IDEO General Manager Tom Kelley to Headline Alumni Conference, April 27

From lessons on design thinking to a series of talks modeled after TEDx events, the Annual Alumni Conference on April 27 will feature a full day of teaching by more than two dozen alumni, faculty, and staff.

Alumnus Tom Kelley, MBA 83, general manager of design firm IDEO, will give the morning keynote talk, sharing meta-lessons his firm has learned from working with clients worldwide on thousands of design-thinking innovation projects. He will explain the importance of looking Beyond Yourself, starting with empathy to find new opportunities and latent needs by observing human behavior in relevant settings.

The conference also will feature a menu of lectures given by faculty and industry leaders—five to choose from in the morning and five in the afternoon—on everything from the principles of persuasion and influence to guiding your children for high school success to the art of leadership presence.

Dean Rich Lyons, BS 82, will kick off the conference with a welcome and brief update on the school, including a perspective of how its unique culture and leadership style empowers Berkeley-Haas alumni to create positive change in organizations and markets.

The day will culminate in the afternoon with HAASx Talks featuring fast-paced five-minute presentations by more than a dozen alumni sharing ideas that will inspire, engage, and provoke conversations that matter. Some of the topics and speakers are:

  • Strategy in the Real World (and Why Design Helps to Deliver it) – Sue Adelhardt, BCEMBA 03, CEO, Embarcadero Partners
  • The Difference Between Working and Working with Passion – Nico Goldstein, MBA 03, CEO, LAN Airlines Peru
  • Music to my Ears: The Next Big Thing – Larry Marcus, MBS 93, venture capitalist, Walden Venture Capital
  • The ROI of Values: Don't mess with Touchy Feely – Danae Ringelmann, MBA 08, co-founder, Indiegogo

The talks will be moderated by Adjunct Assistant Professor Kellie McElhaney, faculty director of the Center for Responsible Business.

The day will close with a networking reception from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more details on the conference, visit