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Global Speakers

Mobile Banking Takes Off in Nigeria
A 2005 Stanford MBA says that mobile technology devices are revolutionizing banking and other services in Africa, similar to the way computers revolutionized industrialized countries.

Why are Social Entrepreneurs Like Ginger Rogers?

Social entrepreneurs, those organizations and individuals who work to improve major social issues, don't have the networks and financial systems of traditional entrepreneurs, Sally Osberg, president of the Skoll Foundation told a Stanford MBA audience.

Chinese Take Creative Approach to Internet Censorship

Chinese internet users have devised an array of creative ways to navigate around government censorship of China's cyberspace, CNN correspondent Kristie Lu Stout told a Stanford audience.

President of Portugal Talks Innovation, European Debt Crisis in Stanford Speech

Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva was in the Bay Area to meet with representatives of business, finance and education to encourage the establishment of closer connections with the institutions of his country. Not surprisingly, attention was focused on the European debt crisis and recent political events in Greece and Italy.

The Challenge of Building a Manufacturing Presence in Liberia
Building a fair-trade manufacturing business in Liberia is helping entrepreneur Chid Liberty realize a goal. "You can make money and do good at the same time," he told a Stanford University audience.

Bridging the Innovation Gap: From Latvia to Silicon Valley

How does innovation become part of local culture? Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis spoke at Stanford on Friday about the future of technological and entrepreneurial collaboration between Latvia and Silicon Valley.

Costa Rica Strives for a High Tech Future Says President Chinchilla

Costa Rica now exports 4,000 products and is working to attract more technology companies President Laura Chinchilla told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience as the nation broadens its economic base from the focus on eco-tourism.

Korean Entertainment Agency Taking Its Acts Globally

Korean entertainment mogul Lee Soo Man has introduced some of the biggest names in pop music to the world. His SM entertainment is helping Korean pop music make waves internationally.

Nonprofit Initiative Mentors Women Entrepreneurs In Emerging Markets

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program is helping women in 22 countries in the developing world start and grow businesses, Dina Habib Powell, who oversees the effort told a business school audience.

The Great Recession: The Missing Remedy from a Third-World Perspective

Fernando de Soto is president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, a think tank in Lima, Peru that the Economist considers one of the two most important think tanks in the world. He says we no longer have accurate records of who owns what, and that means nobody can trust anybody economically, which makes us like the shadow economies of third world countries.

Novartis Executive Describes the Battle Against Malaria in Africa

A program using cell phones to get anti-malaria drugs to the rural spots that need them most is one program that has helped lower deaths from malaria in Africa Silvio Gabriel, an executive with Novartis Pharma, told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience.

European High-Tech Startups Thrive, Says Skype Founder

Silicon Valley isn't the only area in which technology companies can flourish, says Niklas Zennström, who founded the high-flying internet communication firm Skype in Luxembourg. Populations and internet use are growing fastest outside of the United States.

MercadoLibre Grows Latin America’s Online Marketplace

With nearly 32 million visitors last year and its first quarterly dividend in the bank, Latin America's MercadoLibre e-commerce site is on its way, founder Marcos Galperin, MBA '99, told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience.

Africa, the Next Frontier for Entrepreneurs: Business Opportunities in the Neglected Continent

By 2040 Africa will have a larger workforce than China or India, speakers told a Stanford Africa Forum 2011 conference, exploring opportunities for business development in the 50-plus nations of that continent whose business opportunities are often overlooked.

Africa: A Good Investment, Say Experts

A shortage of middle management talent is slowing business development in Africa, but the continent still offers opportunities for entrepreneurs who recognize the differences between Nairobi and Silicon Valley, say business school conference speakers.

Mineral Giant Rio Tinto Balances Politics and Geology

Rio Tinto, the world’s leader in production of copper, coal, diamonds, and iron ore, must go where the minerals are, taking it into far-flung parts of the world, says group executive Bret Clayton.

Ashoka Founder Drayton: Helping the Social Sector Change the World

Bill Drayton, founder and CEO of Ashoka, the world's oldest support organization for social entrepreneurs, says that while businesses have worked for centuries to improve quality and reduce costs, the social sector has failed to make similar improvements in programs like education or welfare.

Governor Describes Saudi Arabian Strategy

Saudi Arabia is nearing its goal to become one of the world’s top 10 investment destinations, with plans to spend $600 billion in the next decade, Governor Amr Al-Dabbagh, head of the agency responsible for promoting investment, told an MBA audience.

Cambodia is Facing up to its Genocide says Youk Chhang

More than 30 years after the darkest chapter in its history, Cambodia remains a damaged and fragile society, Youk Chhang, an expert on the Cambodian genocide and the man leading the Documentation Center of Cambodia told an audience at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Balance of Power Shift Coming Says Wolfensohn, Former World Bank President

In the next 40 years, a global power shift will see today's leading economic countries drop from having 80% of the world's income to 35%, says John Wolfensohn, former World Bank president.  By 2030, two-thirds of people in the world's middle class will be Chinese.

Don’t Invest in Russia Today, Warns Bill Browder

Hermitage Capital Management went from $25 million to $4 billion by investing in undervalued Russian companies. Today its founder, Bill Browder, MBA '89, says anyone investing in Russia long term "is out of their mind."

Microlending Gives Dignity to People with Leprosy

In India, microlending has been a powerful tool in helping individuals with leprosy move from a life of begging to economic self-sufficiency, leaders of the group Rising Star Outreach told a Business School student audience.

Video What's It Like to be the Boss of the "Most Interesting Man in the World?"

He’s suave, he’s wise, and his advice is always: “Stay thirsty, my friends.” Jose Antonio Fernandez, chairman and CEO of FEMSA, the largest bottler in Latin America, is the man behind the ad campaign featuring The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Colombian Vice President Santos Urges Investment, Free Trade

Colombia still has problems with drug cartels but a dramatic drop in violence and greater government investment in education, health, and democratic institutions makes it a good country for corporations to invest, Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos told a Business School audience.

GM-Daewoo Venture Feeling Global Turmoil

The new electric Chevy Volt will be built in Michigan, but the cells for its battery pack will come from South Korea as part of the GM Daewoo Automotive & Technology venture. The global venture is not immune to the current economic turmoil, Michael Grimaldi, MBA ’76, told a Business School audience.

Today’s Market Behavior Shouldn’t Be a Surprise
Says Joseph Stiglitz

The Great Depression taught lessons about financial market behavior that were forgotten says economist Joseph Stiglitz who blames both Wall Street and mortgage lenders for the current economic chaos.

Market Stresses Won’t Halt Saudi Arabian Oil’s Market Dominance, says CEO Jum’ah

The leader of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, the world’s largest producer of crude oil, says he doubts that either the current instability of world financial markets or a U. S. push toward oil independence will stop his company’s growth.

Time Will Tell How Bad the Economic Crisis Is, Says Latin-America’s Medina-Mora
It’s much greater than the subprime crisis, says Citigroup Latin America CEO Manuel Medina-Mora. But the current economic turmoil can teach us a great deal.

2007-08 Speakers

The United States Can Learn from High School Students
in India, China

The United States’ attitude toward high school, where athletic ability is often valued more than academic prowess, could threaten the nation’s future, warns venture capitalist Robert Compton. “The fault lies not in our schools but in ourselves.”

India’s Economic Growth is Missing the Poor

India’s economy has doubled in the past decade, but Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen told a Business School audience the benefits are not being shared equally by all levels of Indian society.

Former Mexican President Fox Optimistic

Mexico, the United States’ largest trading partner with Latin America’s highest per capita income, is expected to become the world’s fifth largest economy by the year 2040 former Mexican President Vicente Fox told a Business School audience.

International Markets are Growing for FedEx Express

By keeping its eye on technology, International FedEx Express avoids going the way of the Pony Express, the firm’s president, Michael Ducker, told a Business School audience.

InBev Practices No-Frills Approach to Corporate Leadership

Developing a cohesive corporate culture that trains leaders from the ground up and rewards strong performers based on merit is an important ingredient in financial success said Carlos Brito, chief executive officer of the Belgium-based company InBev, the world’s second-largest brewer.

Global Firms Must Understand Local Practices

Establishing Eli Lilly’s operations in China in the mid 1990s was complicated because the firm didn’t understand local dynamics, including how top employees would react to peers being promoted, the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer Robert Brown told a Business School audience.

Pondering the Ethics of Global Business

Ethical dilemmas such as selling other nations scanners that can tell the sex of an unborn child or kerosene heaters without safety features available in the United States were debated during a discussion on “Academic vs. Real World Ethics” led by Professor David Brady.

Brazil’s Cosan Seeks a Bigger Chunk of the Ethanol Market
As the demand for alternative fuels grows, Brazil’s Cosan-one of the world’s top growers and producers of sugarcane and ethanol-wants to increase its share of the world market for ethanol, the firm’s chief financial officer Paulo Diniz told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience.

Infosys Leaders Discuss Benefiting Stakeholders and Society
Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murty, two of India’s best known executives, share their experiences in leadership and management with current MBA students during a visit to campus as the first Denning Distinguished Fellows in Global Business and the Economy.

Kenyan Bank Focus of Case Study at Graduate School of Business
A student trip to Kenya introduced a Stanford Business School professor to a successful Nairobi bank and led to a case study that links MBA students to the African continent.

2006-07 Speakers

First Generation Entrepreneurs Build the Chinese Market Says Baidu's Wang
China today is poised to become a global powerhouse but its entrepreneurs face major challenges as they chart their roadmaps to success without the network that exists in the United States, said Shawn Wang, CFO of the Chinese internet giant Baidu. (May 2007)

Nike Foundation Aims to Improve the Lives of 500 Million Girls
The Nike Foundation has zeroed in on a pressing need, says Maria Eitel, who heads the organization: the plight of 500 million girls in many of the world's most impoverished countries who are cut off from taking part in their nations' economies. (May 2007)

If It's India They Must Be Lentil Chips
Curry lentil snacks in India, chili lime in Mexico. The chairman of PepsiCo International says he would rather follow local tastes than force an unwanted flavor on a market. (March 2007)
Michael White video, (51:31 minutes)

Commercial Bank of China Grows Its International Reputation
Bank president Yang Kaisheng described to a Stanford Business School audience how Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's third largest international bank, successfully launched the world's largest initial public offering. (March 2007)

Bhatia Describes His New Urban Design Plans for India
Sabeer Bhatia, the man who created Hotmail, is hard at work building a new Indian city with social and environmental features he believes will attract well-educated workers and tech companies to employ them. (January 2007)

2005-06 Speakers

Failure Is Important, Says Indian Tech Leader

Failure is an essential part of the innovative process, Azim Premji, chairman of the Indian outsourcing giant Wipro Technologies, told a Business School audience. He added that innovation is what enabled young startups to upset the existing balance of power. (October 2006)
Video Azim Premji video (47:22)

Empowering Workers Is the Key, Say Infosys Executives
Executives who want innovation and commitment from employees must model risk-taking and personal sacrifice in order to gain credibility and motivate employees, say two leading Indian entrepreneurs—N.R. Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murty. (May 2006)
Video File

Chinese Consumers Likely to Set Product Standards in Future, Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin Says
Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone, the company better known as Verizon in the United States, says the sheer size of China means its consumers will replace Americans as the customers who set product standards in the future. (April 2006)
Video File, (56:38 minutes)

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan and Renault Partnership Benefits from Differences
Getting employees to work together to produce products that are attractive to customers is the key to success in 21st century business, says Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault. (February 2006)

Farrell Promotes Direct Global Investment
Diana Farrell, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, says her group studied a number of cases of foreign direct investment and concluded that in almost every instance the practice generated large cost savings, usually accompanied by lower prices and higher quality for consumers. (February 2006)

International Monetary Fund Changes with the Times says Anne Krueger
From the initial emergence of developing countries in Asia after World War II to the Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s, the transition of former Soviet bloc countries during the 1990s, and the sharp rise in international capital flows in more recent years, the International Monetary Fund has steadily redefined sound fiscal policy to fit the times, says Managing Director Anne Krueger. (February 2006)

Marketing–Even Chocolate Poses Challenges
Nestlé has created 4,300 brands from chocolate to pet food and must adjust formulas for many of these products to meet different tastes around the globe, says former global marketing head Ed Marra. (March 2006)

Offshoring Means New Challenges for Promoting Managers
Globalization is having a visible impact on corporations around the world by creating challenges in promoting and building top management teams, Ian Davis, managing director of McKinsey & Co., told a Business School audience. (November 2005)

Speakers 2005 and Earlier

Building Visa's World Brand
The Visa name not only resonated from the start, but at a time of rapid globalization when country-specific labels have become a liability in corporate names, it has become even stronger, John Elkins, executive vice president of global brand marketing at Visa International, told a Business School audience. (October 2005)

World Economies Are Rebalancing, Says International Banker John Bond
Technology is fast bridging geographical and economic barriers, empowering the people in some or the world's poorest countries, and transforming the ways corporations make money says, Sir John Bond, Group Chairman of HSBC, the international bank with 10,000 offices in 78 industrialized and developing nations. (April 2005)

International Aid Agencies Still Crucial to Global Economic Growth
Rising prosperity in formerly poor and developing countries does not signal the obsolescence of international aid agencies, said recently retired World Bank managing director Peter Woicke. More than ever, developing countries are asking international aid organizations to facilitate—and help manage—the boom in private-sector investment. (February 2005)

Citigroup's Stanley Fischer Paints a Cautious Economic Picture
Despite some encouraging global economic trends, Citigroup vice chairman Stanley Fischer warned that the United States and world economies face a growth slowdown in 2005.(January 2005)

Additional Speakers

Bernard Attali
President, Paris Regional Development Agency and former Chairman and CEO, Air France

Rodney Chase
Deputy Group Chief Executive, BP

Nicolas de Torrenté
U.S. Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders

Tim Draper
Founder and Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Mads Øvlisen
Chairman of the Board, Novo Nordisk A/S

Didier Reynders
Minister of Finance of Belgium and Chairman of the Euro Group

Kevin Roberts
Worldwide CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi (April 2002)

Kevin Sharer
Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President, Amgen

A. Michael Spence
Philip H. Knight Professor, Emeritus, and Former Dean, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economic Science

Linda Tsao Yang
Former U.S. Executive Director, Asian Development Bank

Jeroen van der Veer
Chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies

James Wolfensohn
World Bank President

Muhammad Yunus
Economist and Founder, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh
"Visionary Economist Muhammad Yunus Shares Microlending Success Stories"


Lorenzo Zambrano
Chairman and CEO, CEMEX (February 1998)