Focus on the future
Winter business conferences draw speakers from around the world
The Marketing Conference on Jan. 21-22 took a closer look at how advancements in technology and the media are changing the industry. The conference, themed “Evolution to Revolution: Marketing’s Next Leap Forward,” included an alumni panel featuring Art Ash ’90, a principal at Deloitte; Karl Bracken ’04, director of merchandise planning for perishables at Target Corp.; Mike Brennan ’90, senior vice president and COO of Peapod; and Josh Epstein ’05, senior vice president of corporate and ad sales strategy at MTV Networks.
The Jan. 29 India Business Conference, “Building Bridges, Creating Connections,” explored the needs and changes in the fast-growing nation, including the demand for investments in agriculture and infrastructure. The conference also hosted its first Social Innovation Case Competition, where Anoop Jain ’09 and Northwestern student Swapnil Chaturvedi took home the $10,000 first prize for their business plan for “San+Co”— a company that would improve slum sanitation by collecting waste that would create energy to charge batteries that families could use to power their homes.
Speakers at the Feb. 12 Sports Business Conference addressed the growing influence of social media in sports marketing. Featured keynote speakers included George Pyne, president of IMG Sports and Entertainment, and James E. Delany, commissioner of the Big Ten Conference.
The University Club of Chicago hosted the Feb. 9 Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference, which focused on “Value Creation in the New Decade.” Business leaders, including keynote speakers John W. Jordan II, chairman of The Jordan Company, and Kevin Efrusy, a partner at Accel Partners, discussed the next big investment opportunities.
Soledad O’Brien, anchor and special correspondent at CNN, and Terdema Ussery, president and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, spoke at the Black Management Association Conference, themed “The Real ROI: Maximizing Investments While Building Communities.”The Feb. 25-27 conference also featured panel discussions with alumni James Reynolds Jr. ’82, founder of Loop Capital Markets, and Ursula Wright ’01, chief operating officer of The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.