Distinguished Speaker Series Takes Education Outside of the Classroom

speaker series forbes media

Guest lectures have been a longtime staple of college life. Prominent scholars, cultural commentators, political activists, and other outspoken leaders travel to campuses around the world to share their unique perspectives. The purpose of these guest lectures is to inject new ideas into the college experience and challenge students to look at topics from different points of view. It is all part of the process of teaching college students how to develop critical thinking skills.

But what about online students who don’t attend school on a traditional campus and may not get opportunities to participate in guest lectures? That question prompted the Forbes School of Business at Ashford University to launch the Distinguished Speaker Series in 2014. Each year, the Forbes School of Business has asked leaders from the worlds of finance, publishing, economics, the military, information technology, and more to spend an hour presenting to live audiences in different cities across the country. More importantly, the presentations have been livestreamed to students all over the world. Instead of inviting students to attend guest lectures, the Forbes School of Business has effectively brought the guest lectures to online students.

Tapping into the partnership Ashford University formed with Forbes Media back in 2013, the Distinguished Speaker Series has featured several noteworthy contributors from Forbes magazine. Publisher Rich Karlgaard, columnist and money manager Ken Fisher, and political economy editor John Tamny have all taken turns addressing Forbes School of Business students.

The Speaker Series has also offered presentations from leaders as diverse as groundbreaking Afghan technology entrepreneur Roya Mahboob and Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch. The presenters have shared personal stories, offered commentary on issues of global significance, and inspired with their perspectives on success.

One of the highlights from each yearly edition of the Distinguished Speaker Series has been the annual presentation from Forbes Media Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes. He oversees the publication of the nation’s leading business magazine, has written numerous books on economics and leadership, and has twice run for the presidency of the United States. The Distinguished Speaker Series was created specifically to introduce respected thought leaders like Forbes to the students of the Forbes School of Business. For each of the past three years, Forbes has kicked off the Distinguished Speaker Series with a thoughtful, in-depth analysis of global economic conditions and their impact on current events. Check out this video from one of his previous presentations.

“When discussions of an alliance between Ashford University and Forbes Media first began, one aspect I was most excited about was the chance for Ashford students to hear directly from the knowledgeable experts associated with Forbes Media,” said Dr. Richard Pattenaude, President and CEO at Ashford University. “It is a fantastic educational opportunity that will enhance the classroom curriculum.”

The Distinguished Speaker Series is expanding the educational parameters for students at the Forbes School of Business. Education has successfully moved beyond the online classroom.

Visit the Forbes School of Business YouTube playlist to see more videos from former speakers, and check the News section of Ashford University for announcements of upcoming speakers.



Written by Erik Siwak, Communications Manager for Bridgepoint Education

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