Discussion Group and Swat Talk Descriptions

Discussion Groups

Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Exploring the World of Technology Through the Eyes of an Entrepreneur

with Greg Raifman P’15, president, Rubicon Project and Anil Sahai P’15, president and CEO, FunThings

Explore and learn more about the evolving field of technology with two leaders in the field, Anil Sahai P’15 and Greg Raifman P’15. This conversation will focus on and discuss perspectives on how entrepreneurship and innovation intersect and look at ways to navigate the constantly changing world of technology.


Social Impact Ventures: What Constitutes a Successful Start-up?

with Eric Adler ’86, co-founder and managing director of the SEED Foundation and Rikki Abzug ’86, Professor of Management, Ramapo College

What does it take to found and lead an impactful social enterprise? Session facilitators Eric Adler ’86, co-founder and managing director of the SEED Foundation and Rikki Abzug ’86, Professor of Management, Ramapo College, will bring insights and lessons from their years leading, researching, and teaching about social ventures to this interactive, brainstorming, and relation-building session. With Eric’s focus on building social ventures, educational opportunity, and youth leaders, coupled with Rikki’s comparative focus on organizational and legal forms to express social entrepreneurial goals, the session will prime participants to consider how to give life to their social venture aspirations.


Bringing Swarthmore Values to the Entrepreneurial Experience

with David McElhinny ’75 P’17, owner of SIGCO, Inc.

David McElhinny ’75, P’17, owner of SIGCO, Inc., New England’s largest glass and architectural metal fabricator, will lead a discussion about how a liberal arts education–and especially one steeped in Swarthmore’s core values of respect for the individual, consensus decision making, and social responsibility–can influence and enhance entrepreneurial process and success.


The Business of Art, The Art of Business

with Quinn Bauriedel ’94,, co-founder and co-artistic director of Pig Iron Theatre Company and Evan Buxbaum ’06, freelance producer, director, and filmmaker

What can artists bring to the entrepreneur’s table? Quinn Bauriedel ’94, co-founder and co-artistic director of Pig Iron Theatre Company, and Evan Buxbaum ’06, a freelance producer, director, and filmmaker, will lead a conversation about connections between art and business. In their work, they create and execute a vision. They design prototypes and test them, they communicate to stakeholders their value proposition—just as any entrepreneur with a new product. How can the experience of entrepreneurs in the theater and film world inform entrepreneurship writ large?


Current Models for Life Science Start-ups

with Kristina Bieker-Brady ’86, managing partner at Clark + Elbing, LLP and Mark Bode ’80, CEO of JoeyMedical

One of the hottest sectors for new companies today, life science and healthcare start-ups come with unique opportunities and challenges. Join Kristina Bieker-Brady ’86, a Managing Partner at Boston-based Clark + Elbing, LLP, and Mark Bode ’80, CEO of JoeyMedical, for a conversation about the joys and perils of life science start-ups, as well as the tricks of the trade needed to survive and thrive.


Swat Talks

Games for Good: Entrepreneurs and Gaming’s Double Bottom Line

Presenter: Alan Gershenfeld ’84, president and founder of E-Line Media, chairman of Games for Change, and former studio head at Activision

Computer and video games have emerged as one of the most powerful mediums of the 21st Century, generating billions of hours of highly engaged entertainment. A growing body of research is also highlighting the enormous potential of games to help address some of today’s most pressing educational, social, scientific and economic challenges. Entrepreneurs are focusing increased attention on this space; however, turning this potential into reality is enormously challenging. In this talk, Alan Gershenfeld ’84 (President/Founder of E-Line Media, Chairman of Games for Change and former Studio Head at Activision) will highlight how the gaming industry is tackling this challenge and discuss how entrepreneurs are well-suited to harnessing the power of digital games to make money as well as social impact.


When is a Nudge Enough? Using Behavioral Economics to Understand and Influence Decision Making

Presenter: Erin Todd Bronchetti, assistant professor of economics at Swarthmore College

Standard economic models assume that individuals are completely rational, have unfailing self-control, and are motivated only by self-interest, but research in Psychology and casual introspection suggest otherwise. This talk will describe the rapidly growing field of Behavioral Economics, which combines the insights of Economics and Psychology to improve models of economic decision-making. Armed with insights from Behavioral Economics, individuals, businesses, and policy makers can design interventions to overcome common decision-making biases and influence behavior. Professor Bronchetti will discuss evidence, including some of her own research, showing that small “nudges” can have surprisingly large impacts on decisions ranging from personal savings and preventive health behaviors, to charitable donations and product purchases.


Will Someone’s Life be Better Because You Were Here? Setting a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (BHAG) and Using It to Work Toward Success

Presenter: Jenny Hourihan Bailin ’80, president and CEO of ORBIS International

In this talk, Jenny Hourihan Bailin ’80, president and CEO of ORBIS International, will describe the advantages of setting a truly ambitious goal and the process of working backward to create a roadmap to that ultimate success using the Theory of Change. If your roadmap is good and complete, you have the best chance of making the change in the world you set out to make and of demonstrating your successes and your lessons along the way.