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Business & Management

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Date: 
Monday, October 14, 2013 to Friday, December 13, 2013
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The Course

This course contains general information about financial matters for educational purposes only and does not provide personalized investment, tax, legal or accounting advice.

In this eight-week course, you will learn the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management. Course participants will become more informed decision makers about their own portfolios, and be equipped to evaluate economic policy discussions that surround public pensions. The course begins with the principles of financial economics, such as the distribution of outcomes when investing in stocks, bonds, or annuities. These serve as the building blocks for an understanding of different retirement strategies that can help you improve your asset allocation. Finally, the course applies these principles to government programs and policies.

The Finance of Retirement and Pensions will culminate in an interactive symposium about the challenges of U.S. pension systems.

Held in January 2014 at Stanford Graduate School of Business, the event will feature representatives of the MOOC teams with the five most promising ideas for pension reform, who will present their proposals to a distinguished panel of faculty and experts in finance and public policy.

Expenses will be covered by Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hoover Institution.

Recommended Background:

  • Ideally, you will have had some exposure to economics or finance in the form of college-level courses, even if that exposure is not especially recent or extensive  

  • You’ll want to understand the value of a diversified stock portfolio, interest rates, and inflation

  • You’ll be able to follow along best if you understand the present value formula, as well as statistical concepts like means, medians, standard deviations, and percentiles

  • We will provide review sheets about formulas for the present value of a perpetuity, a growing perpetuity, and an annuity, and suggest that you review a few concepts about probability

  • We will be doing calculations in Microsoft Excel as part of the coursework

More Information

Workload: Expect to spend between 4 - 6 hours a week on the course.

Technical Requirements: You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, edit spreadsheets, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will include text reports and images or video.

Statement of Accomplishment: Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.

Instructor(s): 
Joshua Rauh
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Date: 
Monday, July 1, 2013
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This is the second half of a course that introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, pioneered in Silicon Valley and now spreading across the world. Last time, nearly 40,000 students from around the world participated and worked in teams together. The top teams were matched with Silicon Valley mentors, and the best teams at the end of the class pitched their ideas to investors. Many of the alumni of the last class are continuing to build their startups and will be mentoring teams this time.

By the conclusion of the course, it is our hope that you understand how to:

    • Articulate a process for taking a technology idea and finding a 
      high-potential commercial opportunity (high performing students will be able to discuss the pros and cons of alternative theoretical models).

    • Create and verify a plan for gathering resources such as talent 
      and capital.

    • Create and verify a business model for how to sell and market an entrepreneurial idea.

    • Generalize this process to an entrepreneurial mindset of turning problems into opportunities that can be used in larger companies and other settings.
Instructor(s): 
Chuck Eesley

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Date: 
Monday, August 26, 2013
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Course topic: 
Environmental sustainability has emerged as the imperative management undertaking for business sustainability in the face of rising global demand for natural resources and environment services and of environmental problems such as climate change. This course will examine how regulatory and voluntary requirements for sustainable development affect the ability of a firm to achieve its business and corporate objectives.

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Date: 
Monday, July 22, 2013 to Monday, August 26, 2013
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Course topic: 

All humans are born as creative beings, but as we grow up, school and work offer few opportunities to cultivate and apply our creativity. At Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design - known as the d.school - students of all disciplines learn the design thinking process as a methodology for creative and human-centered problem solving that empowers them to collaborate across disciplines and tackle the world’s biggest challenges.

In this experiential course - free and open to all - you will learn the design thinking process by tackling a real world innovation challenge. As preparation for each stage of the challenge, you will explore the main design thinking concepts through short videos, each paired with brief activities to practice relevant methods and approaches. There will be one weekly assignment reporting on your progress, as well as weekly Google hangouts with the instructor. On the last week of the course, you will apply the process to your own context and challenges, while hearing from experts who use design thinking to innovate in differents fields, such as healthcare and education.

By the end of the course, you will have learned through experience the mindsets and basic tools for each stage of the design thinking process:

Empathize: understanding the needs of those you are designing for. 

Define: framing problems as opportunities for creative solutions.

Ideate: generating a range of possible solutions. 

Prototype: communicating the core elements of solutions to others.

Test: learning what works and doesn’t work to improve solutions.

While you will work on the course challenge as an individual, you will interact with other like-minded participants from around the world to share your experiences and exchange feedback along the way. Developing self-reflection habits and the ability for effective peer-to-peer interactions are also important learning outcomes of the course. Please join our learning community!

This online course was developed as part of Epicenter’s efforts to infuse entrepreneurship and innovation into undergraduate engineering education. Engineering students will be able to apply these design thinking tools and skills to enhance their technical education. Faculty will have the opportunity to join a dedicated discussion group on how to incorporate new online learning resources into their teaching practices. Learn more about Epicenter at http://epicenter.stanford.edu.  Sign up for the Epicenter newsletter for updates on programs and opportunities for engineering students and faculty at http://eepurl.com/fHgLw.


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Date: 
Monday, January 14, 2013
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Course topic: 
The course explores how successful startups navigate funding, managing, and scaling their new enterprise. This process is explored through guest lectures and mentorship from experienced venture capital investors and seasoned entrepreneurs who manage these issues on a daily basis in Silicon Valley. 
Course themes: customer value equation, board management, market strategy, company culture, and hyper growth.
Instructor(s): 
Tom Kosnik

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Date: 
Monday, April 29, 2013
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Course topic: 

This course introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, pioneered in Silicon Valley and now spreading across the world. You will learn the process technology entrepreneurs use to start companies. It involves taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity, gathering resources such as talent and capital, figuring out how to sell and market the idea, and managing rapid growth. To gain practical experience alongside the theory, students form teams and work on startup projects in those teams.

This is the second offering of the class. Last time, nearly 40,000 students from around the world participated and worked in teams together. The top teams were matched with Silicon Valley mentors, and the best teams at the end of the class pitched their ideas to investors. Many of the alumni of the last class are continuing to build their startups and will be mentoring teams this time.

By the conclusion of the course, it is our hope that you understand how to:

  1. Articulate a process for taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity (high performing students will be able to discuss the pros and cons of alternative theoretical models).

  2. Create and verify a plan for gathering resources such as talent and capital.

  3. Create and verify a business model for how to sell and market an entrepreneurial idea.

  4. Generalize this process to an entrepreneurial mindset of turning problems into opportunities that can be used in larger companies and other settings.

Instructor(s): 
Chuck Eesley

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