Keynote Speakers

Jill Kickul

Professor, Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Research Director, Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

Jill was formerly at New York University’s Stern School of Business as the Director of their Social Entrepreneurship Program and the Chair for the 30-course MBA specialization in Social Innovation and Impact. Prior to joining Stern, she was the Richard A. Forsythe Chair in Entrepreneurship in the Thomas C. Page Center for Entrepreneurship at Miami University and a professor in the management department in the University’s Farmer School of Business. Prior to joining the Miami University faculty, she was the Elizabeth J. McCandless Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Simmons School of Management.

Jill is the Founding Director of The Annual Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, now the largest academic conference in the field. Her bestselling book, Understanding Social Entrepreneurship: The Relentless Pursuit of Mission in an Ever Changing World (Routledge Publishing) has been adopted for the classroom by over 80 universities. Jill’s primary research areas of interest have included innovation and strategic processes within new ventures, and more recently, wealth creation in transitioning economies and social innovation.

She has published more than 100 articles in leading entrepreneurship and management journals, including: the Academy of Management Learning and Education, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Small Business Economics, Journal of Management, Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, California Management Review, and the Journal of Business Ethics. Jill is currently the Executive Vice-President of the Entrepreneurship Research Society and the Editor of the Social Entrepreneurship Journal (sponsored by Kauffman Foundation). Her work on entrepreneurship education development and curriculum design has been nationally recognized and supported through the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Coleman Foundation for Entrepreneurship Excellence and was named by Fortune Small Business as one of the Top 10 Innovative Programs in Entrepreneurship Education.

Maria Minniti

Professor and Louis A. Bantle Chair of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy in the Withman School of Management at Syracuse University
Marshall School of Business
Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Department of Management Studies at Aalto University

Maria Minniti is Professor and Louis A. Bantle Chair of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy in the Withman School of Management at Syracuse University, and Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Department of Management Studies at Aalto University, Finland. She is also the Director of the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society (IES) at the Whitman School of Management of Syracuse University.

Maria holds a PhD in Economics from New York University, a MS in Economics from Auburn University, and a BS in Political Science from the Universita’ La Sapienza of Rome. Previously, she was Professor and Bobby B. Lyle Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, and Professor of Economics and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College. Maria has also taught at New York University and Skidmore College, and has been a visiting professor at the London Business School, Humboldt University, Copenhagen Business School and the Max Planck Institute of Economics.

Maria’s work has been cited more than 10,000 times (Google scholars) and published in the Journal of Management, Economics Letters, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Economic Psychology, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Small Business Economics Journal, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, and Harvard Business Review among others.

Maria was named Whitman faculty member of the year in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises in 2017, and received the 2008-2009 Award for Outstanding Teaching in the MBA Program at Southern Methodist University. Maria serves routinely as consultant for various international organizations, science parks, and university worldwide. She has been involved with the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor project since its inception in 1999, and is currently the Director of GEM’s PhD workshop.

Maria’s more recent work focuses on the political economy of entrepreneurship and innovation, and its implication for industry evolution.