Economic Outlook: In the Shadows of the Pandemic

Saturday, September 26, 2020 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

COVID-19 virus

Economic Outlook: In the Shadows of the Pandemic

Our world faces a truly unprecedented combination of circumstances: global pandemic, a concurrently sharp economic contraction, war-scale government intervention, soaring debt levels, interest rates at 400-year lows, a stock market that had been priced for perfection, massive social disruption and the technology sector built on shifting sands. What does the immediate future hold?

See the legendary Professor Larry Smith deliver one of his famous addresses. You'll feel like a student all over again! Can't wait to hear Prof. Smith speak in September? Check out his outrageously popular TEDxUW talk, "Why you will fail to have a great career", which has over 6.7 million views.

The audience will have an opportunity to ask Larry questions.

Watch the full recording of the session:


Larry Smith

Larry Smith (BA 1968, Economics; MA 1975, Economics)
Professor, Department of Economics

In elementary school, Larry Smith already knew he wanted to teach. By high school, he found himself fascinated with innovation, entrepreneurship and markets. Economics seemed to him to be the best choice to combine his interests. 

A student at the universities of Western Ontario and Guelph, Larry holds his BA and MA from the University of Waterloo, and an honorary degree from Conestoga College. Specializing in the economics of innovation and forecasting, he has worked with governments, financial institutions, professional associations and companies developing new markets or new products. 

An adjunct associate professor, Larry is the Founding Director of the Problem Lab, one of the few in the world devoted solely to finding and understanding important problems. He has happily taught ten percent of Waterloo’s alumni, and is a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Teacher Award.

Other Sessions of the ALUMNI SPEAKER SERIES:

Engineering Our Way Through a Pandemic: How Waterloo Engineers are Finding Solutions

Date: August 13, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm

Moderator: Mary A. Wells, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo


  • Marc Aucoin (BASc 2000, Chemical Engineering; MASc 2003, Chemical Engineering), PhD, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Ryan Denomme (BASc 2010, Nanotechnology; MASc 2012, Mechanical), Founder and CEO, Nicoya Lifesciences
  • Sheldon Fernandez (BASc 2001, Computer Engineering), CEO, DarwinAI


Converting Crisis to Opportunity

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm

Moderator: Christopher Holt, Associate Director, Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, University of Waterloo


  • Andrew D'Souza (BASc 2008, Systems Design Engineering), Co-Founder and CEO, Clearbanc
  • Paul Maiero (MBET 2010, Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology), Business Agility Leader, Deloitte Canada
  • Nina Sodhi (BASc 1999, Electrical Engineering), COO, MediQuire


Rise of the Robots in a Post-Pandemic World

Date: November 24, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm

Moderator: William Melek, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

  • Kerstin Dautenhahn, Professor and Canada 150 Research Chair in Intelligent Robotics, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Joel Blit (MASc 1999, Computer Engineering), Professor, Department of Economics
  • Pablo Molina (BASc 2011, Mechatronics Engineering), Chairman, CTO, VP of Product & Co-founder, Avidbots