2017

Stories related to "Faculty".

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The Next Generation of Enterprise

On the day of the NVC finals in May, David Rabie, ’15, and his team stood in front of a panel of judges in a Booth classroom and passed out samples of Thai chicken curry, quinoa, and ginger soy broccoli. The meals had been cooked in a futuristic countertop device—similar to a crockpot—called Maestro. Rabie’s vision of simple, healthy meals calls for customers to pop pods of raw vacuum-sealed vegetables, grains, and proteins into the machine and scan the QR-coded cooking instructions on the package. In a half hour, a well-rounded meal is ready to go. The judges tossed out plenty of questions: How did Rabie plan to grow the company? Who would develop the recipes? Rabie had answers, which is why the judges awarded Maestro first place in the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), Booth’s signature startup program. With a cash prize of $70,000, business services, and enviable industry connections, Maestro has a good start in life. Four months later, the start up is fine-tuning the product, building a

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A Bowl of Cashews

Sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don’t. And sometimes you wish you didn’t have to decide. A quiet revolution in economic thinking instigated by Richard H. Thaler traces its beginnings to a dinner party he hosted in the 1970s. As Thaler explains in his latest book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, the guests while waiting with cocktails for the meal, were devouring the cashews—the entire bowl half-eaten in minutes. So Thaler, worried that his guests would fill up on the salty snacks, whisked the bowl away. He recalled that when he came back, his friends thanked him for it (and found themselves with room to enjoy a big dinner). “But then, since we were economics graduate students,” Thaler recalled, “we immediately started analyzing this. Because that’s what economists do.” Even cashews could hold the key to unlocking insights about our idiosyncratic behaviors. Without the temptation of the nuts, he said, “We realized that a.) we were happy, and b.) we weren’t allowed to be happy, because a first principle of economics is more choices are better than fewer choices.”

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Where’s the Optimal Place to Park a Food Truck?

Pursuing a love of food and cooking, I completed the basic pastry certificate at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris the summer before starting the PhD program. So I was thrilled to see a crêpe truck, Paris Ouh La La, serving lunch during the school year. After several good meals at the food trucks on Ellis Avenue, and observing the variation in the trucks parked each day, I started thinking about how the trucks decide where to park. Where you choose to locate a business is a fundamental economic question—one that food trucks must re-answer every day. The classic location choice model was offered by the mathematician and economist Harold Hotelling in 1929. Consider two ice cream vendors who parked their carts on a one-mile stretch of beach. Assuming the venders offer roughly the same treats, beachgoers will naturally choose to walk to the closest cart. The vendor on the left will serve all the beachgoers to its left, and the vendor on the right will serve all the beachgoers to its right.

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I'm No Dr. Love

Marketing is often perceived as being about slick advertising campaigns. To me, marketing is about running a business, a profit and loss account. I start the course by asking students, “If you are running a company and your market share drops, what will you do to fix it?” Students give all kinds of answers to my introductory market share question—they’ll cut prices, innovate, run a sales promotion. I wait until someone says, “We need to figure out what happened.” Unless you get at the underlying cause, you can’t find the solution. I teach from the perspective of presenting the strategic aspects of decision making that are intrinsically linked with marketing. This includes setting an objective for a brand, understanding where customer opportunities lie, and positioning yourself to give your target a reason to buy your product. I call that “the right to win.”<br/>The Framework<br/>I give my students a robust tool kit that enables them to look at any business problem and dissect it. I want my students to be the ones people turn to in meetings because they have something of value to

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Meet the Dean

Incoming dean Madhav V. Rajan shares his personal story and lays out his vision for Chicago Booth’s future—including the critical role that Booth’s global alumni network plays in building on the school’s successes. Chicago Booth Magazine: You’ve called yourself a “lifelong learner.” Can you take us back and share an anecdote about a moment in your childhood or school years that sparked your interest in business and/or academia? How can Booth instill a similar love for learning in future generations? Dean Rajan: Steve Jobs famously noted that you can only connect the dots looking backward, and that is certainly true in my case. I did not think through or plan out my career. My decision to study business for my undergraduate degree was based purely on the fact that my older brothers were engineers and I wanted to learn something different. I then moved to pursue a master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University, for the simple reason that my father worked in Pittsburgh. I did well in my first-year courses and was approached by a faculty member, who asked whether I had considered doing a PhD. I had not, but he persuaded me by noting that I would get paid to study, which seemed an amazing concept! This particular professor was in accounting, and that’s how I ended up in that field. However, Carnegie was unique in not having an economics department separate from the business school. Every student in accounting, economics, and finance did virtually the same coursework. Looking back, I have benefited immensely from the breadth of study and interdisciplinary training I received at Carnegie. Even then I wasn’t sure I would become an academic. Many of my PhD friends ended up in consulting, and I always thought the same would happen to me. But I liked academic research and teaching and was successful at it, so when I got a job offer from Wharton, it was an opportunity to keep going. Coming to Booth, I am firmly of the view that the school should support lifelong learning for its alumni. Two years ago, the school launched Back to Booth, which are short, nondegree classes for alumni. These courses provide opportunities to relive the Booth classroom experience with fellow alumni, and to learn about the latest ideas from faculty across the school. I cannot imagine a better way for alumni to keep connected with the school and to continue to learn from our great instructors and the latest ideas they are working on.

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Why Is Productivity Stuck in Neutral?

When we talk about the global economy, we tend to turn to automotive metaphors. A recession brings things to a “screeching halt.” Boom times are said to be “in overdrive,” to have “found a higher gear.” And since the recession, one of the major components of the economy has been stuck in neutral. According to the Conference Board, productivity has barely budged since 2007, was flat in 2014 and 2015, and fell last year. We asked professor Chad Syverson, alumnus Matt Tracey, and Executive MBA student Crystal Lam to tell us why it’s stuck and what might kick it into gear. Chad Syverson, J. Baum Harris Professor of Economics, is the author of “Challenges to Mismeasurement Explanations for the US Productivity Slowdown,” published in the spring 2017 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives: Is productivity stuck in neutral? The short answer is yes. It’s been slow for the last decade—truly slow, not mismeasuredly slow or illusorily slow. The mismeasurement hypothesis says that although productivity has been slow since the mid-2000s, that isn’t real. The hypothesis argues that what’s actually going on is that our ability to measure economic growth has gotten worse. New things that people like and use a lot—Google, Facebook, Snapchat—are all free. We calculate GDP by adding up what people spend money on. Those things don’t show up because they’re free, so it looks like output per worker hour isn’t going up much. In my recent paper I asked, if that’s true, what else would it be true of? The patterns I found were consistent with an actual productivity slowdown rather than with mismeasurement.

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Judgment Call

In many disciplines—financial accounting, for example—if you try to practice without any sort of formal education, you could very well end up in jail, says Jane L. Risen, professor of behavioral science. But when it comes to decision making, everybody is making personal and professional decisions all of the time without any formal guidance. Risen's class Managerial Decision Making is designed to provide that: a framework to actively recognize when decisions are likely to go wrong so that you can identify what you might be able to do to make them better.

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Experimenting with Failure

When students take Booth’s Strategy Lab, an experiential learning course, they are sure to encounter failure. That’s because reconciling setbacks is one of the goals, according to professor Harry L. Davis. Davis teaches the MBA course in partnership with consulting firm A. T. Kearney, and he also presents the curriculum as a semester-long exercise in Executive Education leadership courses. “Most people overestimate the downsides of failure,” said Davis. Students participating in the course use a 20-cell board with experiential commands that allow them to practice basic skills, such as seeking input from a stranger, practicing active listening, and playing devil’s advocate when they’re part of a consulting team. Students take turns rolling dice to determine which approach to experiment with that week. Results are written down and used to track progress—or setbacks. Often, only a small portion of the experiments turns out well; other portions get chalked up as learning experiences. This kind of personal experimentation is critical when building the soft skills required for leaders, added Davis.<br/>

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Reconnect Revisited

Reconnect encapsulates the Booth experience: heart-warming, laughter-filled moments with old friends, classmates, professors, and staff. A recharge of the rigorous Chicago Approach in Back to the Classroom sessions with brilliant faculty—and no exams to worry about! Cutting-edge business insights at Management Conference. It’s an enriching weekend that strengthens the bonds across Booth generations. This year’s reunion welcomed more than 2,000 attendees from across the country and around the world, facilitated by enthusiastic alumni volunteers. Boothies reconnected over Chicago’s world-class cuisine at Friday night class dinners sprinkled all around the Windy City. Saturday’s homecoming, a family-friendly BBQ, brought together Booth graduates at Harper Center and on the quad. Alumni clamored to get back in touch with the Booth spirit of inquiry at Back to the Classroom sessions on topics ranging from blockchain technology with Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow Luigi Zingales, to innovation and entrepreneurship with adjunct professor of entrepreneurship Ellen A. Rudnick, ’73, and Polsky Center executive director Starr Marcello, MA ’04, MBA ’17. At Management Conference, Chicago Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts, AB ’88, MBA ’93, not only celebrated his 25-year Booth reunion; he also gave the conference’s keynote address—and may well have been the only Reconnect attendee with a World Series ring. <br/>

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The Media and Nonmarket Forces

Booth students in growing numbers are interested in taking the entrepreneurial route, setting up their own companies. I did that myself. Eighteen years ago, after being a financial journalist and editor for 12 years, I founded TheMarker, which quickly became the leading financial and economics newspaper in Israel. After five years, Haaretz, which is like the New York Times of Israel, terminated its business section and launched TheMarker as a daily print newspaper. Most of media is going from print to digital, but we started as an online outlet and expanded to also include a daily print newspaper. We were able to buck the trend and grow revenues and circulation through a more innovative approach at a time when established, quality newspapers were suffering greatly all over the world. The second part of my entrepreneurial story is that I spent a great deal of energy and time encouraging ideas and policies having to do with promoting competition in Israel and reforming the capital markets, which suffered from a concentration of a few large holding companies and monopolies. In my teaching I blend my experience in the political economy of regulation and my knowledge of the business model of the news media with the economic literature and frameworks. All these come together in my class, Reputation, Regulation, and Communications—How Media Influences Business.

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Six Days to Pitch

The History: The Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC) is the Executive MBA track in the New Venture Challenge process, which began 21 years ago. We kick off the GNVC in August when all of the Executive MBA students are in Chicago for their electives. The entrepreneurs put together a feasibility study about their businesses, encourage others to join their teams, and submit an application in October. We choose about six teams from each cohort—Chicago, Hong Kong, and London—to participate in the class. The Preparation: Because the course is so short, it actually starts as soon as we choose the teams. I have a kick-off WebEx call in the fall with the teams, who are located all over the world, to start working on their business models. I then host webinars for all of the teams on business plans and presentations. Finally, I have a second, one-on-one call with each team in the winter. Business plans are due a week before class starts, because I want the teams to have written their story and really gotten it down. The Curriculum: The weeklong class is stressful. It’s intensive, and it doesn’t look like a normal class. On the first day, students present to a group of coaches, judges, and outside mentors, and they get a lot of feedback. We handpick mentors for each team based on industry, business model, and startup experience to get them started working with outside people on their model and story. <br/>

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How Do You Avoid Paralysis by Analysis?

Knowing when to stop looking at data comes up constantly in my Algorithmic Marketing class. In this class, one of the main goals is to be able to develop tools that would help someone make better decisions. Building these tools relies on knowing what exactly the decision is or what the question is. Very often people don’t specify their question in a precise enough form. You need to write down a specific question—it can’t be a vague goal or a vague statement. It’s important to thoroughly articulate your question and your research plan. The more precise your question, the easier time you will have looking for an answer. The question in itself isn’t enough, though. We also need to specify the exact parameters of an acceptable answer. It doesn’t occur to people to write down specs of an answer, but that’s another thing that needs to be done before you get started. You need to give yourself some set of parameters to help you understand when you’re going to stop even before you start. These parameters could be a set of rules you have to satisfy. For example, if I’m looking at how advertising impacts sales, it might be that I am looking for a set of parameters in the context of a particular model. Knowing that helps you look in the right direction. You have to chart out what the ideal answer would be, and you have to chart out what you’re going to be satisfied with in the findings<br/>

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Class, Behave!

In 2017, Chicago Booth professor Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Thaler’s students describe him as “a luminary,” “a guru”—someone who changed their lives and set their careers on a trajectory to success. So it might be surprising to hear that those superlatives contrast amusingly with the way Thaler’s close friends and admirers—and even Thaler himself—have described the newly minted Nobel laureate: “We didn’t expect much of him,” said Sherwin Rosen, AM ’62, PhD ’66 (Economics), his thesis advisor at the University of Rochester. Daniel Kahneman, the 2002 Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences and one of Thaler’s closest friends, described Thaler as “lazy.” Early on in Thaler’s career, his fellow Booth professor and future golf buddy Eugene Fama once quipped, “His work is interesting, but there’s nothing there.” Thaler’s own self-assessment is hardly more glowing. He considers himself “at best, an average economist.” How did an “average economist” change the field of economics, gain a worldwide reputation, and influence public and corporate policies for millions of people—and win the Nobel Prize? It turns out that Thaler’s ability to spot anomalies, tell stories, and share credit for his successes have made him not only a great researcher, but also a great teacher.<br/>

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Improving Your Outlook

Randy Bellows, ’88 (XP-57), has been attending Economic Outlook for a decade. Established in 1954 as Business Forecast, Chicago Booth’s annual event provides a forum for professors to evaluate emerging trends and share key insights about where our economy is headed. Having retired after a long career as an ophthalmologist, Bellows is an avid investor, and he considers the event one of his most important resources for information—which was his motivation to attend both the Chicago and New York events last January. “Booth faculty are a step ahead of the ordinary media,” said Bellows. “These people are leaders whom I respect, and when I have the privilege of sitting in front of them and hearing what they have to say, it’s valuable enough that I sit there, take notes, and look at those notes all year long.” At the two sessions, with over 1,300 total attendees, leading Booth economists discussed critical issues facing the global economy. They shared their insights into the outlook for Wall Street and Main Street 10 years after the financial crisis, and discussed whether we might be headed toward another. The events were covered by a number of media outlets, including CNBC, Financial Advisor, and the Chicago Tribune. During the event in New York, John Authers, senior investment commentator for the Financial Times, moderated a discussion between Randall S. Kroszner, Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics; and Erik Hurst, V. Duane Rath Professor of Economics and John E. Jeuck Faculty Fellow. Both economists said they anticipate strong growth this year, and neither believe there to be a threat of inflation or recession on the immediate horizon.<br/>

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Reaching a New Breed of Consumer

The Approach: Since 2016, professors Pradeep K. Chintagunta and Lil Mohan have been cohelming Digital Marketing for Executives, a three-day Executive Education course offered at Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. Like other open-enrollment courses at Booth, it offers a chance for executives to take a step back from their day-to-day responsibilities in order to sharpen their skills and keep up with the evolving business landscape.<br/>About three-fourths of those who sign up come from traditional verticals. It’s the remaining fourth, though, that help keep it eclectic. “I had a participant who worked for a large cosmetics company and another who was the CEO of a money-transfer business between here and Mexico,” Chintagunta recalled. For many, the course is their first Booth experience, and they find themselves learning alongside peers with diverse experiences—between two and three each session are over 60 years old, Chintagunta said. Mohan, a renowned entrepreneur, teaches the framework and brings the applied perspective, while Chintagunta delves into the analytical topics. The Preparation: Participants are asked to read a few thought-starter articles beforehand, including Think with Google’s “How Mobile Has Changed How People Get Things Done: New Consumer Behaviour Data” and Harvard Business Review’s “Competing on Customer Journeys.” They also complete a short questionnaire so that Chintagunta and Mohan know what role the participants play in their organization and what they hope to get out of the course. The Curriculum and Case Studies: In the first hour, the executives are assigned a team project to devise a holistic digital marketing strategy that they must complete and present to Chintagunta and Mohan on the final day. “I tell them not to pick a strategy for the whole, giant company,” Mohan said. “Instead, pick a division of the company and put yourself in the position where you can actually make a decision and make it happen within a 60-day window.” Teams generally meet up after hours to design and fine-tune their strategies, as classroom time is devoted to several modules on what’s new and what’s next in the field. Mohan takes the lead on lessons, especially those relating to models and frameworks, content marketing, search marketing, mobile marketing, social-media, and omni-channel marketing. <br/>

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A Passion for Board Service

Hosted by Chicago Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, the fifth annual On Board conference on April 13 in Chicago convened a crowd of nearly 500 Booth alumni and students, as well as business and nonprofit leaders. Attendees learned key trends in nonprofit board service, gained insight from faculty into how research and other academic tools can be applied in the nonprofit sector, and connected with others looking to make an impact in the social sector.

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Field Position

One morning last fall, before the San Francisco 49ers began their second season in a glitzy new $1.3 billion stadium, Moon Javaid, ’12, manager of business operations for the team, took a hard look at concessions. Sure, this is football. Concession sales were going to be strong. But, he asked, could they be stronger? Javaid, with his background in advanced analytics, turned to hard data for the answer. He scoured sales figures from past seasons. This led him to institute one minor but crucial change to the design of the concession stands: he redirected the queues so that they snake around stanchions, like an airport security line, at 75 points around the stadium. By the midpoint of the season, the move had increased sales by one extra transaction per line per minute since—amounting to an extra $20,000 per game, or $200,000 over the course of each season’s home games, including the preseason. It might sound like loose change—beer money—for a franchise that collected $427 million in revenue in 2014, the first season in Levi’s Stadium, in the heart of the fans and fortunes of Silicon Valley. Javaid, however, understands that the small improvements add up, and his is a top-five revenue-producing team. “In the NFL, it’s not tremendously difficult to make money,” he said. “You can do B+ work by not really doing much, and you can still be profitable. But in order to get to the next level, you need to find those little wins.”<br/><br/>

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Back to the Classroom

It’s late October, and students in a packed classroom at Gleacher Center are debating the merits of the Bank of Japan’s implementation of qualitative and quantitative easing. But these are not typical students—they’re already graduates who have returned to the classroom for the first installment of Back to Booth, a new series of two-day courses taught by faculty. The series was born when Sunil Kumar, dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management, envisioned ways to more deeply connect alumni with the school. Back to Booth comes as an addition to existing opportunities that allow alumni to take up to three complementary quarter-long courses, or attend discounted Executive Education programs that are typically five days long.

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A World of Connections

The United States has just recovered from the deepest and longest recession since the Great Depression. The European economy is still in deep trouble due to the euro crisis and, in particular, the Greek sovereign debt crisis. China’s growth is slowing, and the Chinese stock market just went through a meltdown this past fall. The main objective of my class is to give students the basic analytical tools to understand these types of macroeconomic events. I also want them to be familiar with phenomena such as growth, unemployment, and inflation, as well as with the impact of monetary and fiscal policy. Why do some countries grow faster than others? What determines economic fluctuations? How does being part of a global economic system affect the economy of a country? The challenge is to provide students with a unified framework to answer these questions and to critically assess the pros and cons of a variety of economic policies.

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Data and Healthcare Diagnostics

Nearly a year before his spring 2015 course began, professor Dan Adelman queried medical directors at Chicago-area hospitals to put forward their most pressing, most intractable issues—real-world problems for his MBA student teams to solve. These four challenges, from three institutions sharing unprecedented access to their data (normally a top-secret strategic asset), formed the foundation of last year’s Healthcare Analytics Laboratory: University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) wanted to evaluate a brand-new intervention—then in practice for only a few months—designed to reduce heart-failure readmissions within 30 days. Were patients leaving the hospital healthier? Was it saving money? And if it was working, could it be expanded across the hospital? UCM also sought to optimize the case mix in its vascular-surgery practice. What kinds of procedures should be their focus and specializations? How should the doctors grow their practices? What skill sets should they invest in or hire for?

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Fan Favorite

Is it gambling? Is it skill? Or perhaps the bigger question about daily fantasy sports, FBI investigation notwithstanding: Could the NFL actually learn something from the avid at-home data analysts winning big at DFS? Vince Gennaro, ’77, president of the Society for American Baseball Research, thinks so. He credits some of the current DFS boom to the popularity of the fantasy baseball played on a less-than-daily basis in the 1990s. Fans intent on winning their fantasy leagues ushered in a mainstream interest in advanced metrics. This appetite spawned a generation of websites devoted to analytics. And MLB teams actually wound up using data from those sites to support real-world decisions. “If the data is out there and in the public domain,” Gennaro said, “teams will absolutely learn from the fantasy players. But that also depends on the sport.”

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On a Mission

When he arrived on vacation in Italy in 2011, Sam Porritt, ’86, was looking forward to a week of wine tasting and exploring Tuscany. But his attempt to photograph the first sunrise from the Tuscan villa where he was staying changed his life. Porritt lost his footing and tumbled off a 15-foot wall after taking the photo with his phone. “I took a step and there was nothing under my foot,” he recalled. The fall injured his spinal cord and paralyzed him from the waist down. After two hours on the ground, he was flown via helicopter to an Italian hospital for emergency surgery. He arrived back in the United States nearly three weeks later. Back home in Kansas City, Kansas, he learned what life was like in a wheelchair. Doctors weren’t sure whether he’d ever walk again. <br/>

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The Art of Thinking

Amid the daily hustle and bustle of Harper Center’s ground floor atrium, it’s easy to miss the hot-pink neon sign perched on the side of a walkway bridge. Written in Chinese script, the glowing characters twinkle at their radiant companion on the opposite wall—a vibrant, neon-green sign, articulating a saying in Spanish. Though their languages differ, the signs share the same meaning: “Foreigners Everywhere.” Both colorful installations reside in the Rothman Winter Garden, beckoning curious passersby to reflect on their deeper meaning, against the architectural backdrop of a world-class business school. Created by French art collective Claire Fontaine, these works are just two examples of a remarkable, 500-piece contemporary art collection housed at the Charles M. Harper Center.<br/>

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The Real World

When Bernie Ocampo, ’05, first arrived at Booth, there was a seeming lack of real estate focus. After some quick research, he discovered plenty of alumni in the real estate arena. They just needed someone to bring them together. “I spent a year digging around in the database, compiling the most accomplished alumni I could find,” Ocampo said. “After a year, I invited these folks to be advocates or sponsors, with the idea of building a community.” In 2006, Ocampo helped found the Real Estate Alumni Group (REAG), a global network of alumni led by Ocampo and multiple regional co-chairs based in Chicago, New York, and California.

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75 Years at the Forefront

The year 1943 dawned upon a world at war. Little more than a year had passed since the United States entered World War II, but American life had already been rocked to its core. All personal car production had ceased, as Detroit’s Big Three factories churned out tanks, equipment, and billions of rounds of ammunition. By the end of the year, two million men would leave the workforce to serve in the military. And American women—many working outside the home for the first time—marched into factories in unprecedented numbers to replace them. It was an era of change, as Americans struggled to meet the challenges of the day. Chicago Booth entered that changing landscape when it launched the world’s first Executive MBA Program in 1943. The school recognized the need for experienced leaders to apply their knowledge and training to urgent tasks and expand the capacity of American industry. For the first time, there existed a course of rigorous business education tailored to the specific needs of mid-career managers. Or, as an early Executive MBA brochure put it, “The task of war is primarily one of co-ordination of men and materials in the work of industrial production; it is a problem of management.”<br/>

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Measuring Success to Maximize Impact

Social sector organizations worldwide wrestle with one fundamental issue: How do they know they are having an impact? That’s the sector’s $64 million question, and it was at the center of an insightful and thought-provoking panel discussion. Hosted by Chicago Booth’s London campus, the event marked the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation’s first visit there following the announcement of a $20 million gift from Tandean Rustandy, ’07 (AXP-6). Moderator Robert H. Gertner, John Edwardson Faculty Director of the Rustandy Center and Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy, opened the event by remarking, “Nonprofits must focus on measuring impact in a way that maximizes success and induces governments and funders to make smart decisions.”

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City-Centered Solutions

Urban centers are growing at the fastest rate ever, creating challenges and opportunities for improving the quality of life, societal outcomes, and global sustainability. For example, fresh approaches are needed to address challenges of mobility, housing, energy, food, infrastructure, safety, civic engagement, and the effectiveness and transparency of local government. A few factors are enabling new solutions and more entrepreneurial participation: advances in technology, business models applicable to dense urban environments, design thinking, an emerging ecosystem, and local governments that are more receptive to partnerships and flexible procurement procedures. This is an experiential lab course focused on entrepreneurship in the urban context. How do we develop profitable, scalable business models to solve urban problems? Through crowdsourcing? Alternative financing? Mobile technology? By using design tools, working in teams, going into communities, and learning from guest speakers and mentors, student teams tackle an urban challenge of interest.<br/>

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How Do You Help Food Banks Get Exactly the Food They Need?

Feeding America collects truckloads of food from food manufacturers, big-box and grocery stores, and other sources all over the country, and distributes them to 210 regional food banks according to need. In the old system, food banks were ranked based on which needed the most food. One by one, they were told what food they were going to get and how many pounds of it they were going to receive. Even if they had yogurt, for example, they had to take more yogurt or run the risk of those donation sources no longer offering food. That was inefficient and wasteful. Feeding America decided there had to be a better way. The organization came to us: Harry L. Davis [Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management], Robert Hamada [Edward Eagle Brown Distinguished Service Professor of Finance Emeritus], Donald D. Eisenstein [professor of operations management], and me. We proposed a market in which food banks would bid fake money in auctions of all the food that was available. So instead of being handed more potatoes, the Idaho food bank could bid on peanut butter, which is more nutritious and desirable.

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Building Trust with Blockchain

For the fintech industry—for all financial institutions—trust in transactions is essential. To increase trust in online transactions, software technology known as blockchain creates a higher level of accounting transparency than in standard transactions, where all parties aren’t privy to the accounting ledger. There are many forms of blockchain, but they generally operate the same way, by creating digital signatures of each transaction and sharing them among a network of computers. Each computer can use the signatures to continuously verify who owes what to whom. <br/>

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Persuasion and Perspective

Booth’s basic negotiation class, Strategies and Process of Negotiation, is one of the most popular electives in the school. About 75 percent of our MBA students take the class before graduating, and we teach students to negotiate by having them master basic analytic principles and the core strategies and processes involved in negotiation. The Advanced Negotiations class exposes students to more-advanced processes as well as strategies and analytical frameworks, and embeds these negotiations in more realistic, authentic environments. <br/>

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This is Not a Spectator Sport

When the late Howard Haas became CEO of Sealy in 1967, he had been with the mattress maker for 11 years, seven of them in leadership positions. Over the next 19 years, he grew the company by an astonishing 17 percent a year, from $32 million in revenues to $550 million, without making an acquisition. He turned 34 different licenses into a unified brand and made Posturepedic a household name. Under his leadership, the company had the best return on capital in the bedding industry, and its in-store displays foresaw the stand-alone sleep store. Haas learned to lead on the job, there being no graduate programs in leadership at the time. When he joined the faculty of Chicago Booth in 1988, two years after retiring from Sealy, the only leadership course taught at the school was professor emeritus Marvin Zonis’s Theories of Leadership. Haas spent hours in the Regenstein Library but could find nothing that spoke to his experience leading Sealy. He began to fill the giant “knowing-doing gap” with a new course called Leadership in Practice. Haas said he felt “like someone in the desert carrying a canteen of water to the very thirsty.”

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Business + School

Over the decades, seven Chicago Booth faculty members have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Alumni have helmed the world’s biggest companies and launched unicorns. The school regularly ranks among the most elite business schools in the world. What continues to set Booth apart is the school’s distinct educational philosophy. Based on the fundamental scientific disciplines—mathematics, statistics, law, psychology, sociology, and of course economics—The Chicago Approach provides a framework for thinking about any business problem, in any industry, in any economy, even as the global marketplace continues to evolve. <br/>

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How Can You Take a Smart Approach to Student Loan Debt?

My initial principal loan balance was about $28,000. I didn’t get any correspondence from my loan provider until I was a senior in college. When I got an email that said I had accrued $3,500 in interest, it felt huge to me. I definitely made more than that through on-campus jobs and paid internships during school, and I could have put that money toward my student loans. If the provider had been sending notices, maybe I would have been sending in money sooner. Many students don’t understand that interest is accruing on your loans from your first day of college. Once the grace period expires, that interest is added to your balance, so then you’re paying interest on the interest.<br/>

conversations

A Welcoming Home

The companionship of scholars and the thrill of continuous learning are two wonderful aspects of a life in science,” Robert W. Fogel wrote in a short autobiography when he won the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. “When one is engaged with students who are both very curious and very bright, it is never quite clear who is teaching whom.” That passion for engaging with students stood at the core of the Fogel Dinner, one of the enduring legacies of the late Nobel laureate and longtime Booth professor, and his wife, Enid M. Fogel, the onetime associate dean of students at Booth. Together, they hosted the first Fogel Dinner in 1982 to welcome minority students at Booth to the school and the Hyde Park community. Each fall for the next three decades, Bob—as he was known to colleagues and students—and Enid opened the doors of their brownstone on University Avenue. After his wife’s death in 2007, Fogel continued the tradition until he passed away in 2013. <br/>

conversations

Who Was XP-1?

CBM takes a closer look at the very first Executive MBA cohort. Follow along as pamphlet distributed to these students in 1943 is restored in this issue’s feature “Paper Work.” Whether or not they knew it, the 52 students who made up XP-1 blazed a new trail in business education. Their course of study, now known as Booth’s Executive MBA Program, was the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The program’s creation in 1943 dovetailed with the wartime demand for skilled administrators, according to Taking Stock: A Century of Business Education at the University of Chicago, a 1998 chronicle of Booth’s history up to that point. <br/>

conversations

To Wisconsin in Search of a Soul

1987 was a scary time to be enrolled at the Booth School of Business. Students had left jobs to attend what they considered one of the best, if not the best, business school in the country. They planned to move on to big corporate careers, many of them in finance. Then, on October 19, 1987—what came to be known as Black Monday—the stock market recorded its biggest single-day drop in history, losing 22.6 percent of its value, $500 billion. A few months later, BusinessWeek came out with a survey dropping Booth out of the top 10 among business schools, ranking Booth 11th. The school’s curriculum got a D and its professors got a C.

perspectives

The Courage of Conviction

There’s nobody who can’t be wrong, and I know that from what the University of Chicago taught me. As a student, I earned a sense of confidence that you could point out something you might disagree with. Attending my 50-year reunion reminded me of the life skills I learned while earning an MBA. In my second year of the program, I was taking a class from George Stigler, PhD ’38 (Economics), who would go on to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1982. I wrote a paper that was good but only five pages long. I couldn’t turn in such a short paper, so I added another 13 pages of whatever I could. He returned my paper and summarized my work in two sentences: he liked it, but the first 13 pages were worthless. He was recognizing the paper for what it was, and I liked him for that. <br/>