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Robert Cannon

Lecturer, Isenberg School of Management

May 2017 Innovation Fellow

Rob Cannon teaches Business Law online for Isenberg and also teaches entrepreneurship. Rob became an adjunct professor about five years ago after a stint as CEO of a bank prior to which he founded four companies in the transactional real estate space and was a trial lawyer for twenty five years. In addition to teaching Rob is the principal of an incubator company that helps launch earliest stage start ups and for which he acts as general counsel. This includes a new company called Grayboard (grayboard.com) which is building tools to help make life and teaching easier and more productive for online professors.

Fellowship Project & Instructional Interests

Here’s why I think we must innovate. History shows that change is inevitable and comes in two forms. The first form is when people refuse collectively to change and environment and circumstances change around them making them irrelevant, disenfranchised and marginal. This kind of change is messy, painful and rarely good. The second form is when people embrace change, recognize things can be better and imagine a future for their children better than theirs. Innovation is the vehicle that drives this second form of change. Innovation, done well and thoughtfully, can smooth that change. We see the first form today in the US. We stuck our heads in the sand, change happened and pain is now being felt by folks who are no longer middle class nor even aspire to be for themselves or their children. They were and are angry on both sides of the spectrum and electoral results reflect that.
 The solution? Innovate. Innovate education so everyone gets a college education; that people get re-training in a timely fashion as their industry changes and see that innovation married to thoughtful change is a reason for hope and not resentment.