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Friday, April 29, 2011

Back to the Future

In 2010, the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston chapters participated in the Lone Star Challenge, a challenge to increase awareness of Campaign Emory and overall campaign participation within these two cities. By a very small margin, the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter won the challenge, and as a result, was awarded a visit by one of Emory’s most distinguished professors in the Goizueta Business School.

On Tuesday, April 26th, fifty local alumni and friends of Emory gathered at one of the newest hotspots in Dallas – The Ritz Carlton. The evening included an opportunity to network with fellow guests, learn more about upcoming chapter events, and hear Benn Konsynski’s, the George S. Craft Distinguished University Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management, lecture “Toys Becoming Tools: Emerging Technologies and Future Possibilities.”

Dr. Konsynski captivated the audience with stories from helping the founders of Yahoo with their start up business model to assisting other large players leverage the first generation Web. He invited all members of the audience to join the “Student of Benn or S.O.B” Club, and challenged us to think outside the norm with regard to how technology will drive the future world order. (Click here to view photos from the event.) Here are some highlights:

“Traditional thought says strategy drives technology. I wholeheartedly disagree. Technology changes strategic possibilities”

“The customer has left the building. You are no longer able to affect the customer directly.”

“Predict often. Future is best seen with a running start. You always need to see where the past saw the future.”

“Challenge all assumptions.”

“Be relentless in the pursuit of interesting.”

“What is worth retaining and what is going to change? We can't hold back the tide but how do we embrace it?”

When asked “Who will run large business in the future?”, Benn responded, “who says there will be big companies?”

These thought-provoking remarks were the highlight of one of the best attended chapter events since President Wagner visited a few years ago. And it surely created a buzz of conversation following the session. As a long-time member of the S.O.B. Club, I encourage alumni and friends of Emory from other regions to take time to get to know Benn and leverage his insights.

Listen to Benn Konsynski’s lecture here.

--Tara Whitehead-Stotland 93B, alumni volunteer

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