The Butler Institute for Free Enterprise Through Entrepreneurship offers numerous opportunities and events for the Babson community to explore the relationship between entrepreneurship and free enterprise.

For details on upcoming events, please see our listing below. To learn more, please email us at or sign up for our newsletter.

Upcoming Events

Please check back in Fall 2024 for details of our events and programming. 

Past Events

Spring Signature Event: Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, Renowned AI Ethics Pioneer

The Butler Institute was honored to host Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, the US Science Envoy for Artificial Intelligence, at the Babson Campus. Dr. Chowdhury's insightful discourse on the role of policymakers in the AI era, amongst many other topics, captivated a packed auditorium.  Read more about the event here

Tuesday, April 2, 2024. 6 p.m. Winn Auditorium

Student Open Forum: The FDA and the Beauty Industry.

Kimheat Chheav '26 led a student discussion about policies in the beauty industry and how they help or discourage entrepreneurs from starting ventures. The students also compared US policy against policies around the world.  The mix of graduate and under graduate students gained insights from key stakeholder perspectives. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024. 5 p.m. Babson Commons 101

The Creator: Movie + Discussion 

The Butler Institute Board of Student Scholars watched the 2023 hit Sci-Fi movie 'The Creator.'  The movie was set in 2070, 15 years after an AI nuclear detonation in LA, as the military attempted to assassinate the chief architect behind the AI advancements. The Butler Institute Scholars will lead a discussion about the ethical implications of AI and whether the movie changed opinions about the need for policy regulations.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 5 p.m. Blank Center.


Previous Years Events

Student Open Forum: Economic Cold War? 

We explored the economic competition between the United States, China, and their allies, with a special focus on impacts in developing countries and the role of entrepreneurship in driving positive economic competition and growth.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. ET

Student Open Forum: Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Public Policy 

In an era of unprecedented digital transformation, this event was a gateway to understanding the evolving landscape of cyber threats and the pivotal role of policy in safeguarding organizations and individuals. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET.

Student Open Forum: AI Unleashed 

We kicked off the fall semester by discussing AI in education and its policy implications.  The students, staff and faculty discussed how we embrace the opportunities it provides with an entrepreneurial mindset. The discussion also covered policy considerations such as safety, privacy, equity, access, and ethics. The group further discussed the challenge of whether AI policies would be made by individual faculty at a course level or by institutions at a college-wide level.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET.

Symposium: Empowering Entrepreneurship and Small Business Through Policy and Action

Our panel of esteemed speakers, including Dan Rivera, President and CEO at MassDevelopment, Jane C. Edmonds, V.P. Programming and Community Outreach at Babson College, and Dani Babineau MBA'15, CEO, and Co-founder, Redemption Rock Brewing Co. was moderated by our Butler Institute Student Scholars. Then Glynn Lloyd, Executive Director, Mill City Community Investments, closed out the event by sharing his journey and experience from both a business leader, banking, and investment perspective. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 5:15 p.m. ET.

Open Forum: Breaking Down Investment Barriers

Investing can be a powerful tool for securing financial futures, but historically it has been exclusive to the wealthy and financially savvy. This open forum event aimed to explore the concept of democratizing investing and promoting greater access to investment opportunities for all populations, regardless of their socioeconomic background or level of financial sophistication.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Open Forum: Cryptocurrency: A Revolutionary Digital Phenomenon or a Scam?

From the very first beginnings and past implementations to recent scandals and the future potential of crypto assets, we provided a space to enrich your knowledge and have complex discussions surrounding these innovative digital tools. We delved into the role of government, regulation and oversight regarding the crypto space, focusing on the regulatory lag that exists in the legal realm when it comes to digitalization.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Student Open Forum: Corruption in the Diamond Industry

The Student Scholars of the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship led a conversation about corruption in the diamond industry and how we can utilize blockchain technology to validate lab-grown diamonds.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

GEM Data Hackathon Presentation and Award Ceremony

Three students were recognized at the 2nd annual GEM Data Hackathon presentation and award ceremony on November 10th. The GEM Data Hackathon was created to challenge both undergraduate and graduate students to crunch and analyze using real data from the GEM Report (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) and uncover some new, unique insights about entrepreneurship in the United States. 

The submissions were judged by faculty on the insightfulness and novelty of the analysis and visual representation of the GEM data. This year's winners were:

1st Place: Kristin Wendell MBA'22
2nd Place: Jackson Kuja '25
3rd Place: Michael Twomey '23

Read more about this special competition, key findings, and winners.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Student Open Forum: Opportunity Zones

According to the IRS, opportunity zones are economic development tool that allows people to invest in distressed areas in the United States. Their purpose is to spur economic growth and job creation in low-income communities while providing tax benefits to investors.

In this conversation, Rani Jivani presented the cracks in the opportunity zones legislation and who is currently benefiting from them. The group talked about how we as a society can redirect investment to serve its intended purpose. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Student Open Forum: Cannabis Industry & Regulation

Cannabis is a multi-billion-dollar industry booming under an inconsistent regulatory landscape at federal and state levels and creating a stark divide among Americans. In this conversation, students explored the cracks in the cannabis regulation system and discussed important questions such as who is benefiting from the regulatory status quo, upcoming legislation, and how entrepreneurs can thrive in this fragmented industry. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Signature Event: Finding Success, Happiness, and Purpose with bestselling author, Harvard professor, and the Atlantic’s happiness columnist Dr. Arthur C. Brooks

The Babson College community had the pleasure of hearing from success, happiness, and purpose expert, Dr. Arthur Brooks, when he visited campus for a conversation on Tuesday, April 19.

Read more about Brooks’ visit, and about the intersection of happiness and entrepreneurship.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Student Open Forum: Millennial & Gen Z Socialism

The Student Scholars of the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship led a conversation about the roaring rejection of capitalism and growing support for socialism among the younger population. Whether it’s through political campaigns, legacy media, or social media platforms, socialism is rising in popularity across the United States. In wake of this sweeping economic ideology, people have started to turn their backs on capitalism and question its relevance. Students and faculty discussed how capitalism can survive rising millennial socialism while pursuing and igniting entrepreneurial ventures.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Student Open Forum: Small Town America vs. The EPA - A perspective

An interactive conversation led by Butler Institute Scholar, Dominic Sapone, about the growing interference of the EPA in various industries. Dominic highlighted examples of recent EPA crackdowns on small manufacturers in the automotive industry, hurting the livelihoods of entrepreneurs and their families.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Spotlight Series Event: What the Superbowl Teaches us about Market Regulation, Innovation, and Capitalism.

Professor Andrew Corbett, faculty, and guests discussed what the Super Bowl teaches us about markets, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Looking back at years of Super Bowl ads, the conversation examined what happened to the many market-dominant firms of prior decades as a way to think about policy for today and tomorrow. Watch the recording: Spotlight Series Event: What the Superbowl Teaches us about Market Regulation, Innovation, and Capitalism

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Spotlight Series Event: David and Goliath: How a small business mindset can help firms of all sizes fight for market share while doing good for the community

Professor Andrew Corbett from Babson College's Entrepreneurship Division and Joshua White from the University of Alabama, Culverhouse College of Business hosted an interactive discussion about what it means for businesses to “act small” and do good in their communities while growing their profits. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Student Open Forum: Space Race 2021 - Pushing Boundaries into Outer Space

Our scholars will look at the opportunity that has been created as space travel is commercialized and what this innovation means in a currently under-regulated industry. Who should be responsible for setting policy when private citizens and entrepreneurs race to space? 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

GEM Data Hackathon Presentation & Award Ceremony

This first GEM Data Hackathon was created to challenge both undergraduate and graduate students to crunch and analyze using real GEM data from the GEM Report (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) and uncover some new, unique insights about regional differences in entrepreneurship across the United States. Professor Andrew Corbett, Faculty Director of the Butler Institute announced the winners of the competition, each team shared their findings and how they went about their analysis.   

The submissions were judged by faculty on the insightfulness and novelty of the analysis and visual representation of the GEM data. The winners were:

1st Place: Matteo Calderan MSBA'22, Ahmed El-Ghazouani MSBA'22, Omercan Polat MSBA'23, and Matteo Stelluti MSBA'22
2nd Place: Nam Nguyen MSBA'22
3rd Place: Kristin Wendell MSBA'22

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Student Open Forum: (Im)possible mission: Starting a business in a monopoly’s territory.

This topic was presented roughly a week after the Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram outage that impacted individuals around the world. Valerija was able to play on that current event to engage the audience in a lively discussion about monopolies. She pulled YouTube excerpts from Frances Haugen’s testimony before a Senate subcommittee about Facebook’s handling of data to help bring the conversation to a deeper level. The conversation also explored what policies could be implemented to make social media a safer place while still allowing the public to enjoy the positive aspects of social media. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Student Open Forum: Impact of Globalization, Government Policy, and Entrepreneurship on Indigenous Cultures.

Dure Nayab led this session by leveraging Carol Black’s documentary, Educating the World as an example of the differing perspectives of globalization and colonization. She helped us flip our perspective and consider the role of government policies and future entrepreneurial leaders' responsibility to protect the next generation. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Spotlight Series Event: Government Support Programs for Innovative Ventures

An interactive simulation featuring Babson College Entrepreneurship Professor Phil Kim

Monday, April 12, 2021

Symposium: Capitalism and the Role of Government in a Time of Economic Relief

The Butler Institute's inaugural symposium on free enterprise organized and run by the 2020-2021 Butler Board of Student Scholars. Watch the recording: Capitalism and the Role of Government in a Time of Economic Relief

Friday, March 26, 2021

Distance Is Not Dead: Why A Few Cities Dominate the Global Startup Scene and What the Rest Should Do About It

Presentation by Peter Cohan, Babson College Lecturer. Watch the Recording: Distance Is Not Dead: Why A Few Cities Dominate the Global Startup Scene and What the Rest Should Do About It

Thursday, March 11, 2021

"The Pursuit" Film Screening

Followed by Live Panel Discussion. Watch the recording: "The Pursuit" Panel Discussion: Hosted by BIFETE

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Fireside Chat with Brad Feld

Co-founder of Techstars and Foundry Group. Read the article: Building Startup Communities with Brad Feld

Thursday, February 6, 2020