Mendoza School of Business

Irish Impact conference will focus on ‘wicked’ problems

Published: October 17, 2017 / Author: Carol Elliott

The 2017 Irish Impact Conference will flip the usual discussion surrounding “wicked” problems — those seemingly impossible to solve because of scale and incomplete or contradictory requirements —to focus on solutions.  

“A Foresight Forum: To Explore Tomorrow’s Wicked Problems,” will be held Oct. 26-27, at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. The event will feature keynote speakers Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, and Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project.

Irish Impact is free and open to the public.

“The Irish Impact Conference is a terrific platform for asking more of business, which is in keeping with the mission of Mendoza,” said Sam Miller, an associate teaching professor in Management & Organization who is leading the conference. “This year, we turn our attention to the future and use foresight to explore for opportunities for business to serve as a force for good.”

The conference will offer a panel discussion with experts from GE EcoMagination and nonprofit Accion, which seeks to make financial services available to underserved segments of society, as well as Leo Burke, director of the Global Commons Initiative, a sustainability effort focusing on shared environmental resources.  

A student team of Mendoza seniors also presented their research project exploring future scenarios for the emerging “precariat Class,” which is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare.

The full agenda is as follows:

  • Thursday (Oct. 26), 6-8 p.m.: Keynote speaker Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future; featuring Insights from Student Futures Research; Mendoza College of Business’ Jordan Auditorium
  • Friday (Oct. 27), 1-2 p.m.: Keynote speaker Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project, “Collective Intelligence on the 15 Global Challenges;” Stayer Center for Executive Education
  • Friday (Oct. 27), 2:30-4 p.m.: Panel Discussion with GE EcoMagination; Accion and Professor Leo Burke, director of the Global Commons, “Reframing Global Challenges into Opportunities;” Stayer Center for Executive Education
    Irish Impact is sponsored by the Haley Family and the Zielsdorf Family.

For more information, visit or contact Sam Miller at