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Special lectures will explore how to avoid ‘Black Swans’


Expert on ‘Black Swan’ events Professor Jochen Runde will deliver lectures in Johannesburg and Cape Town and launch a Cambridge MBA scholarship open to South African candidates.

Black swanHow organisations can avoid being blindsided by ‘Black Swan’ events is the subject of a lecture to be given by Professor Jochen Runde of the University of Cambridge Judge Business School in Johannesburg on Monday 25 August and Cape Town on Wednesday 27 August 2014.

Professor of Economics and Organisation at Cambridge Judge Business School, Runde has made an extensive study of Black Swans, described as events which organisations do not foresee, even as possibilities, and which can have a catastrophic impact on their fortunes. Many commentators view the recent global financial crisis as a Black Swan event.

For Professor Runde, the visit is a welcome return home to South Africa, where he was born and where he lectured in Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand between 1984 and 1990. He will speak to audiences at the Hyatt Regency, Johannesburg and Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, on why the Black Swans that affect organisations tend to be predominantly negative in their impact, and explore ways of predicting these events and reducing their impact. He said:

What Donald Rumsfeld famously called “unknown unknowns” can sometimes be uncovered, and every unknown unknown uncovered now will be one less Black Swan to take us by surprise later on.

Jochen Runde
Professor Jochen Runde

Professor Runde is also in South Africa to launch the Jochen Runde Scholarship, an opportunity for a scholar from South Africa to study for an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School, one of the world’s elite business schools. The Jochen Runde Scholarship will contribute £15,000 towards the MBA fees for one candidate annually to take the Cambridge MBA, while also receiving one-to-one coaching from Professor Runde.

Cambridge Judge Head of MBA Admissions, Conrad Chua said: “Africa is a fast-growing region that is rapidly writing its own development story, and South Africa is at the heart of much that is happening in Africa. The Cambridge MBA programme wants to participate in, and learn from, this incredible country and is delighted to launch the Professor Jochen Runde scholarship.”

Representatives from the Cambridge MBA team will accompany Professor Runde to South Africa to hold information sessions for anyone interested in the programme. These will be held on Monday 25 August at the Hyatt Regency, Johannesburg and on Wednesday 27 August at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town.