Antifragile Entrepreneurship Speaker Series


“The pace of change will never be slower than it is today.”

Sue Siegel, Chief Innovation Officer, GE at MIT in April 2019


Today’s humanitarian and economic disaster has created an unimaginable shock to students. The future is nothing how they imagined it just weeks ago.

What are students to do? How can they prepare for a future of increasingly rapid changes and disruptions?

At MIT, we teach our students to be antifragile—to not only survive in such a world, but to thrive in it. Ways they can get stronger in the face of adversity, incomplete information, time urgency, and dramatic outcomes. Our students figure out how to turn a negative into a positive.

This speaker series focuses on very practical lessons from world experts, building off each other in a methodical fashion. We are extremely confident that by participating in this series you will make yourself more antifragile.





Decision Making in a Crisis

Tuesday March 31, 2020

“Decision Making in a Crisis” presents two American heroes talking about how they made critical decisions in the midst of tough circumstances.

  • Jocko Willink is a retired US Navy Seal and #1 NYT best-selling author and podcast host.
  • Billy Campbell was the last passenger off Flight 1549, dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson” and dramatized in the motion picture “Sully.”

Together, in a conversation with Trust Center Executive Director Bill Aulet, they’ll discuss how best to make critical decisions in the moment when level-headedness is at a premium.



Staying Mentally Strong

Thursday April 2, 2020

How do you stay mentally healthy in times of crisis so that you can be able to help others?

  • Arlan Hamilton is the founder of Backstage Capital and has an inspiring journey of going from homelessness to starting a VC fund
  • Brad Feld is an entrepreneurship thought leader and co-founder of Techstars and the Foundry Group
  • Kathleen Stetson is an entrepreneur coach and CEO of Rational Confidence



Making the Ethical Decision: Principled Entrepreneurship

Tuesday April 7, 2020

In uncertain times, how should entrepreneurs use their businesses and skills for good and not for profiteering.

  • Tom Byers is the faculty director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP)
  • Laura Dunham is is an associate Dean and Chair at the University of St. Thomas’ Schulze School of Entrepreneurship
  • Jon Fjeld is an entrepreneur and professor of Philosophy at Duke University



Creativity in a Crisis

Thursday April 9, 2020

When the world has been turned upside down, what steps can we take to generate new ideas?

  • Tina Seelig is a best-selling author and professor of the practice at Stanford University
  • David Morris is an in-demand improv instructor, regular at StartMIT, and top TEDx speaker



What Are the Opportunities on the Other Side?

Tuesday April 14, 2020

We will get through this crisis. What will be areas of opportunity in a post-COVID-19 world?

  • James McQuivey is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, a consumer behaviorist, and literally wrote the book on “Digital Disruption”
  • Jean Hammond is is an EdTech thought leader and the founder of LearnLaunch Accelerator


Market Positioning In and After a Crisis

Thursday April 16, 2020

Never ignore the opportunities that arise from a crisis. This session will focus on how to demonstrate brand leadership and gain market advantage in these times.

  • Chris Reitermann is the chief executive of Ogilvy, Asia and Greater China
  • Allen Wang is CEO of Babytree, China’s largest parenting website

Learn from business leaders in China on how they innovated and led their businesses through the crisis and how they now lead the rebound. Brands will need to re-look at how fit they are for a post COVID-19 future that will be more digital and more purpose-led.


Where Are the Opportunities on the Other Side?

Tuesday April 21, 2020

Beyond the traditional spots, where will the new desirable regions be for a post-pandemic world?

  • Scott Stern is an MIT Sloan Professor of Management, award-winning researcher, and co-creator of the Startup Cartography Project
  • Emily Canal is a writer at Inc. Magazine and leads its annual Surge Cities Index


Antifragile Teams, Organizations & Society: A How To

Thursday April 23, 2020

Entrepreneurship is a “team” sport. So how do you create a culture of antifragility across your entire organization? And then how do we adopt and enact these principles broadly across society? Our two expert speakers will give their ideas on how to achieve this.

  • John Calipari – head coach, University of Kentucky men’s basketball, NCAA champion & Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer
  • Deval Patrick is the former governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a leading business executive



Thanks to our co-sponsors of our Antifragile Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

“Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb (book)