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A Recap of This Year’s X=Experience

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Our 4th annual X=Experience was a huge success! This Knowledge-Sharing and Executive networking event took place on September 19 and 20, and brought together some of the biggest and brightest minds in academia and industry. Here’s a post captures our excitement.

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X=Experience Begins!

X=Experience kicked off Monday night as our guests gathered at the Westin hotel for cocktails and dinner. After dinner, we embarked on “A Night in the Life of Einstein” tour of historic downtown Princeton. The tour captured the true essence of our event – history wrapped in knowledge sharing and networking. And of course, it upheld our continuing fascination for everything Princeton.

 Fun fact: Einstein never learned how to count change!

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Udayan Bose Welcomes Attendees

We began Day 2 of X=Experience with breakfast at Rat’s, followed by a welcome address by our Director of Client Development, Kaitlin Knauss. Our CEO, Udayan Bose, did a whole presentation on what’s new at NetElixir.

We opened the day’s events with our UPS Partners.  Bala Ganesh, VP of Marketing for UPS, discussed thriving in the age of the disruptive consumer and how companies can compete in this ultra-competitive space.  Ganesh gave an impressive overview of the ever changing consumer shopping experience.

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Attendees Listening to Bala Ganesh’s presentation

Then we shifted gears and went inside how to humanize data with Christian Rudder, founder of OkCupid. Rudder took our audience through his journey of OkCupid’s goal to be a different online dating site. He highlighted the successes and failures of OkCupid, illustrating that the right metric is everything. Make sure what you’re measuring is actually what you want to manage. He also referred to his data observation and analysis of the site’s preferences and connections showing that what his users were saying they were doing was not always what they actually were doing.

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Christian Rudder delivers his presentation

After a heavy data and analytics session, we turned to a behavioral economics lesson. Our keynote address was delivered by Professor Cass Sunstein of Harvard University Law School described how we can “nudge” people to make better choices. Professor Sunstein discussed behavioral science with an emphasis on government. One of his examples of “nudges” was how Google redesigned their cafeteria so healthy foods were the most salient and deliverable. The junk food was still there – but the healthy snacks were the most obvious to spot. Professor Sunstein then did a book signing for our guests of his book, Nudge: Improving Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

Our fantastic array of speakers challenged our guests to think outside the box.

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Cass Sunstein delivers keynote address
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Anika gets her book signed by Cass Sunstein

Post lunch, all attendees were led by docents on a tour of the beautiful Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. The awe-inspiring venue never fails to delight attendees. It was then time for our second Think Session (an HBS style live case study discussion), hosted by James Rhee, CEO and Chairman of Ashley Stewart. We gathered all our attendees for a group brainstorm and strategic thinking session for a real-world business scenario that Ashley Stewart was facing.

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James Rhee leads this year’s Think Session

Thought provoking presentations, stimulating conversations, and wonderful friendships. That’s what X=Experience is in a nutshell – a place where everyone is a student and is there to learn, make new friends, and collectively pursue the mission of bridging the gap between academia and industry.

Attendees Lewis Broadnax of Lenovo, Ruth Jeffers of Jeffers Pet, and Marleta Ross of American Express.

Overall, it was an incredibly successful X=Experience, and we can’t wait to do it all again next year – our fifth X=Experience! We are calling it the 5 Year Reunion of the X=Experience Alumnus!

A big thank you to all our attendees and speakers for making this year’s event so memorable.

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Cheers to another successful X=Experience!
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Our superb group of attendees – thank you for making this the best X=Experience yet!

Join the conversation at our NetElixir University LinkedIn Page!

Graphic by Tim Griscom.
Photographs by Jordan Brian Photography.