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Career Conversations - Marian Cook

Presented by the Career Management Center at Stuart School of Business

Creating a Positive Future after the Pandemic

How innovation can help businesses come out of the crisis stronger

Marian Cook

Speaker: Marian Cook, Solutions Principal, Slalom Consulting

Webinar presented on May 13, 2020. Sponsored by the Stuart Career Management Center and Illinois Tech Career Services.

Scroll down for presentation abstract and Marian Cook's bio

Watch the Webinar

Presentation Abstract

This pandemic has tragic human impact. It is considered a “black swan” event. Black swans are very rare and very high impact events, and include pandemics and economic recessions. They can change the trajectory of governments, economies and businesses. Many agree that this one will make the world a different place for all of us, and that includes for businesses. There are recent business impact examples of black swan events:

  • The SARS pandemic of 2002-2004 catalyzed the meteoric growth of a then-small ecommerce company called Ali Baba.
  • Airbnb and Uber shot up in popularity in 2008 as the subprime crises meant lower savings and income for the masses, forcing people to share assets in the form of spare rooms and car rides. This asset sharing platform business model exploded.

Once the immediate needs of people and organizations are met, it is important to reflect and prepare for the long-term impacts of this pandemic. This webinar will explore:

  • What are black swans and what can history teach us?
  • What megatrends make black swans more dangerous than ever?
  • What does the current situation mean for our economic structures, institutions, business strategies, and priorities?
  • What is changing, or could change in the future as a result?
  • How does business innovation help create a positive future?

Marian Cook

Marian Cook

Marian Cook is a trusted adviser to heads of governments and Fortune 500 companies worldwide on strategy, innovation, technology, and enterprise transformation. She serves as solutions principal at Slalom Consulting focusing on emerging technologies, innovation and digital transformation. She is a senior advisor and international guest lecturer on Corporate Innovation and Innovation Ecosystems, Future of Cities, and Future of Work for Singularity University. She also leads a gubernatorial advisory board composed of heads of innovation from large corporations in Illinois.

Additionally, Cook serves as head learning facilitator for MIT’s Blockchain course, and the Corporate Innovation and Innovation Ecosystems course, offered online by the Sloan School of Management. 

Previously, Cook spent her career in senior executive roles working for and advising leading global organizations across multiple sectors. As a result, she was asked to serve as chief strategy officer, Department of Innovation & Technology, for the state of Illinois, working for the Office of the Governor. There she led digital transformation strategic planning and initiatives that gained national recognition.

Career Conversations is presented by the Stuart School of Business Career Management Center.


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