Friday April 1, 2011

Bulls, Bears and Basketball

Basketball legend Bill Walton capped Day 1 of the world's largest student investment forum with lessons on life and business.

The University of Dayton's R.I.S.E. student investment forum opened its 11th year with market forecasts from top economic and financial experts, an inspiring speech by a basketball legend and a three-hour live radio broadcast that went around the world.

R.I.S.E. (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) is drawing 1,500 students, faculty and professionals from around the world to gather for insights on economic trends, market opportunities and developments in the investment world during the three-day forum.

Sponsored in association with the United National Global Compact, R.I.S.E. opened on Thursday, March 31, at the University of Dayton Arena with unscripted, wide-ranging discussions by panels of financial experts, followed by questions from students and culminating in a speech by basketball great Bill Walton.  

Mathew Shank, dean of the University's School of Business Administration, said the forum continues to grow.  

"Our continuing relationship with the U.N. Global Compact underscores our strong alignment with the principles of the Compact on issues such as socially responsible investing," Shank said. "The exciting new partnership with Bloomberg Radio is bringing global attention to the forum and to the quality of our speakers."

Bloomberg Radio's Kathleen Hays, host of the "The Hays Advantage," interviewed several speakers in a live, three-hour broadcast from the forum and also moderated the part of the R.I.S.E. program. Hear her interviews with risk manager Aaron Brown and Walton by clicking on the related link Bloomberg Radio's "Hays Advantage."

New efforts to connect participants through social media resulted in a blizzard of tweets and postings. Students, staff and R.I.S.E. participants contributed 176 updates, comments and replies between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Thursday on Twitter alone. Dozens more updates were contributed from the conference on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and photo sharing sites.

The integration of technology at R.I.S.E. drew notice from the Dayton Business Journal in a story titled "Social media, finance meet at R.I.S.E. forum."

Some highlights of the first day:

• Walton stepped on stage in the center of the Arena, recalling that he played his first professional game there — an exhibition game that included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

• Mark Sniderman, executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, said the recovery of the U.S. economy is likely to continue through 2011 with a 3 percent growth.

• Jörgen Holmquist, a European Commission official who is currently a fellow at Harvard University, was bullish on the U.S. economy: "I'm optimistic. The U.S. economy has enormous flexibility and vitality. It will come roaring back."

• On the bear side, Bloomberg television economist Richard Yamarone noted that a recent report of a radiation cloud from Japan headed to U.S. shores is bound to have a negative effect on the economy.

• Students were bullish: In an onsite poll, 56 percent predicted the Dow would be greater than 13,000 a year from now. Last year, they correctly predicted it would be between 11,000 and 11,999. For complete results, see link titled Survey Says...

• Only Opening Day of the Cincinnati Reds drew more tweets than R.I.S.E. in the southwest Ohio area.  

• Conference information was available by phone through a new mobile website.

• Walton on leadership: "Leadership is defined as making other people better, better than they ever thought they could be."

The forum continues through noon Saturday, April 2, with student-only activities including workshops, panel sessions and faculty research presentations.

Follow R.I.S.E. in several ways: monitor tweets by searching hashtag #UDrise or become a fan of "University of Dayton R.I.S.E." on Facebook.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or