U-M Ross School of Business Announces Speaker Lineup for Inaugural Positive Business Conference

February 18, 2014

Convergence of business executives and academics offers first-of-its-kind conference experience 

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Feb. 18, 2014 – The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today unveiled the roster of high-profile speakers that will address attendees at its inaugural Positive Business Conference, which will take place May 15-17, 2014 at the Ross School of Business. C-level executives from companies including Whole Foods Market, Ford and Procter & Gamble will take the stage to share the most inspiring and practical positive business practices currently in place at their organizations. With a number of academics presenting and conducting workshops alongside world class business leaders, the breadth of business topics that will be addressed will make the conference a unique experience for all attendees.

The three-day Positive Business Conference will bring together the diverse perspectives of business professionals, academics, students and industry luminaries. The conference will host sessions with both practical examples of positive business practices being implemented, as well as workshops based on the cutting-edge research underlying the practices. Select Ross faculty will lead interactive workshops on specific approaches to building positive businesses across a range of disciplines. Sample sessions include:

Alison Davis-Blake, Dean of Ross School of Business – What is Positive Business?

In this opening session, Davis-Blake will lay out her vision for positive business, and why she made developing leaders who make a positive difference in the world the energizing mission of the Ross School of Business.

Walter Robb, co-CEO, Whole Foods Market, and Sheryl Connelly, Chief Futurist, Ford –  Building Positive Business in a Rapidly-Changing World

Our world is changing at an unprecedented rate, and with such change comes new challenges and opportunities for business leaders. Population growth, climate change, natural resource scarcity, proliferation of technology, global power shifts, and inter-generational trends all influence the context in which we build our businesses. In a conversation facilitated by the Ross School’s Chris White, Connelly will offer her perspective on the operating context of our changing world, while Robb will share his thoughts on what it takes to build a positive business in the years to come.

Bob Fregolle, Chief Customer Officer, Procter & Gamble – Four Steps to Transforming Customer Relationships

P&G is turning the company’s process for selling to retailers on its head. Fregolle will outline how business results are driven across P&G’s $83 billion sales organization – by beginning with deep mutual understanding and radical transparency in relationships.

Jerry Davis, Ross School of Business Professor – Intrapreneurship: Inspiring Social Innovation at All Levels of the Organization

Want to catalyze positive change from any seat in the organization? Davis will lay out the four variables that company leaders need to manage to be successful.

“I am honored to share our story with like-minded leaders all interested in making their businesses – and the world – a better place,” said Fred Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering and a scheduled speaker at the conference. “I have long believed that business leaders are uniquely qualified to affect positive change in the world as well as their own businesses, not because they are required to do so, but simply because they can. I am excited to share how we have been implementing positive business practices that make a difference in our culture, our community and our environment.”

To learn more about opportunities to attend or sponsor the Positive Business Conference, contact pbconference@umich.edu or visit http://positivebusinessconference.com/. For a full list of the speakers, please visit http://positivebusinessconference.com/speakers/.