The 2020 CFO of the Future Summit:

The Art and Science of Balance

When & Where

May 13-15, 2020

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

About the Summit

Companies today exist in a landscape of opposing forces. On one side, growth is waiting as emerging ideas, technologies and trends shake up markets, competitive dynamics and stakeholder demands. On the other side, risk and uncertainty loom large with predictions of an economic downturn and constant threats of disruption.

Chief financial officers and their teams stare down these conflicting forces every day. Should they double down on the bold moves that drive growth? Or should they hold back and proceed with caution? The most successful leaders will thoughtfully and skillfully balance both  approaches in order to drive growth while mitigating risk.

But achieving this balance requires art and science. It demands the art of aligning business models, building cultures and talent, and shaping communication. It demands the science of cultivating innovation, investing in technology, and managing risk. All while accounting for the vision of the business, not just the goals of the finance department.

The 2020 CFO of the Future Summit: The Art and Science of Balance will help current and future chief financial officers strike this critical balance. Convened by the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and Leadership for a Networked World, in collaboration with Accenture, the Summit  will be held May 13th – 15th at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

At the 2020 Summit, finance leaders will learn about and share best practices in planning business model transformation, managing risk and uncertainty, and communicating a vision for the future. In particular, the Summit will look at the challenges and opportunities via:

  • Strategy: How can finance teams balance innovation in the current business model, incubate new and disruptive business models, and mitigate the risk of a potential economic downturn with a portfolio perspective?
  • Leadership: How can finance executives become better “storytellers” – ensuring that the c-suite, employees, and stakeholders are informed and aligned on balancing risk and growth?
  • People: How can finance leaders develop a culture of growth and innovation? And how can people and teams embrace and drive change, as well as enable progress?

This Summit will bring select private sector financial executives, industry experts, and leading academics together at Harvard University to answer these questions, grapple with the changing finance environment, learn about and share ideas on emerging business models, and prepare the next generation of chief financial officers.


Hosted by

Leadership for a Networked World’s applied research, student innovation challenge, and on-campus summit programs are an initiative of Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie, Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH), part of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. TECH is a hub for students, faculty, alumni, and government and industry leaders to learn together, collaborate, and innovate. LNW accelerates these efforts by connecting leaders across sectors and developing cutting-edge thought leadership on innovation and organizational transformation.

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