Posts Tagged ‘Laura Cardinal’

Burkenroad Symposium explores emerging technologies

Monday, March 1st, 2010

From rooftop solar panels to tissue-engineered human organs, many of the innovations we take for granted today became reality through the combined efforts of scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

For the 17th Burkenroad Symposium on Business and Society, “The Quest for Fool’s Gold: The Risks and Rewards of Emerging Technologies,” three nationally respected experts in the areas of nanotechnology, alternative energy and regenerative medicine offered their thoughts on what it takes to bring cutting-edge technologies to market.

The symposium, an annual presentation of the Burkenroad Institute, took place on Friday, Feb. 26, in the Lavin-Bernick Center. Laura B. Cardinal, Exxon Professor of Strategy and director of the institute, moderated the event. (more…)

Symposium highlights emerging technologies

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Research shows that just a tiny percentage of technological innovations cross over to mainstream success, but that doesn’t stop entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, corporations, investors and governments from pumping millions of dollars into emerging technologies in an effort to discover the next big thing.


The 17th Annual Burkenroad Symposium will take place Friday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m. in the Lavin-Bernick Center's Kendall Cram Lecture Hall.

“You see these bandwagons where we chase hot new technologies, but which ones will be viable, how they’ll be commercialized and when they’ll become mainstream is anyone’s guess,” says Laura B. Cardinal, Exxon Professor of Strategy at the A. B. Freeman School of Business and director of the Burkenroad Institute. “There are huge rewards but also significant risks, and lots of money gets spent in pursuit of the quest.”

For the 17th Annual Burkenroad Symposium on Business and Society, Cardinal turns the spotlight on three emerging technologies with the potential to transform life in the 21st century. “The Quest for Fool’s Gold: The Risks and Rewards of Emerging Technologies” will feature panelists David L. Carroll, director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University; Stephen R. Connors, director of the Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives (AGREA) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Thomas B. Clarkson, director of planning and business development at Wake Forest University’s Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

“Regenerative medicine is very hot, but we’ve just scratched the surfaced,” Cardinal says. “Nano is in everything now. It’s in medicine, it’s in solar, it’s in Kraft food packaging. People have no idea how pervasive it has become. It’s touching all kinds of products in our lives. And then we’ve have this whole quest for sustainable energy, whether it’s solar, wind, geothermal, ethanol or something else. These are people’s quests and everyone is working on this stuff anticipating the next big thing.”

Cardinal says the panelists, whose backgrounds span science, academia and entrepreneurship, will discuss what it will take to commercialize their respective technologies as well as take them mainstream. She says she hopes the symposium will attract entrepreneurs looking for new ideas as well researchers from local science, engineering and medical schools.

The Burkenroad Symposium will take place at on Friday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m. in the Lavin-Bernick Center’s Kendall Cram Lecture Hall. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 505-865-5837 or e-mail Prof. Cardinal at

Burkenroad Symposium looks at leadership

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

In her introductory remarks at this year’s Burkenroad Symposium on Business and Society, moderator Laura Cardinal said she hoped to present a “kaleidoscope” of perspectives on critical leadership, and that’s just what the four speakers assembled for this year’s program provided.

“Critical Moments in Leadership: Changing the Rules of the Game,” the topic of the 15th annual symposium, examined the issue of critical leadership from perspectives including corporate governance, crisis management, government and personal values.

Holly J. Gregory, a partner at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, led off the speakers with a discussion of corporate governance in the wake of recent scandals involving companies like Enron, Tyco and Converse Technology. Gregory, who counsels corporate clients on governance issues and has served on the “fix-up” teams hired to right organizations in the wake of scandals, said the rules of corporate governance have changed in recent years, but not dramatically.

“It isn’t a change in direction so much as a bringing to light of the accountability paradigm that was always intended in governance–managers who are really accountable to boards of directors and boards of directors who are really accountable to the shareholders,” Gregory said. “A recurring theme in corporate governance that’s been highlighted by many of these corporate crises is the need for the board to continually insure that it has the best managers running the company, and by best I mean best in terms of performance but also best in terms of leadership and ethics.”

Bill Carey, the author of Leave No One Behind: Hurricane Katrina and the Rescue of Tulane Hospital, followed Gregory with a discussion of the response of HCA, the operators of Tulane Hospital, to the crisis of Katrina. HCA spent thousands of dollars preparing for Katrina prior to its arrival, but the company also issued a general directive to its employees at the hospital to do anything necessary to run the hospital and take care of patients.

“This directive was far more important than preparation,” Carey said. “If they had done nothing to get ready, this would have saved them, and if they’d done twice as much to get ready but didn’t have this general directive and this spirit, it wouldn’t have worked.”

Carey cited the example of the hospital’s CEO, who took the initiative to tear down light poles on the roof of its parking garage to enable rescue helicopters to land.

“With 20/20 hindsight it seems very logical that this is what they would have done,” Carey said. “But there are environments where people would worry about taking down these street lights.”

Frank Stewart Jr., chairman of Stewart Enterprises, brought the discussion to a more personal level with a discussion of his approach to critical decisions throughout his career. Good decision making, Stewart said, requires subordinating one’s ego. “Ego is the cause of wars, divorces and failure in business,” Stewart said. “You need to be honest and open enough to know we don’t have all the answers and other people in life are very important.”

Sam Mok, managing member of the management consulting firm Condor International Advisors and former CFO of the U.S. Department Labor, closed out the symposium with a discussion of leadership from a government perspective. Mok cited the example of Admiral Thad Allen, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard, who took over the federal government’s response to Katrina when FEMA Director Michael Brown was relieved of duty. Mok said that Allen told him the Coast Guard succeeded where FEMA had failed because it treated Katrina not as a natural disaster but as a weapon of mass destruction. Responding to the storm in that way made all the difference.

“You have to know how to diagnose the problem and use the right playbook,” Mok concluded. “The critical moment in leadership at that time was identifying the problem correctly.”

The Burkenroad Symposium, an annual presentation of the Burkenroad Institute for the Study of Ethics and Leadership in Management at the Freeman School, took place on Friday, March 7, in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall of the Lavin-Bernick Center.

Freeman News is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).
Authorized User: Log in

Switch to our mobile site