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CEE 273B: The Business of Water

One of the fastest growing economic sectors is the water field, and private water companies are playing an increasingly important role in improving water management around the world. In some cases, however, the involvement of private companies in the water sector has also proven controversial (e.g., when private companies have taken over public water supply systems in developing countries such as Bolivia). This course will look at established or emerging businesses in the water sector and the legal, economic, and social issues that they generate. These businesses include investor-owned water utilities, water technology companies (e.g., companies investing in new desalination or water recycling technologies), water-right funds (who directly buy and sell water rights), social impact funds, innovative agricultural operations, water concessionaires, and infrastructure construction companies and investors. Each week will focus on a different business and company. Company executives will attend the class session and discuss their business with the class. In most classes, we will examine (1) the viability and efficacy of the company's business plan, (2) the legal and/or social issues arising from the business' work, and (3) how the business might contribute to improved water management and policy. Each student will be expected to write (1) two short reflection papers during the course of the quarter on businesses that present to the class, and (2) a 15-page paper at the conclusion on the class on either a water company of the student's choice or a policy initiative that can improve the role that business plays in improving water management (either in a particular sector or more generally). Elements used in grading: Attendance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. Cross-listed with Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Terms: Win | Units: 2 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

GSBGEN 566: Dilemmas. Decisions.

GSBGEN 566 is an elective course offered to 2nd-year MBA and MSx students. The goal of this course is to improve students' judgment in confronting challenging, real business situations encountered in the normal progression of corporate activities. The course aims to sharpen moral reasoning and build judgment without favoring a particular position. The course will be taught by Mark Leslie and Peter Levine, Lecturers. This course is taught using "vignettes"€. At the beginning of each class students will be given a one-page reading that describes a business situation which requires a decision to be made. After in-depth discussion, a second page will be handed out, describing how the situation actually unfolded and challenges the class with new information. This new information typically changes the dynamics of the case and requires a new decision to be made. Often there is a third and fourth page that continues the dialogue. Frequent student-to-student and student-to-instructor role-playing will be employed in the development of the session. Note that for most classes there is little or no advanced preparation required, which is often the case when making real-world business decisions. Cases are drawn from a wide selection of actual business challenges with protagonists joining the class as guests whenever available. Vignettes are based on topics such as raising venture capital, managing major industrial customers, product distribution agreements, board of director and fiduciary conflicts, developing financial instruments, senior management issues, work/life balance, etc. The class is extremely engaging - it is quite usual to find continuing discussion of the day's case outside the classroom among small groups of students. This class is for two GSB credits and will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Sixty percent of the final grade will be derived from classroom performance; the remainder will be based on a final written assignment describing a personal ethical situation that the student has faced in their careers.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Pass/Fail

GSBGEN 576: Work and Family

This course examines the strategies that highly educated women and men use to combine work and family and the strategies that managers and policy makers can use to help others strike a balance. Topics include the tradeoffs in becoming a stay-at-home parent, the economic value of unpaid labor, the consequences of balancing two high-powered careers and children, the economics of marriage, fertility, child care, and elder care, the gendered division of labor in the home, time-management , workplace innovations, and policy initiatives. Guest speakers add their own perspectives on these issues and describe the roles their organizations play.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
Instructors: ; Strober, M. (PI)

LAW 2508: The Business of Water

One of the fastest growing economic sectors is the water field, and private water companies are playing an increasingly important role around the world in water management. In many cases, private companies have made important contributions to meeting water needs (e.g., in the development of new technologies and expanding water supplies). In other cases, however, the involvement of private companies has proven controversial (e.g., when private companies have taken over public water supply systems in developing countries such as Bolivia). This course will look at established or emerging businesses in the water sector and the legal, economic, and social issues that they generate. These businesses include investor-owned water utilities, water technology companies (e.g., companies investing in new desalination or water recycling technologies), water-right funds (who directly buy and sell water rights), social impact funds, innovative agricultural operations, water concessionaires, and infrastructure construction companies and investors. Each week will focus on a different business and company. Company executives will attend the class session and discuss their business with the class. In most classes, we will examine (1) the viability and efficacy of the company's business plan, (2) the legal and/or social issues arising from the business' work, and (3) how the business might contribute to improved water management and policy. Each student will be expected to write (1) two short reflection papers during the course of the quarter on businesses that present to the class, and (2) a 10- to15-page paper at the conclusion on the class on either a water company of the student's choice or a policy initiative that can improve the role that business plays in improving water management (either in a particular sector or more generally). Elements used in grading: Attendance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. Cross-listed with Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE 273B).
Terms: Win | Units: 2 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail

STRAMGT 584: Assessing High Impact Business Models in Emerging Markets

In recent years, we've seen an explosion of innovative business models blazing new trails in emerging markets. Many of these models are achieving commercial success while transforming the lives of low-income populations. Using nine cases of both early-stage, entrepreneur-led ventures and later-stage, public or large-cap firms, this course will examine best practices for scaling new enterprises in emerging markets. It will do so primarily through the lens of a potential investor. It will also explore what is required to spark, nurture and scale entire sectors that serve rapidly growing, often low-income markets. What does it mean to work in markets with limited infrastructure? What common mistakes are made - whether in business model design, in supply chains, or in dealing with government - and how can we avoid them? Which are the best business models to serve markets that corporations have traditionally ignored, and in which government has failed to deliver? Who might be threatened by the success of these new businesses? The seminar is a good match for Stanford students interested in working or investing in emerging markets. It will be taught by Matt Bannick, who leads Omidyar Network (a $1 billion impact investing fund) and is the former President of eBay International and of PayPal.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
Instructors: ; Bannick, M. (PI)
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