​The International Speaker Series

​Learn from international business professionals and scholars.

The Ahlers Center International Business Speaker Series gives students, faculty, alumni and members of the community an opportunity to hear from distinguished international business experts and scholars. Each semester, we invite leading industry professionals, researchers and educators to campus to share their unique insights and bring current global business topics to life.

We're fortunate to have a captivating and diverse group of presenters come to the USD campus. Since these sessions are open to the public, you're welcome to bring a colleague or friend. Plus, most of these events are free. To learn more about the featured companies and speakers, visit our Ahlers Center for International Business blog.

Spring 2018 Presentations

“The Age of Artificial Intelligence: What Lies Ahead”

Presenter: Navrina Singh, Director of Business Development for Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft
Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Time: 12:15-1:30PM
Location: Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Room D
Register Here: https://sandiego.secure.force.com/events#/esr?eid=a0K0Z00000LZLhMUAX
Description of Presentation: The words artificial intelligence stir up different reactions in people, depending on the audience.  For some, the feelings are largely positive, with anticipation of major societal advancements that will impact all aspects of our lives.  For others, the feelings trend negative, with fears that our jobs will become automated and our skillsets deemed irrelevant. This presentation will offer a glimpse into the future of work, how artificial intelligence (AI) products and technology are changing our landscape, and what skills will be needed to be relevant in this new global reality. Microsoft has built a dedicated research group with over 5,000 individuals focused solely on the company’s AI products and technologies, and you will learn the ways in which they are leveraging their expertise to create social benefit and reskill our workforce.

“How Not to Ruin Your Career and Reputation with a Blink of the Eye”

Presenter: Marcel Smits, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, Cargill
Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Time: 12:15-1:30PM
Location: Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Room AB
Register Here: https://sandiego.secure.force.com/events#/esr?eid=a0K0Z00000LZM14UAH 
Description of Presentation: Mr. Smits will discuss how perfectly normal companies can get themselves into alarmingly deep trouble.  Reputations get destroyed, careers end prematurely, balance sheets and companies go under.  What are the root causes? What do you want to keep an eye on?  How can you stay out of trouble (and be an effective leader at the same time)? As CFO, Mr. Smits is responsible for economic strategy and forecasting, financial performance and investment, and the timely and accurate reporting of enterprise financials.  He is also responsible for all aspects of the Trade and Structured Finance (“TSF”) business.

Here's a sampling of our past guest speakers.

Alexander Grunewald Play Video
“The Digital Healthcare Revolution”

Alexander Grunewald, global head of HealthTech investment strategy, Johnson & Johnson

Skot Welch Play Video
“Innovation Through Diversity and Inclusion”
Skot Welch, principal and founder, Global Bridgebuilders

Digvijay Singh, global sourcing manager, Paramount Pictures

“Evolving Trends in the Entertainment Industry”

Jeb Dasteel, senior vice president and chief customer officer, Oracle Corporation

"Competing for Customers in a Global Economy: Making Customer Success a Part of Oracle's DNA"

Jim Hanna, director of datacenter sustainability, Microsoft

"A Unique Journey to the Cloud and Scaled Corporate Sustainability"

Joseph Bugasjski, managing vice president of global data and analytics, Gartner

"The Power of Data and Analytics to Transform Lives and Livelihoods"

Bob Maggiore, chief marketing officer, TaylorMade Golf

"Do the Right Thing and the Money Will Follow. It Always Does"

Michael Dunne, president, Dunne and Company

"From State-Controlled Enterprise to Entrepreneurial Global Disrupters: China's Automotive Industry Revolution"

Chris Gibson, vice president of market entry services, iPai Auction

"An American Start-Up in China - Lessons from an Expat"

Greg Koch, CEO and co-founder, Stone Brewing Company

"From Local to Global: The Story of Stone Brewing Company"

Roshan Paul, CEO, Amani Institute

"Building a Career in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship"

Michael Reddington, vice president of executive education, Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates

"The Disciplined Listening Method: Leveraging Truth to Create Strategic Business Advantages"

Bob Langert, former vice president of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, McDonald's

"How Making a Positive Difference in Society Can Grow a Business and a Big Brand Like McDonald's"

Rachel Cantu, vice president of global supply chain, Patagonia

"Patagonia--Why Business is Good for the Planet"

Mansour Javidan, Garvin distinguished professor and director of the Najafi Global Mindset Institute, Thunderbird School of Global Management

"What is Global Mindset and Why Does it Matter?"

Hernan Mendez, CEO, Procafecol, S.A.

"Juan Valdez Cafe: Strategies for Growth in a Global Context"

Fred Freundlich, professor, Mondragon University, Spain

"The Mondragon Corporation: Employee Ownership as Strategy"

Tim McConnell, director of engineering, 3D Robotics

"The Flying Technological Revolution"

Vijay Govindarajan, Coxe distinguished professor at the Tuck School of Business Dartmouth and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author

"Reverse Innovation"

Co-sponsored by USD's Changemaker Hub and Center for Peace and Commerce 

Lalit Dhir, vice president of strategy, portfolio and business development, Thermo Fisher Scientific

"Global Strategy and Portfolio Planning"

Michael Slater, CEO and founder, Entry Ventures and Raymond Watt, CEO, Brain Gear and general partner, Entry Ventures

"The Genesis of Potential Capital and Entry Venues: A Global Model"

Stephen Williams, managing partner, SENTRE Partners

"Investing Beyond the Border"

Chris Crane, president, Edify

"The Journey of an Education Changemaker"

Co-sponsored by the Changemaker Hub, Center for Peace and Commerce and the Center for Community Service Learning

Flavio Olivieri, CEO of the Tijuana Economic Development Corporation

"The Cali-Baja Bi-National Mega-Region: A Platform for U.S./Mexico Trade"

Ariel A. Casarin, associate professor, IAE Business School, Universidad Austral, Argentina

"The World Is Not Legally Flat: Non-Market Strategies in Legal Arenas for International Business"

Tim DeMarco, president, International Decisions

"Going International......In a Small Way"

James Zimmerman, partner, Shepard Mullin & former chairman emeritus, American Chamber of Commerce, China

"China 2013: Legal, Political and Business Outlook"

Barbara Wight, chief financial officer, Taylor Guitars

"Global Brand Expansion through the Great Recession and Beyond"

Greg Deering, founder, Deering Banjos

"Building a Global Brand, One Banjo at a Time"

Rachelle Snook, global talent acquisition manager, WD-40

"Global Hiring and the Brand That is You"

Jorge Camil Starr, social entrepreneur, co-founder and chief development officer, Enova

"Innovating for Impact"

Vijay Kapur, faculty management studies, University of Delhi

"China and India: Models of Compassionate Socio-Economic Globalization"

Hector Medina, former CFO and chief planning officer, CEMEX

"Business Strategy for Innovation and Global Growth: The Case of CEMEX"