Recession-Proofing your Business – Seminar

Spotting & Designing Opportunities in a Downturn

June 25th 2008 1-4 pm; Ont College of Art Design (OCAD)

Strategies and Tactics for Smooth Sailing in Turbulent Seas

On May 30, Statistics Canada announced that the GDP in Canada in the first quarter of 2008 was in negative territory, for the first time since the last recession. Economists usually define a recession as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP. Many analysts now expect another contraction in the second quarter of 2008, as well. Many opportunity savvy entrepreneurs intuitively recognize that turbulent times bring unprecedented opportunities for those individuals who are savvy enough to recognize them. This workshop provides you with the rigorous framework, methods and cognitive skills to profit from tough times.

Who should attend?

  • Entrepreneurs who are ready to start or have launched a new business venture
  • Established or serial entrepreneurs who are prepared to take their business to the next level-a fast growth enterprise.
  • Managers (or intrapreneurs) responsible for corporate venturing
  • Not For Profits (NFP’s)
  • Government
  • Scientists turned entrepreneurs

What you’ll learn?

The most common types of unknowns that most businesses face (ie, ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity etc) and how to effectively deal with each one

  1. The dominant types of change in a recession that all businesses encounter and how to turn “change and disadvantages” into opportunity scenarios
  2. The most effective opportunity windows for startups, & fast growth companies that business schools don’t cover
  3. The cognitive thinking skills behind opportunity recognition and opportunity design
  4. Strategies and tactics to accelerate corporate innovation in a downturn and emerge even stronger in the future

Lecturer: Walter Derzko

  • Former Director of the Idea Lab, Design Exchange
  • Instructor Certificate Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Toronto, SCS
  • Sr Fellow, Beal Inst. For Strategic Creativity, OCAD, Toronto
  • former Director Scenario Lab; Munk Centre U of T
  • President Smart Economy


  • $199 prepaid before June 18, 2008 for the general public
  • $150 prepaid before June 18, 2008 for Smart Economy clients, students or U ofT Entrepreneurship Certificate alumni.
  • $250 at the door or after June 18, 2008

Discounts for multiple registrations from one organization. Mention other discount codes

Location: Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Beal Institute for Strategic Creativity; 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W1 Sixth Floor, Suite 600, West of University and Dundas, South of the AGO

Parking: Call 416-533-9667 for details

Hotels: Call 416-533-9667 for details

Registration: Call 416-533-9667 or email for a registration form


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