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Dr. Bill Conerly  

Economist and Future Forecaster; Expert in Business Cycles

Dr. Bill Conerly guides business leaders in building resilient plans adaptable to any economy. He has the unique combination of a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University and over 30 years’ experience helping companies thrive in changing economic conditions. He has worked in economics and corporate planning at two Fortune 500 corporations and at a major bank, where he was senior vice president.

Companies have used Dr. Conerly’s expertise to help with decisions regarding capital expenditures, inventory levels, expansion into new markets, pricing, business models and financial structure. Bill Conerly has spoken to over 1300 business audiences in four countries and 31 states. He has earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association.

Dr. Conerly is an on-line contributor to Forbes.com and the author of The Flexible Stance: Thriving in a Boom/Bust Economy (2017) as well as Businomics (2007). You may have seen him interviewed on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, CNN and CNBC. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and USA Today.

Speech Topics


Business in an Uncertain Economy: The Best Strategies for Profitability in an Ever-changing World

Dr. Bill Conerly provides business leaders with the tools that they need to manage in an uncertain economy. He first presents the economic outlook with an emphasis on the risks that lie ahead. He then offers business leaders specific methods for dealing with this uncertainty. This unique presentation builds on Dr. Conerly’s expertise in economics as well as his many years of experience helping businesses navigate uncharted economic waters.

The Economic Outlook: New Opportunities and Risks in the Evolving Business Cycle

Dr. Bill Conerly presents his evaluation of the current state of the economy and his forecast for the next two years. He drills down to the sectors most relevant to the audience members, allowing them to see how their own business environment will change. Using common-sense language and real-world examples, he presents what business leaders need to know to thrive in the coming years. This presentation is tailored to the industry or region of the audience and always includes his well-known sense of humor.

Business Planning in an Uncertain Economy (half-day seminar)

The external environment of a business is hard to predict: what will the economy do, how will technology change, what impact will new laws have on business? The solution is not to give up on planning, but to incorporate a flexible stance in the company’s strategic and operational plans. Dr. Bill Conerly helps participants draw upon their own expertise and experience to learn the keys to developing plans that will enhance growth while also protecting companies against downside risks. This half-day program works with small groups or with large audiences so long as the seating arrangement allows discussion within six-person groups.

The Next Decade: What Businesses Should Do TODAY to Prepare for Tomorrow

Dr. Bill Conerly is an expert on what business leaders should do right now to create a more profitable business future. Bill looks at the big changes we can expect in the next decade – demographics, globalization, finance, and technology – avoiding speculation as much as possible. Instead, he relies on business history, current trends and comprehensive research to make his forecasts. At every step he connects future scenarios with action plans that leaders should put in place now. Specifics are adjusted for the particular audience.

What We Have Learned About Investing from Enron, Bernie Madoff and the Financial Crisis

Every generation has its investing disasters, some due to fraud and some due to excessive optimism. Every generation also has its successes, which seldom make headlines. Dr. Conerly has simple, actionable guidelines for sound investing. He has no financial interest in any of the advice that he gives, so he’s both knowledgeable and unbiased. Unlike most economists, his education included graduate level study of finance. He was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1999.

Freedom and Prosperity: The Case for Optimism

In this substantive and inspiring keynote, Bill explains the mechanism for economic growth around the world. Drawing insights from Nobel economists, historians and modern commentators, Bill connects economic and political freedom with economic performance. He ends with a surprising burst of optimism about the fate of the world over the coming decades. He illustrates it all using a few statistics and many stories.

Business in an Uncertain Economy: The Best Strategies for Profitability in an Ever-changing World

Dr. Bill Conerly provides business leaders with the tools that they need to manage in an uncertain economy. He first presents the economic outlook with an emphasis on the risks that lie ahead. He then offers business leaders specific methods for dealing with this uncertainty. This unique presentation builds on Dr. Conerly’s expertise in economics as well as his many years of experience helping businesses navigate uncharted economic waters.

The Economic Outlook: New Opportunities and Risks in the Evolving Business Cycle

Dr. Bill Conerly presents his evaluation of the current state of the economy and his forecast for the next two years. He drills down to the sectors most relevant to the audience members, allowing them to see how their own business environment will change. Using common-sense language and real-world examples, he presents what business leaders need to know to thrive in the coming years. This presentation is tailored to the industry or region of the audience and always includes his well-known sense of humor.

Business Planning in an Uncertain Economy (half-day seminar)

The external environment of a business is hard to predict: what will the economy do, how will technology change, what impact will new laws have on business? The solution is not to give up on planning, but to incorporate a flexible stance in the company’s strategic and operational plans. Dr. Bill Conerly helps participants draw upon their own expertise and experience to learn the keys to developing plans that will enhance growth while also protecting companies against downside risks. This half-day program works with small groups or with large audiences so long as the seating arrangement allows discussion within six-person groups.

The Next Decade: What Businesses Should Do TODAY to Prepare for Tomorrow

Dr. Bill Conerly is an expert on what business leaders should do right now to create a more profitable business future. Bill looks at the big changes we can expect in the next decade – demographics, globalization, finance, and technology – avoiding speculation as much as possible. Instead, he relies on business history, current trends and comprehensive research to make his forecasts. At every step he connects future scenarios with action plans that leaders should put in place now. Specifics are adjusted for the particular audience.

What We Have Learned About Investing from Enron, Bernie Madoff and the Financial Crisis

Every generation has its investing disasters, some due to fraud and some due to excessive optimism. Every generation also has its successes, which seldom make headlines. Dr. Conerly has simple, actionable guidelines for sound investing. He has no financial interest in any of the advice that he gives, so he’s both knowledgeable and unbiased. Unlike most economists, his education included graduate level study of finance. He was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1999.

Freedom and Prosperity: The Case for Optimism

In this substantive and inspiring keynote, Bill explains the mechanism for economic growth around the world. Drawing insights from Nobel economists, historians and modern commentators, Bill connects economic and political freedom with economic performance. He ends with a surprising burst of optimism about the fate of the world over the coming decades. He illustrates it all using a few statistics and many stories.

Leadership in Today’s Tight Labor Market: Retaining and Recruiting High Productivity Employees

The tight labor market is the greatest business challenge today, and it will continue for a decade.

The Next Decade: What Businesses Should Do TODAY to Prepare for Tomorrow

Most business leaders spend time on urgent matters, but not much time on the big picture of how the world is changing. Having some key trends in mind helps executives make better day-to-day decisions.

Prepare for Perpetual Change—Capture Opportunities and Avoid Risk in an Uncertain World

Companies are beset by continual changes in the economy, technology, social attitudes, government regulation and competition. Top leaders help their team members adjust smoothly to enable the organization to seize opportunities and avoid risks.

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