GGU Seminar Series Addresses Cryptocurrency, Business Analytics, Sexual Harassment, and Other Timely Subjects


The Ageno School of Business is offering Innovation in Practice, a seminar series that covers timely, interdisciplinary, and applied topics. All currently registered Ageno School of Business graduate students who take at least one in-person class are required to register for, and participate in, one of these seminars. Seminars are also available via ZOOM online conferencing. The sessions are open to GGU undergraduates and alumni as well. Graduate students have priority for registrations, but space is limited for each seminar. You can register for any seminar here.

Innovation in Practice Seminars

Speechless: “Improv” Your Way to Great Presentations!

Thursday, April 19, 2-4pm

Speechless, San Francisco’s renowned improv performance group, offers interactive, on-your-feet training combines improv, stand-up comedy, and storytelling to fuel its PowerPoint show. The Speechless mission is to make public speaking more fun and less scary for everyone — and also train corporate presenters to be more creative and persuasive in delivering presentations. The Presenter-as-Performer Philosophy and improvisation techniques encourage participants to find their voice, tell their story, and go public! This seminar will conclude with Speechless’ hilarious signature PowerPoint contest that will leave you laughing and thinking about your newly acquired skills. Speechless has trained some of the biggest and brightest companies in the world including Google, Adobe, LinkedIn, eBay, Microsoft, Salesforce, Zynga, and Twitter.

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Intellectual Property in Marketing: Overview and Recent Controversies

Thursday, April 19, 4:00-5:30 pm

GGU Law Professor Bill Gallagher will present an overview of intellectual property principles — including trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets — with an emphasis on those of interest to marketing and new product development. The session will include a discussion of recent issues and controversies. Hosted by Blodwen Tarter, Professor and Chair of GGU’s Marketing and Public Relations Department.

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Storytelling Techniques for Interviews and Networking with Dave Collins

Thursday, April 19 6:30-8:30 pm

Award-winning coach, improviser, and strategist Dave Collins will guide you in how to apply the art of storytelling techniques to create lasting, positive impressions for interviews and networking. This interactive workshop will use improv and experiential skill-building to develop best practices for talking about yourself, your skills, and engage any audience in any circumstance.

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Returns with a Conscience: How Social Responsibility Impacts Investment

Monday, April 23, 12-1:30 pm

In a world of climate change, diversity, and gun control controversies, investing with an eye for social responsibility is becoming a higher priority for many people. While some believe that limiting a portfolio to “ethical” investments results in lower returns, others argue that strong ethics enhance value for companies and their investors. Explore how you might earn returns without sacrificing your moral compass from Sonya Hetrick (pictured), Sector Analyst at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and Billy Hwan, Portfolio Manager at Parnassus Investments. The event will be moderated by David Kaczorowski, Academic Program Manager and Professor of Finance at GGU.

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Strategic Play with LEGO® Bricks: Building Corporate Social Responsibility

Monday, April 23, 4-6 pm

Did you create your own world when playing with LEGOs? Then you must join this hands-on workshop with artist and GGU professor Walt Stevenson! Participants will explore major contemporary practices of corporate social responsibility while building a model of society with LEGOs. Using state-of-the-art LEGO SERIOUS PLAY® methods for critical thinking, this session will explore the complex and dynamic relationships created by a pluralism-based society and government in our free market economy. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methods are based on hand-brain connection research done by the LEGO Group.  Presenter Walt Stevenson is a Professor of Management and Communications at GGU, emphasizing critical thinking, business context, and interactive learning. He holds an AB in English from UC Berkeley and MBA and DBA degrees from GGU. He is a qualified MBTI facilitator and an approved LEGO SERIOUS PLAY facilitator. He is a Colleague and Distinguished Leader of the Creative Education Foundation.

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Protecting San Francisco’s Future: The Seawall Fortification Bond

Monday, April 23, 4-6:30 pm

This is a fascinating case study evolving in real-time for all student and professional PMI and ITMs. Tyrone Navarro, the Principal Administrative Analyst for the Port of San Francisco (and President of the Board of Directors of Project Management Institute, San Francisco Chapter) will discuss the facts and challenge of the Seawall Fortification Bond. Did you know that the Port of San Francisco is responsible for maintaining more than seven miles of City of San Francisco waterfront, including the three-mile-long seawall that protects it? The Seawall, from Fisherman’s Wharf to Mission Creek, will require billions of dollars over the next three decades to make it resilient to a major earthquake and combat sea level rise. This is a major planning and public outreach effort, as voters will need to be convinced to pass the initial $350 million bond measure this fall.

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Blockchain and Initial Coin Offerings: An Introduction

Monday, April 23, 6-7:30 pm

FinTech, cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICO), and digital wallets have been hot topics in the popular press. These terms are associated with “digital assets” that are disrupting financial services in the 21st century and changing the way the world does business. Blockchain is the software technology underlying these changes. This seminar is an opportunity to learn from industry expert, Patrick Baron, CEO of Ambisafe Financial Services and a Member of the Board of Directors of Orderbook.io. Among his many activities, Patrick is an Adjunct Instructor of Blockchain at the FinTech School, an advisor to UC Berkeley’s student-led blockchain group, and a frequent presenter of blockchain workshops for corporate executives.

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Creating a Culture of Respect in the Workplace

Tuesday, April 24, 12-1:30 pm

No doubt you have been following #Metoo and #Timesup movement. Dr. Marianne Koch, Associate Dean and Director of GGU’s Human Resource Management Department, has been interviewing HR managers about challenges and best practices concerning sexual harassment at work and how to end it. She will discuss the preliminary findings of her research into how to end sexual harassment and create a culture of respect in our workplaces. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in small-group discussions focusing on questions and scenarios of workplace interactions. Short case studies will also be presented followed by debate as to the best ways to approach various situations. This is an important discussion for all employees, regardless of gender identity, who want to work in a shared culture of dignity and mutual respect.

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A Broad View of Cybersecurity

Tuesday, April 24, 4-6pm

According to Homeland Security: “Our daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on a stable, safe, and resilient cyberspace. Cyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risk stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards.” Cybersecurity expert Thomas Overman will provide a review of the development of modern information system security frameworks and implementation guidelines. The framework will be used as a base for group discussions of specific security case studies. Overman has an extensive security background serving in military and civilian areas of cybersecurity, information assurance, system security architectures, and security management. He has taught at the National Security Agency National Cryptology School.

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Running a For-Profit Business as a Force for Social and Environmental Sustainability

Tuesday, April 24, 4-6pm

B CorpJoin Veena Harbaugh and leaders from three local, certified B Corporations® to learn about B Corps and the 170 Bay Area firms that have become certified B Corps. Harbaugh is a Development Associate at B Lab, where she helps aspiring and certified B Corporations become extraordinarily successful and aligned with the principles of a running a sustainable business. A nonprofit organization, B Lab is devoted to driving a global movement that rethinks how businesses are measured.  Through a unique and rigorous assessment process, B Lab audits companies that strive to be both the best in the world and the best for the world — so that they have positive social and environmental impact, organizational transparency, and legal accountability.

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Gig Economy: What is it? What’s It Mean to Me, and What’s Ahead?

Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:30 pm

The Gig Economy is here to stay. But what does it mean for workers and organizations? Where did it come from, and why? How are workers best ‘classified’ and managed, and what are the consequences of employee mismanagement? Does the current legal system serve the interests of stakeholders and commerce well? What changes might be ahead? Whether you work for a Bay Area company or you are busy dreaming up the next big thing to replace Uber, this session will inform important choices in your working life. The seminar is presented by Tom Cushing, JD/MBA, a Senior Adjunct Professor at the Ageno School of Business, who teaches employment law, negotiation, and CSR-related courses. As an attorney, corporate executive, legal recruiter, freelancer (“an Adjunct Professor, after all”), he has operated within the evolving structural environment of work throughout his careers.

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Analytics in Sports

Wednesday, April 25, 4-6 pm

Sports Predictive Analytics is used to improve the winning records of athletes and teams, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and build a winning strategy. In this seminar of interest to business students and sports fans, Dr. Ash Pahwa, Ph.D. (pictured) will focus on team rankings and how to predict the winner of a specific game. Pahwa is an educator, author, entrepreneur, and technology visionary with three decades of industry and academic experience. He has founded several successful technology companies during his career, the most recent of which is A+ Web Services. Dr. Pahwa earned his doctorate in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He is listed in Who’s Who in the Frontiers of Science and Technology. He is also a Google Certified Analytics Consultant. His expertise includes search engine optimization, Web analytics, Web programming, digital image processing, database management, digital video, and data storage technologies. The seminar will be hosted by Dr. Siamak Zadeh, GGU Visiting Assistant Professor & Data Scientist.

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Introduction to Ketamine with Dr. Raquel Bennett

Thursday, April 26, 6-8 pm

In a rare opportunity for psychology students and professionals, Dr. Raquel Bennett will be discussing ketamine: a medicine that is primarily used as a surgical anesthetic, but which also has rapid-acting antidepressant properties. Dr. Bennett has been studying the therapeutic effects of ketamine for over 15 years and lectures frequently on this topic. The presentation will describe ways of working with therapeutic ketamine: low-dose infusions, ketamine-facilitated psychotherapy, and psychedelic ketamine journeys. Dr. Bennett will also talk about which patients should or should not have ketamine treatment, and provide resources for finding clinicians who work with this unique medicine. She is the founder of KRIYA Institute and the organizer of the KRIYA Conferences, which is an annual and international event devoted to understanding the use of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy.

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