The Business SummitThe Global Business Summit Leading in Business and Beyond was the culmination of the Centennial year for Harvard Business School alumni. Held on campus October 12-14, 2008, the Business Summit featured thought-provoking discourse, debate, and insight into the seminal topics facing the global community. World leaders, renowned experts, and HBS faculty took center stage on issues, such as globalization, business and society, and the meaning of leadership in the 21st century.

Business & Society

  • Agribusiness A breakout session with Professor David E. Bell Monday, October 13, 2008 A discussion about the inception of the field of agribusiness and its evolution, as well as present and future challenges based on the unique vantage points of the panelists.


  • Business Education in the 21st Century A breakout session with Professors David A. Garvin and Srikant M. Datar Tuesday, October 14, 2008 In this session, Professors Garvin and Datar provide data about the challenges facing the business education marketplace, and present qualitative information on innovations in top MBA programs. 2:15 p.m. session 3:45 p.m. session
  • The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Transforming U.S.A. Public Education A breakout session with Professor Stacey Childress Tuesday, October 14, 2008 The panelists share their stories of working to fix the terribly broken U.S. educational system. 2:15 p.m. session 3:45 p.m. session


  • Energy Resources A breakout session with Professor Richard H.K. Vietor Monday, October 13, 2008 Panelists offer sobering perspectives on the world's dwindling oil resources, assessing the ramifications and offering potential solutions.


  • Business and the Environment A breakout session with Professor Forest Reinhardt Monday, October 13, 2008 Experts share their perspectives on global climate change.

Ethics & Oversight

  • Ethics in Globalization A breakout session with Professor Rafael M. DiTella Monday, October 13, 2008 Drawing upon learnings from their work and experiences, the panelists and moderator exchange views with the audience on the ethics and legitimacy of business and capitalism in general, and the financial crisis in particular.
  • From Government to Governance: The Challenge of Managing Cross-Sectoral Partnerships A breakout session with Professor Mark H. Moore Monday, October 13, 2008 Panelists share insights, acquired from working in both government and business, on best practices and caveats for creating successful public/private partnerships.
  • Global Governance A breakout session with Professor Rakesh Khurana Monday, October 13, 2008 Led by questions from Professor Khurana, panelists and attendees explore the problems with corporate governance in America and offer possible solutions.


  • Business Innovations at the Base of the Pyramid A breakout session with Professors V. Kasturi Rangan and Michael Chu Monday, October 13, 2008 The 4.5 billion people in the world at "the base of the pyramid" (who live on $5 per day or less) represent a $15 trillion economy. Panelists describe their ventures at the base of the pyramid and respond to a range of questions from attendees.

Social Enterprise

  • A Conversation with Bill Gates A keynote presentation with Bill Gates and Professor James I. Cash, Jr. Monday, October 13, 2008 Bill Gates answers questions about the philanthropic efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and about what American business leaders can do to help solve the world's biggest problems.
  • Globalization and the Social Contract A breakout session with Professor David A. Moss Monday, October 13, 2008 Professor Moss presents an economic historian's perspective on the thinking that gets economies into trouble and offers suggestions for moving forward.
  • The Future of Social Enterprise and the Role of Individual Philanthropy A breakout session with Professor Herman B. Leonard Tuesday, October 14, 2008 This session provides an overview of alternative visions of how social enterprise will evolve in the coming decades, and explores how philanthropy may also be changing-in part as a result, and, in part as a cause. 2:15 p.m. session 3:45 p.m. session


  • Strategic Responses to Global Terrorism A breakout session with Professor Jan W. Rivkin Monday, October 13, 2008 Professor Rivkin leads a discussion about the global terror threat. Shaping panelists' comments are the questions: How might global terror evolve? What implications does that evolution have for businesses and for business leaders? What can businesses and business leaders do to aid in the fight against terror?