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Session E - Pre-Conference Session
Finding Game-Changing Opportunities in Any Economy
Presented by Kathleen Allen


Description: Are you wondering how to shake your business or yourself out of the doldrums and get things going again? In a time of great economic uncertainty, are you and/or your company struggling with how to adapt and respond effectively to unexpected change? If you are, you're not alone. The fact is, this is a great time to rev up your creative juices and start looking at the world through a more opportunistic lens. In this workshop, you will learn strategies and techniques for identifying and creating game-changing opportunities that will give you a competitive advantage in your career, in your business, and in life. Through a series of experiential exercises and discussion, you will leave the workshop with the tools you need to find opportunity all around you and to better deal with uncertainty. 

Target Audience:
This workshop will interest anyone who is looking for new opportunities or who just wants to get out of a rut and go in a different direction.  If you or your organization wants to do a better job of dealing with uncertainty, this workshop is right for you.

Organizational Issues: Uncertainty in today’s economy means that organizations are increasingly experiencing tension between the inertia of doing things as they’ve always been done and the stress that comes from recognizing that legacy strategies don’t meet the demands and opportunities that are pressuring today’s organizations. This workshop offers some approaches to strategic renewal that will enable an organization to more effectively adapt and respond to uncertainty so that it can take advantage of game-changing opportunities in any economy.


  • Understand how we end up in a state of inertia (and we all do!)
  • Through several exercises, experience the process of discovering opportunity
  • Apply the principles learned from the exercises and discussion to your specific situation
  • Take the principles back to your organizations to begin the renewal process.

Date: Thursday, April 28th

Length: 3 hours (1:15-4:15pm)

Location: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne - 6633 Canoga Avenue, Canoga Park

Cost: None

Handouts: Available for download after the Forum

Kathleen Allen

Biography: Kathleen is the author of more than 15 books in the field of entrepreneurship and technology commercialization.  As a professor of entrepreneurship and the Director of the USC-Marshall Center for Technology Commercialization, Allen works with scientists and engineers to help them identify markets and applications for their technologies and to prepare them to seek funding. Her personal entrepreneurial endeavors include two successful companies in commercial real estate brokerage, development, and investment, and two technology businesses. She is also director of an NYSE company.  As co-founder and CEO of N2TEC Institute, a nonprofit organization, she is advising universities and state government entities in the northern plains states on the commercialization of energy technologies and medical devices. Her current research is on real options reasoning in complex systems for decision making under uncertainty.

Kathleen holds a Ph.D. with a focus in entrepreneurship from USC, an M.B.A., and an M.A. in Romance languages.  She also has a degree in music. 

Contact: Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at kallen@marshall.usc.edu for additional information about this pre-conference session.

www.marshall.usc.edu/Greif, www.marshall.usc.edu/ctc, www.TheVentureEdge.com, www.n2tec.org

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