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Bill Conerly

Bill Conerly, Ph.D.

Connecting the dots between economics . . . and business.

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Price range

  • $7,800 - $10,500
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  • Business
  • Change
  • Economy
  • Employee Retention / Hiring
  • Future
  • Global Economics
  • Outlook
  • Trends
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  • Banking
  • Manufacturing
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  • 32 Years
  • About

    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 five countries and 31 states.  Dr. Conerly is a contributor to 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.

  • Videos
  • Program

    Keynote OR Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Humorous

    Why this program: Every business is impacted by the economy; it’s always top of mind for small business owners and corporate executives. Dr. Conerly uses common-sense explanations and simple graphics rather than tedious statistics and complex theories.


    Key takeaways:

    ·       Outlook for major sectors of the economy, with emphasis on those most important to the audience. (For example, lumber companies hear more about housing starts, while credit unions hear more about consumer spending and borrowing.)

    ·       How the global economy will evolve, and what that means for audience members.

    ·       Forecast for inflation and major commodity prices. (Again, with emphasis on those costs most important to the audience.)

    ·       The risk of recession and how businesses can protect themselves.

    ·       Politics? Dr. Conerly never uses the platform to push his own party, but he discusses critical political issues from the perspective of “What does this mean for the economy?”


    Why this speaker

    Dr. Bill Conerly has been forecasting the economy since 1980—he’s seen it all. He’s also been showing business leaders how the economy will impact their companies—and guiding them to develop plans that will be resilient in any economy.


    Normal customization emphasizes those sectors of the economy of greatest impact on the audience. Regional audiences hear “an outsider’s perspective” on the local economy. Audience interaction is flexible; discuss your preferences with Dr. Conerly.

    Keynote OR Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Humorous

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


    Key takeaways:

    ·       The secret of employee retention—and it’s not money.

    ·       Finding new employees: where the fish are biting.

    ·       Hiring, retaining and motivating millennials.


    Why this speaker: In 2008, in the middle of the recession, Dr. Bill Conerly projected a tight labor market in the next decade and began offering advice on employee retention and recruitment. He identified the best business practices in research for his book, The Flexible Stance: Thriving in a Boom/Bust Economy.


    Benefits of this program: Attendees will take back to the office strategies they can implement immediately to increase employee retention, raise recruiting success rates, and build a high productivity workforce.

    Keynote | Educational


    Some companies, even in highly cyclical industries, come out of recession smelling like a rose, ready to grasp upside opportunities as the economy recovers. The same strategies also work for unexpected changes in technology, social attitudes, government regulation and competition. This presentation will have your audience taking notes while laughing.


    • Cheap and easy steps to take now, before the recession comes
    • Vital items for a recession contingency plan
    • How to look for upside possibilities
    • Checklist for expansion constraints


    As an experienced forecaster, Dr. Bill Conerly has seen projections go awry, so he collected success stories from businesses large and small to understand how some companies thrive in recessions. He also found that some companies could not take advantage of good times, because they were not flexible enough to expand on short-notice—and he learned what top companies do about this.

    Keynote | Educational

    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.


    Takeaways depend on the audience – here are some possibilities:

    • Demographics and worker availability: what to do now to prepare for when the Baby Boomers retire.
    • Borrowing will be very cheap for those with great financials, but unavailable for others. How to protect your business’s access to credit.
    • Your future taxes will be higher due to upcoming growth of the federal deficit; how to incorporate this into your business and personal financial planning.
    • Business cycles will be more extreme than in recent years; how to protect your company from recessions, and how to gain all you can in booms.
    • Technology, costs and customers: how new capabilities will allow you to clean your competitors’ clocks—or risk having your own clock cleaned.
    • Globalization: Will changing political attitudes about foreign trade take us back to less globalized business? What you should do now to protect your overseas sales or supply chain.
    Dr. Conerly is a futurist who avoids excessive speculation and uncertainty. Emphasizing the most likely paths, he provides action steps that business leaders can take today to prepare for the coming decade. Specifics are adjusted for the particular audience. This topic can include some audience interaction.

    Keynote | Educational

    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.


    Takeaways depend on the audience – here are some possibilities:

    • How a leader prepares the organization for change.
    • Action steps to develop a culture that changes smoothly.
    • Best business practices to thrive in an ever-changing environment.
    • Developing employees who succeed in a changing world.


    Dr. Conerly’s latest book, The Flexible Stance: Thriving in a Boom/Bust Economy is based on extensive study of companies that thrived in surprising times. The presentation uses examples from companies large and small, in a variety of industries, that will have audience members nodding their heads and saying, “I can do that.”

    Keynote OR Breakout | Audience Participation | Educational | Humorous

    Dr. Conerly creates specialized content upon request. Some past presentations were:


    ·       Log Exports to the Far East

    ·       Foodservice and the Economy

    ·       Adapting Your Consulting Expertise to an Uncertain Future

    ·       The Future of Manufacturing


    Call to discuss your needs.


    Audience Interaction: Dr. Conerly enjoys leading interaction among audience members. These activities can be dialed up or dialed down to meet the meeting organizer’s preferences.


    Keynote or Workshop? Most of these topics can be conducted either as a keynote to a large audience or as a workshop for a smaller group.

  • Review
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    “Thank you for a wonderful presentation. Everyone who heard your presentation was impressed with your analysis, and strong command of facts and theory. More importantly, your ability to weave together substance with humor, in a very dynamic way, meant our attendees learned and retained more information than we would have typically expected. You made economics fun and you left our members with powerful insights on trends and issues to consider as they prepare for the future.”

    Oregon Association of Nurseries John A.
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    “One of the better financial speakers…lively…energetic”

    Washington Mint Growers Association Shane J.
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    “AgFirst Farm Credit Bank has benefitted from Bill Conerly’s unique insights and perspectives several times over the past five years…his materials consistently cover the points that we agree on…he has been very well-received by our groups, and we look forward to having Bill with us again in the future.”

    AgFirst Farm Credit, Columbia Ronnie H.
One of the better financial speakers…lively…energetic
Washington Mint Growers Association Shane J.