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Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc: Culture Trumps Strategy

Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc: Culture Trumps Strategy

 

“You can’t have a sustainable organization unless you have an incredibly engaged culture,” shared CEO of HSN, Inc. Mindy Grossman in her Stanford GSB View From The Top talk. Grossman also emphasized the importance of self-awareness in achieving personal and professional success.

 

Frederic Kaplan: How I built an information time machine

Frederic Kaplan: How I built an information time machine

 

time machine

 

Imagine if you could surf Facebook … from the Middle Ages. Well, it may not be as far off as it sounds. In a fun and interesting talk, researcher and engineer Frederic Kaplan shows off the Venice Time Machine, a project to digitize 80 kilometers of books to create a historical and geographical simulation of Venice across 1000 years.

Frederic Kaplan seeks to digitize vast archives of historical information to make maps that move — through time.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?

 

Frederic Kaplan is the Digital Humanities Chair at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the EPFL’s Digital Humanities Lab Director. Kaplan leads the lab in applying computation to humanities research. His latest project is the Venice Time Machine, a collaborative work archiving 80 kilometers of books from throughout 1000 years of Venetician history. The goal of the time machine is to create an information system which can be searched and mapped. Think of it as a Google Maps for time.

 

Kaplan holds a PhD in artificial intelligence from the University Paris VI. He lives in Switzerland.

 

 

Toby Eccles: Invest in social change

Toby Eccles: Invest in social change

toby eccles

 

Here’s a stat worth knowing: In the UK, 63% of men who finish short-term prison sentences are back inside within a year for another crime. Helping them stay outside involves job training, classes, therapy. And it would pay off handsomely — but the government can’t find the funds. Toby Eccles shares an imaginative idea for how to change that: the Social Impact Bond. It’s an unusual bond that helps fund initiatives with a social goal through private money — with the government paying back the investors (with interest) if the initiatives work.

Toby Eccles has created a radical financial instrument that helps private investors contribute to solving thorny public problems.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?

 

All too often, an ex-inmate walks out of prison with the exact same problems he or she walked in with: lack of skills, lack of support, no job. And they end up re-offending and back in jail. It’s an expensive problem to fix, but it’s a much more expensive one to ignore. A director at Social Finance in London, Toby Eccles explores the arbitrage between those two options.

 

In 2010, his pioneering Social Impact Bond allowed private investors to support a UK program targeting ex-prisoners who served short sentences (the limited government funding only goes to ex-inmates who served long terms). The £5m scheme, funded by 17 investors, supports training and support for 1,000 ex-inmates; if they re-offend less than a control group, the government will pay investors back, plus interest, through the savings accrued by achieving the program’s targets.

 

More such bonds are now being tried across the world, including in New York City and Massachusetts (both addressing recidivism), and extended to new fields such as development. Eccles founded Social Finance in 2007, and he oversees all of the firm’s social impact bond work, where, he says: “We are incentivised to work with the complicated and with those willing to change.” “We are incentivised to work with the complicated and with those willing to change.”

 

The power of pictures and stories: Janine Underhill

The power of pictures and stories: Janine Underhill

 

janine underhill

As the visual storyteller of TEDxCrestmoorParkED, Janine Underhill kicked off the event by sharing the power of storytelling, how she believes we have 8 seconds to capture the hearts and minds of kids and challenged the audience to ask the provocative questions and to continue the journey of sharing stories from the event.

 

Smart cities for 11 billion people: Mitchell Joachim

Smart cities for 11 billion people: Mitchell Joachim

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H. Rafael Chacón- What My Genes Tell Me

H. Rafael Chacón- What My Genes Tell Me

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Art Historian H. Rafael Chacón talks about how an academic exercise turned into a personal journey when he had his DNA sequenced by the National Geographic Geno 2.0 project. Rafael is professor of Art History and Criticism in the School of Art at the University of Montana. A specialist on renaissance and baroque art, Rafael teaches a range of topical courses on the history of art and art criticism. His academic interests lie in the ways societies articulate their most profound values through art; in particular he researches, lectures and writes about architectural history and historic preservation.

 

Empowering Meaningful Connectedness: Claire Huijnen

Empowering Meaningful Connectedness: Claire Huijnen

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Claire Huijnen describes herself as a peoples person, interested in connectedness. She specializes in Companion Robotics and is a cognitive psychologist & UX designer.

Claire’s mixed educational background of Cognitive Psychology /Human Factors (Maastricht University, NL) and a second post-doc Master from the Technical University (Eindhoven, NL) on User System Interaction gives her the ability to co-innovate from a user’s perspective. Claire loves to co-create innovations – together with (other) passionate people – striving to empower people to better care for themselves and for their beloved ones (as they age). Empower people to connect meaningfully and feel connected. Enable people to create, share and enjoy special moments.

 

Eventually No One Will Feel Ostracized – Embracing Differences: Erika Gruidl

Eventually No One Will Feel Ostracized – Embracing Differences: Erika Gruidl

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See how one high school student created a team to overcome bureaucracy and life-long lessons in ignoring those with differences, causing a local school to step away from the exclusive mentality of high school and embrace the differences of six remarkable students. Special needs students that had been isolated in the school system became super stars at Livermore High. The change initiated in 2011 persisted with incoming Freshman, as the student body demonstrated to the younger students, who had not yet seen the Shooting Stars, ‘how to act with those with differences.’

Erika Gruidl, Founder of Shooting Stars, a cheer squad comprised of Special Needs students, speaks about the journey in creating a world where everyone feels welcomed. Erika loved performing as a varsity cheerleader for her school and believed Special Needs students deserved the chance to experience the same sort of joy. After initial resistance, the Shooting Stars were ultimately acknowledged, recognized and welcomed by the entire student body.

 

A lie spreads quickly

Pico Iyer: Where is home?

Pico Iyer: Where is home?

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More and more people worldwide are living in countries not considered their own. Writer Pico Iyer — who himself has three or four “origins” — meditates on the meaning of home, the joy of traveling and the serenity of standing still.

Pico Iyer’s travel writing chronicles fascinating (and often jarring) examples of cultural mashups. Now he shows how travel can rescue us from our technological distractions.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?

Acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer began his career documenting a neglected aspect of travel — the sometimes surreal disconnect between local tradition and imported global pop culture. Since then, he has written ten books, exploring also the cultural consequences of isolation, whether writing about the exiled spiritual leaders of Tibet or the embargoed society of Cuba.

Iyer’s latest focus is on yet another overlooked aspect of travel: how can it help us regain our sense of stillness and focus in a world where our devices and digital networks increasing distract us? As he says: “Almost everybody I know has this sense of overdosing on information and getting dizzy living at post-human speeds. Nearly everybody I know does something to try to remove herself to clear her head and to have enough time and space to think. … All of us instinctively feel that something inside us is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness to offset the exhilarations of this movement and the fun and diversion of the modern world.”

“[Iyer] writes the kind of lyrical, flowing prose that could make Des Moines sound beguiling.”  Los Angeles Times