From Transformative Innovation to Impact Investing, Spring Events to Span Wide Range of Topics

From world-renowned student competitions to thought-provoking talks by business leaders from such firms as Citigroup and Deloitte, the Haas School will present an inspiring lineup of events and speakers this spring.

The Dean’s Speaker Series begins Jan. 27 with a presentation from Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan and distinguished practitioner of law and public policy at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. Granholm is known for her role in strengthening and diversifying Michigan’s economy after the decline in the auto and manufacturing industries, focusing, in part, on new sectors such as clean energy. She also led a national campaign for clean energy policies for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Program and is co-author of A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future, a book that details how Michigan pioneered ways out of its economic turmoil.

Other top business leaders coming to Haas as part of the Dean’s Speaker Series include Coursera Founder Daphne Koller (Feb. 3), Deloitte LLP Chairman Punit Renjen (Feb. 12), former Citigroup CEO and Chairman Sandy Weill (Feb. 27). In addition, Haas Professor Emeritus and Prophet Vice Chairman David Aaker will give his annual talk on marketing at Haas on April 12. Additional speakers for the Dean's Speaker Series are still in the planning stage and will be announced soon.

On March 27, Haas will once again host The Economist’s Innovation Forum, exploring truly transformative innovations that have the potential of changing how we live and work. Now in its fifth year, the event will focus on the theme “Bigger Returns with Bigger Ideas.” Speakers include Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer for Cisco Systems; Kevin Hunter, president of Calty Design Research Inc., the North American arm of Toyota’s global design network; and Isabelle Olsson, Google’s lead industrial designer for Google Glass, among others.

The Economist forum also will feature the Haas School's Jerry Engel, executive director emeritus of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, in a talk on institutional investment with Robert Adams, senior vice president of In-Q-Tel.. Slava Rubin, who co-founded crowdfunding site Indiegogo with Haas alumni Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell, both MBA 08, will talk on finding financing during The Economist conference.

This spring the Lester Center will once again host two premier competitions: The UC Berkeley Startup Competition and the Global Social Venture Competition. Startup Competition executive summaries will be due Jan. 30. The competition culminates in the private semifinal round on April 22 and the private/public final round on April 24, both held at Haas. In addition to prize money, this year’s grand prize winner will be awarded a six-month spot at UC Berkeley’s SkyDeck accelerator.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Global Social Venture Competition, the world’s preeminent social business plan competition, promises to once again attract hundreds of entries from around the world who will compete for $50,000 in prizes. The top teams will gather at Haas from April 9-11 for the global finals and conference. The U.S.-Americas executive summary submissions deadline is Jan. 29.

Several student-organized events will also be held this spring. The eighth annual Business of Health Care Conference will be held at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco on Feb. 28. Organized by the Haas Healthcare Association, the conference features the theme “Exploring New Frontiers” and will include several breakout sessions, such as “Hands-on Expo: Disruptive Technologies in Healthcare” and “Check-up: Exploring Obamacare’s Winners and Losers.”

Other student-run events to be held at Haas include the Education Leadership Case Competition (February date to be announced), Berkeley Asia Business Conference (March 1), the 18th annual Women in Leadership Conference (March 15) and the Latin American Business Conference (date to be announced).

The Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership will host the Impact Speaker Series, kicking off with an Impact Investing Workshop on Jan. 30. Co-hosted by the Haas Impact Investing Network, the workshop will give attendees a taste of impact investing by working through a case with the guidance of a professional.

The center also will be holding a one-day workshop Jan. 11 to help Haas alumni and their guests develop a post-retirement vision and plan. The deadline to register is Dec. 20 at