation models, while also relaying “what-not-to-do” lessons to avoid pitfalls for future social entrepreneurs.