“My big call to action would be to support existing organizations,” says Susy Schöneberg, the founder and head of Flexport.org, the nonprofit arm of the logistics firm Flexport. Schöneberg and her team are organizing complex shipments of relief goods to Ukrainian refugee sites across Eastern Europe; she breaks down how her organization has been safely managing the flow of goods toward displaced refugees and the best way you can get involved — as a citizen or company. She leaves us with a lesson that applies to any crisis: joining together can produce far better results than trying to do it alone.
Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, breaks down his insights on artificial intelligence. The co-author of “The Age of AI: And Our Human Future,” alongside Dr. Henry Kissinger and MIT’s Daniel Huttenlocher, says we’re entering an unknown era – one that requires vigilance. His advice to business: You need to be running as fast as you can toward AI applications. If your competitor gets there first, you’ll be in trouble. AI, he says, will change business, society, humanity itself.
As dangerous as obstacles and setbacks may appear, they can also present opportunities. Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of the real estate platform, Compass, knows this well. The trick, he says, isn’t to avoid obstacles at all cost, but rather, to identify them quickly as resources you can harness. “You can’t do great things in the world if you don’t have that entrepreneurial, ‘I can do it’ energy,” Reffkin says. “And how do you get that energy? You dream a big dream.”
Wendy Kopp founded two networks that each became flywheels for change: Teach For America and Teach For All, where she’s now CEO. Yet the two networks are surprisingly different. While they both feed similar goals – helping educators find what they need, share what they learn, build enthusiasm, and motivate talent – the two organizations each brought their own surprising lessons. Kopp’s journey illuminates how listening, adjusting, and open rethinking are key to building a network that thrives.
Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine would not have scaled without Ginkgo Bioworks. Reshma Shetty, co-founder and COO of Ginkgo – slated to go public via SPAC acquisition at a reported $15 billion valuation – explains how biotech innovation can build a better future now. The key, Shetty says, is propelling progress but not at the expense of principles. Engineering genes is a high-stakes pursuit, so Ginkgo is trying to pair the ambition of Silicon Valley with a “higher level of care.”
“We may not be able to survive this,” thought Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of real estate platform Compass, in early 2020 when pandemic lockdown rules essentially outlawed U.S. home selling. Yet now, the housing market is booming, and Compass has successfully IPO’ed. Reffkin shares how he kept his team together, why he stayed optimistic, and what businesses lucky enough to have benefited from Covid times owe their communities.
To succeed in business, you need to strut your stuff with a personal brand that supports your career, wherever it may lead. No one represents this better than Tyra Banks. As a model, a producer, and an entrepreneur, Tyra has forged a personal brand that helped her make big pivots, building fame, wealth, and impact. Think of a personal brand as a promise to a solution – bringing everyone, from customers to investors, a clear picture of who you are and what you bring to the table.
It’s vital for governments to stay on the leading edge of tech. In the US, that’s Mike Brown’s job, as the director of the Defense Innovation Unit within the U.S. Department of Defense. During the Covid-19 crisis, he’s used that position to introduce cutting-edge projects to advance the health safety of military personnel.
Dr. Bon Ku, an ER physician and director of the Health Design Lab at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, takes us inside the practice and mindset that medical professionals — and all of us — require to perform under extraordinary pressure.
The onset of pandemic exposed deep flaws in many national governments’ plans for crisis response. Jen Pahlka of U.S. Digital Response, a nonpartisan group offering tech help to local governments, shares what she’s seeing now – and what a modern government could do in the future.
What can entrepreneurs learn from a genre-crossing, multi-platinum musician? How to take a big opportunity — and leverage it into something epic. From his earliest days, as a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am learned from mentors how to not only identify big opportunities, but compound them. From the Super Bowl to the first iTunes commercial; from the founding of Beats and his tech company i.am+ to a song beamed back from Mars — his ability to bring multiple stakeholders together to leverage partnerships and compound possibilities will inspire founders at any stage of scale. Cameo appearance: Jeremy Siegel (urban designer, Bjarke Ingels Group).
No organization that’s entirely closed – or entirely open – can scale as successfully as an organization that combines both. Yes, organizations that are open invite a bit of chaos – but that chaos breeds innovation. Knowing which aspects of your organization should be open and which should be closed will set you on a path to rapid scale. No one knows this better than Joi Ito. He has spent his career championing radically open systems, from Creative Commons to cyber currency. Now as Director of the famed MIT Media Lab, he’s focused on facilitating open conversations so we can keep pace with the shifting challenges we face in our companies, institutions, and societies. Cameo appearance: Megan Smith (former U.S. Chief Technology Officer).