University of Southern California

‘The Great Mind Challenge’
USC Marshall Partners With IBM for Social Business Symposium
November 13, 2012 • by News at Marshall

The USC Marshall Center for Management Communication and IBM (NYSE: IBM) will host a Social Business Symposium to celebrate students' participation in IBM's "The Great Mind Challenge," a global academic initiative focused on providing students with an opportunity to turn their social networking savvy into business ready skills to prepare for the jobs of the future.

The symposium will feature expert keynote presentations, a panel discussion, and student presentations focused on how social networking technology is impacting the way work is done. The invitation-only event for local executives, faculty and students will be held on the University of Southern California campus on Friday, Nov. 16.

The Great Mind Challenge provides students with the opportunity to deepen technical and business skills in the emerging arena of social business, while learning to adapt their knowledge to real-world business challenges. According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016.*

“Social networking is transforming the way business is done and simultaneously demanding new skills,” said Lucy Lee, CMC director and professor of clinical management communication at USC Marshall. “We look forward to examining one of the major forces shaping business with one of the world’s leading technology companies.”

The agenda for the symposium includes:

  • Peter Cardon, associate professor of clinical management communication at USC Marshall, will discuss how teams use social networking technologies (Enterprise 2.0) for collaboration and communication.
  • Lynn Kesterson-Townes, global media and entertainment industry expert at IBM, will present findings from a recent IBM IBV study about how social networking is transforming the media and entertainment industry.
  • Abe Kazemzadeh, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, will explore the use of social sentiment analysis in prediction and look at the role of social networking services like Twitter in the campaign of the politician and the voice of the vote.

“Collaborating with IBM is helping to bring new vision to our work here at the Center for Management Communication, as well as opportunities for faculty, students and business leaders to interact in a unique learning environment,” said Cardon. “With The Great Mind Challenge, IBM has created a great opportunity for students to get hands-on business experience. At Marshall, we believe this kind of learning is vital in preparing our students for the global business world.” 

In keeping with the symposium’s objective as an educational event about social business, USC Marshall and IBM are using social media before, during and after the event as a tool for promotion and collaboration. The CMC & IBM Social Business Symposium will be recorded for future educational opportunities.

*Source: Social Enterprise Apps Redefine Collaboration," Forrester Research, Inc., November 30, 2011.


About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.