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During his keynote address at the Kellogg Centennial conference in Shanghai, Jack Ma, chairman & CEO of Alibaba Group, shared advice on weathering the global recession.

Jack Ma

Series finale

The Kellogg School’s Centennial Conference Series makes its final stop in Shanghai

By Rachel Farrell

4/1/2009 - More than 100 Kellogg School faculty, students and alumni gathered in Shanghai to attend the final conference in a global series commemorating the Kellogg School’s 100th year. 

The theme of the March 25-26 event was The Architecture for Global Brands: Leveraging Corporate Capability, Customer Insight and Competitive Strength. The conference — co-chaired by Peter Tan ‘83, executive vice president and president, Asia Pacific division, Burger King Corporation, and Angela Y. Lee, the Mechthild Esser Nemmers Professor of Marketing — featured an array of speakers, including Steve DeKrey ’84, senior associate dean of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology School of Business; Weiying Zhang, dean of the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University; and Jack Ma, chairman & CEO of Alibaba Group. 

Ma offered his thoughts on the Chinese and international economies during his keynote address, “Economic Winter is Here: Now What?” He advised individuals to stay true to their corporate and personal value systems, maintain a positive attitude, embrace change and adapt to economic developments.

During the luncheon address, “Global Vision in Leadership,” Kellogg Dean Dipak Jain explained that global challenges stem in part from the “nanosecond” culture with “hyper” competition. He noted the importance of “humanizing business by recognizing that people are the key source of differentiation and value creation.”

Other Kellogg faculty at the event included Gregory S. Carpenter, chair of the Kellogg School Marketing Department and the James Farley/Booz Allen Hamilton Professor of Marketing Strategy. Carpenter delivered the address, “Global Brands and Market Leadership.” Julie Hennessy, clinical professor of marketing, spoke on “The Changing World of Marketing Opportunity.”

“We had a marvelous program,” said Lee. “We could not have put together a better panel to talk about global branding. Our keynote speaker was witty and insightful on the economic crisis.”

Previous conferences in the Kellogg School’s 2008-09 Centennial Conference Series took place in Miami (Jan 11-12), Zurich (Feb. 1-2), Chicago (Feb. 20) and New York (March 10-11). The school will conclude its celebration on May 29 with a closing gala.