Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy


The electricity powering the lights in this theater was generated just moments ago. Because the way things stand today, electricity demand must be in constant balance with electricity supply. If in the time that it took me to walk out here on this stage, some tens of megawatts of wind power stopped pouring into the grid, the difference would have to be made up from other generators immediately. But coal plants, nuclear plants can’t respond fast enough. A giant battery could. With a giant battery, we’d be able to address the problem of intermittency that prevents wind and solar from contributing to the grid in the same way that coal, gas and nuclear do today. You see, the battery is the key enabling device here. With it, we could draw electricity from the sun even when the sun doesn’t shine. And that changes everything. Because then renewables such as wind and solar come out from the wings, here to center stage. Today I want to tell you about such a device. It’s called the liquid metal battery. It’s a new form of energy storage that I invented at MIT along with a team of my students and post-docs. Now the theme of this year’s TED Conference is Full Spectrum. The OED defines spectrum as “The entire range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, from the longest radio waves to the shortest gamma rays of which the range of visible light is only a small part.” So I’m not here today only to tell you how my team at MIT has drawn out of nature a solution to one of the world’s great problems. I want to go full spectrum and tell you how, in the process of developing this new technology, we’ve uncovered some surprising heterodoxies that can serve as lessons for innovation, ideas worth spreading. And you know, if we’re going to get this country out of its current energy situation, we can’t just conserve our way out; we can’t just drill our way out; we can’t bomb our way out. We’re going to do it the old-fashioned American way, we’re going to invent our way out, working together. (Applause) Now let’s get started. The battery was invented about 200 years ago by a professor, Alessandro Volta, at the University of Padua in Italy. His invention gave birth to a new field of science, electrochemistry, and new technologies such as electroplating. Perhaps overlooked, Volta’s invention of the battery for the first time also demonstrated the utility of a professor. (Laughter) Until Volta, nobody could imagine a professor could be of any use. Here’s the first battery — a stack of coins, zinc and silver, separated by cardboard soaked in brine. This is the starting point for designing a battery — two electrodes, in this case metals of different composition, and an electrolyte, in this case salt dissolved in water. The science is that simple. Admittedly, I’ve left out a few details. Now I’ve taught you that battery science is straightforward and the need for grid-level storage is compelling, but the fact is that today there is simply no battery technology capable of meeting the demanding performance requirements of the grid — namely uncommonly high power, long service lifetime and super-low cost. We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big, we need to think cheap. So let’s abandon the paradigm of let’s search for the coolest chemistry and then hopefully we’ll chase down the cost curve by just making lots and lots of product. Instead, let’s invent to the price point of the electricity market. So that means that certain parts of the periodic table are axiomatically off-limits. This battery needs to be made out of earth-abundant elements. I say, if you want to make something dirt cheap, make it out of dirt — (Laughter) preferably dirt that’s locally sourced. And we need to be able to build this thing using simple manufacturing techniques and factories that don’t cost us a fortune. So about six years ago, I started thinking about this problem. And in order to adopt a fresh perspective, I sought inspiration from beyond the field of electricity storage. In fact, I looked to a technology that neither stores nor generates electricity, but instead consumes electricity, huge amounts of it. I’m talking about the production of aluminum. The process was invented in 1886 by a couple of 22-year-olds — Hall in the United States and Heroult in France. And just a few short years following their discovery, aluminum changed from a precious metal costing as much as silver to a common structural material. You’re looking at the cell house of a modern aluminum smelter. It’s about 50 feet wide and recedes about half a mile — row after row of cells that, inside, resemble Volta’s battery, with three important differences. Volta’s battery works at room temperature. It’s fitted with solid electrodes and an electrolyte that’s a solution of salt and water. The Hall-Heroult cell operates at high temperature, a temperature high enough that the aluminum metal product is liquid. The electrolyte is not a solution of salt and water, but rather salt that’s melted. It’s this combination of liquid metal, molten salt and high temperature that allows us to send high current through this thing. Today, we can produce virgin metal from ore at a cost of less than 50 cents a pound. That’s the economic miracle of modern electrometallurgy. It is this that caught and held my attention to the point that I became obsessed with inventing a battery that could capture this gigantic economy of scale. And I did. I made the battery all liquid — liquid metals for both electrodes and a molten salt for the electrolyte. I’ll show you how. So I put low-density liquid metal at the top, put a high-density liquid metal at the bottom, and molten salt in between. So now, how to choose the metals? For me, the design exercise always begins here with the periodic table, enunciated by another professor, Dimitri Mendeleyev. Everything we know is made of some combination of what you see depicted here. And that includes our own bodies. I recall the very moment one day when I was searching for a pair of metals that would meet the constraints of earth abundance, different, opposite density and high mutual reactivity. I felt the thrill of realization when I knew I’d come upon the answer. Magnesium for the top layer. And antimony for the bottom layer. You know, I’ve got to tell you, one of the greatest benefits of being a professor: colored chalk. (Laughter) So to produce current, magnesium loses two electrons to become magnesium ion, which then migrates across the electrolyte, accepts two electrons from the antimony, and then mixes with it to form an alloy. The electrons go to work in the real world out here, powering our devices. Now to charge the battery, we connect a source of electricity. It could be something like a wind farm. And then we reverse the current. And this forces magnesium to de-alloy and return to the upper electrode, restoring the initial constitution of the battery. And the current passing between the electrodes generates enough heat to keep it at temperature. It’s pretty cool, at least in theory. But does it really work? So what to do next? We go to the laboratory. Now do I hire seasoned professionals? No, I hire a student and mentor him, teach him how to think about the problem, to see it from my perspective and then turn him loose. This is that student, David Bradwell, who, in this image, appears to be wondering if this thing will ever work. What I didn’t tell David at the time was I myself wasn’t convinced it would work. But David’s young and he’s smart and he wants a Ph.D., and he proceeds to build — (Laughter) He proceeds to build the first ever liquid metal battery of this chemistry. And based on David’s initial promising results, which were paid with seed funds at MIT, I was able to attract major research funding from the private sector and the federal government. And that allowed me to expand my group to 20 people, a mix of graduate students, post-docs and even some undergraduates. And I was able to attract really, really good people, people who share my passion for science and service to society, not science and service for career building. And if you ask these people why they work on liquid metal battery, their answer would hearken back to President Kennedy’s remarks at Rice University in 1962 when he said — and I’m taking liberties here — “We choose to work on grid-level storage, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” (Applause) So this is the evolution of the liquid metal battery. We start here with our workhorse one watt-hour cell. I called it the shotglass. We’ve operated over 400 of these, perfecting their performance with a plurality of chemistries — not just magnesium and antimony. Along the way we scaled up to the 20 watt-hour cell. I call it the hockey puck. And we got the same remarkable results. And then it was onto the saucer. That’s 200 watt-hours. The technology was proving itself to be robust and scalable. But the pace wasn’t fast enough for us. So a year and a half ago, David and I, along with another research staff-member, formed a company to accelerate the rate of progress and the race to manufacture product. So today at LMBC, we’re building cells 16 inches in diameter with a capacity of one kilowatt-hour — 1,000 times the capacity of that initial shotglass cell. We call that the pizza. And then we’ve got a four kilowatt-hour cell on the horizon. It’s going to be 36 inches in diameter. We call that the bistro table, but it’s not ready yet for prime-time viewing. And one variant of the technology has us stacking these bistro tabletops into modules, aggregating the modules into a giant battery that fits in a 40-foot shipping container for placement in the field. And this has a nameplate capacity of two megawatt-hours — two million watt-hours. That’s enough energy to meet the daily electrical needs of 200 American households. So here you have it, grid-level storage: silent, emissions-free, no moving parts, remotely controlled, designed to the market price point without subsidy. So what have we learned from all this? (Applause) So what have we learned from all this? Let me share with you some of the surprises, the heterodoxies. They lie beyond the visible. Temperature: Conventional wisdom says set it low, at or near room temperature, and then install a control system to keep it there. Avoid thermal runaway. Liquid metal battery is designed to operate at elevated temperature with minimum regulation. Our battery can handle the very high temperature rises that come from current surges. Scaling: Conventional wisdom says reduce cost by producing many. Liquid metal battery is designed to reduce cost by producing fewer, but they’ll be larger. And finally, human resources: Conventional wisdom says hire battery experts, seasoned professionals, who can draw upon their vast experience and knowledge. To develop liquid metal battery, I hired students and post-docs and mentored them. In a battery, I strive to maximize electrical potential; when mentoring, I strive to maximize human potential. So you see, the liquid metal battery story is more than an account of inventing technology, it’s a blueprint for inventing inventors, full-spectrum. (Applause)

Best Practices in Developing G Suite Business Apps (Cloud Next ’19)


[MUSIC PLAYING] SATHEESH NANNIYUR:
In this session, we are going to talk about
developing applications on G Suite, and some of dos
and don’ts of developing applications and how to set
up organizations in this particular session. So my name is Satheesh. I am your host for
the session today. Along with me, my co-presenters
are Monica from Genentech, and we are going to have
Sambit from Google Cloud talk in this session as well. So we will start with
giving an overview of what kind of challenges
our enterprise customers face when it comes to developing
applications on G Suite, and how we are driving certain
industry trends with some of our product lines,
followed by talking about our specific products. And then we’ll have Monica
present how they’re organized, and what are some of the best
practices in their organization with respect to app
development on G Suite. Then we’ll talk about, what
is the future looking like, what are the key trends that we
are seeing in the industry when it comes to developing apps
in the productivity space generally, and within G Suite
as well more specifically. And then we’ll wrap
up this session with an overview of some
of the exciting features that we are announcing today
with respect to G Suite development platforms. So before we get
started, a quick note on how to submit questions. So all of you must
have the mobile app. So you will be able
to submit questions through your mobile
app on this Dory. So you can go to this
particular session details, and then submit
[INAUDIBLE] there. Towards the end, we will try
to address your questions. We’ll also be able
to– hopefully we’ll have time to take some
live questions from this room as well. Sounds good? Perfect. So, without further
delay, let’s get started. So imagine yourself to
be a salesperson, an HR professional,
financial analyst– many different roles
in an enterprise. Your key responsibility
is in driving the business with
respect to your role, with respect to your
area of expertise. When you do this,
you’re obviously using many different
applications. You’re using G Suite, plus
you’re using other enterprise applications as part of this. That means you need some
customizations in order to run your business process. You need all those apps. When it comes to
getting those apps, there are some key
challenges that the business users in an organization face. Number one challenge is
what we call the skills gap. As the business
process owner, you are the expert in
your business process. You know how your
process should run. You know how your
business is run. You know your role
better than anybody else in your organization. When you want to
get those apps, you need to go to your IT
developers, and talk to them, and educate them about
the business process. And then they have the
technical expertise to develop those applications. Do you see the problem there? So on one hand,
the business users are really proficient
with their processes. They have the right
skills for that, but they lack the
technical expertise. On the other hand, the
technical developers have the right
technical knowledge, but they don’t know all
the business processes. This is what we refer
to as a skills gap. This requires communication
back and forth in order to get the right
application that you need. This is the number
one challenge. The second challenge
is, the IT developers, now they have to work with
many different business users in the organization,
across the enterprise, understand those
business processes, and then develop the
applications for them. That leads to scaling challenges
for the IT developers. The resources become
limited as a result of that. Any organization, this
is a very common problem. The third challenge
that we see is that technology keeps evolving. Business processes
also keep evolving. And as a result of that,
it’s hard to keep pace with those changes. Everybody’s always
playing catch-up in order to stay in tune
with these changes that are happening. That leads to delays in
getting the apps that you need. That leads to getting
the updates to the apps that you’re using. That’s the number
three challenge. The net result of all
of these challenges is that the involved
stakeholders get frustrated. There are many
different stakeholders. I have identified three
stakeholders here. Number one is the business user
who needs these applications. Number two is IT developer,
the technically proficient developers. Our number three
is somebody who is tracking the cost,
and the schedules, and managing all these
programs and costs, what I call the IT director here. The business users are
frustrated because they are not able to get the
right apps that they need on time or the updates
that they need on time. The IT developers are frustrated
because their project backlog just keeps growing
as they try to work with many different
organizations in enterprise. The net result of
the IT director is that now they
are facing the cost and the scheduled [INAUDIBLE]. Those are the challenges
that everybody faces– all the stakeholders face. How are enterprises
addressing this? What are the shifts that are
happening in the industry to address this? So number one shift
that is happening is that the application
development itself is being moved to
the business users– closer to the
business users– where they have the right expertise
on the business process and they are in
the best position to find out what
is the application that they need, and
better still, actually develop these applications. This is happening on no-code
tools for the business users to develop those applications. The second shift that is
happening in this industry is that there are lot
of SaaS applications that are coming up– Software as a
Service applications. When there is a
need, it’s probably most efficient to go
and buy an application, as long as there is one
that meets the need. That has led to the growth of
the enterprise marketplaces and the growth of
the ecosystems, where ISVs and third-party
developers develop these apps and make them available to
the different businesses. The third shift is
within the enterprise IT. IT’s role itself is evolving. It’s evolving from one of being
an app developer and an app development
organization to being an enabler for development of
applications, by the businesses and by the business users. The business users in
this slide are also called the knowledge workers. So the knowledge workers
are now developing the apps, and the IT organizations are
became becoming the enablers. They’re providing
the right tools, they are providing
the right data access. They’re providing the right
guardrails– security, et cetera– to make sure
that those applications meet the organization’s needs and
comply with the organization’s policies. In Google and in G Suite,
we are at the forefront of driving these shifts. Number one, with respect
to the first shift, we are providing the
low-code and no-code tools to enable the business users
to develop these applications. Number two, we are
building this ecosystem and we are building
this marketplace where business users in
an organization can go and find
applications that they need and start deploying and
using those applications. With respect to
the third shift, we are also providing the
right tools and technologies that data administrators
need in order to ensure that all these
apps that are being built by the knowledge workers
across an organization remain secure, the enterprise’s
data remains secure, and that the IT administrators
can go on and monitor the application usage and
make sure that they’re able to whitelist the apps
that they allow the enterprise users and the business users
to install and use that. That’s how we are driving these
shifts in the G Suite Developer platform. Getting into the
specifics, I want to talk about the five products
in G Suite Developer platform, give an overview, so
that you can go out and explore further
details on this. So the number one developer tool
that we provide is Apps Script. Apps Script is a
low-code platform. How many of you here
have already heard about Apps Script. That kind of shows how
popular Apps Script is. You can actually
see that there are over three billion weekly
executions on Apps Script. So it’s a low-code
developer platform, and it enables the business
users to quickly build apps. How so? Because it provides
an integrated document environment. It provides APIs for
all the G Suite apps. It also provides security,
in terms of OAuth, et cetera. And it provides an integrated
runtime environment, so that when you’re
building the app, you don’t have to look
elsewhere to think about where you’re going to run that app. So it has that integrated
runtime serverless environment that you can use to go ahead
and run the application. From a best practices
perspective, if you have an
application that is going to be used by, let’s
say, a few hundred users, Apps Script provides the
perfect platform to get started. Apps Script still
requires some coding and some proficiency in coding. This is for what we call
the advanced knowledge workers, or citizen developers. Let’s say you build an
app and it becomes very popular in your organization. Now it needs to be used by,
let’s say, a few thousand users as opposed to a
few hundred users. That’s the time when,
as a business user, you talk to the IT
organization and IT developers, figure out how to
scale up application. And also, potentially, you need
new features– maybe some email or AI capabilities, maybe some
data analytics capabilities. That’s when you can use
Google Cloud Platform, and scale that application,
and build the new features. The second tool that I want
to talk about is App Maker. App Maker is intended to
be a no-code platform, a no-code application
development tool. This is for pure business users,
knowledge workers who cannot code. At this point in
time, App Maker is great for building simple cloud
applications with the data that you are already using
for your business users. If you want something that
is a bit more advanced– if you want more
advanced customization– you can use Apps Script
to customize your app that is built using Apps Maker. So from a best
practices perspective, if you are a business user, you
will start building the app– as long as it’s a simple
cloud application, you should be able
to build with all the visual drag-and-drop tools,
as is illustrated on the slide here. If you want more
customizations, you would go to the IT
department and try to seek some of
their help in order to customize the application. The third tool that
I’m going to talk about is the G Suite Add-Ons. I literally know of
nobody who is just using one or two applications
in their business, right? They’re always using a
suite of applications. For example, if
you’re a salesperson, you’re using G Suite, Gmail,
Events, Calendar, et cetera. But chances are very
high that you are also using a Salesforce or a dynamic
CRM along with this G Suite. So Add-Ons provides the right
tools and the framework for you to get an integrated experience
with third-party apps. That’s what Add-Ons
is intended to do. It provides an
integrated experience. It also provides a
development environment in order to build those
Add-Ons so that they we use multiple applications along
with G Suite, in conjunction with G Suite, in an
integrated experience. So from a best
practices perspective, you’d look for these add-ons– to start with, on the G
Suite marketplace, where the chances are that you’ll
be able to find the right add-on that you need. Otherwise, this is not a
development tool intended for the knowledge workers. Rather it is a framework
intended for use by the knowledge workers. So from a development point
of view, you have to go to IT and ask them to
develop an add-on and make it available
to you, and potentially many of your colleagues
in the organization. The next one is the
G Suite Marketplace. There are over 6,000
ISV applications– both web applications,
productivity tools, add-ons, that are available on
G Suite Marketplace. So if you’re looking to
solve a particular problem, this is probably the
best place to start with. Look to see whether
there is already an application that’s available,
and use that application. And if not, then
you’ll have to look at how to build something in
collaboration with your IT. So if you are in
the IT organization, from a best practice
perspective, you should talk to
them about the app that you need so that, in IT,
you can actually make sure that the application
that you want to make available to the rest
of your organization is secure, it meets all your needs. And then that application can
be whitelisted, and make sure that all the other business
users can use that. The last tool that
I’m led to talk about is the Admin Console. So the Admin Console provides
a number of different tools and techniques to make sure that
the apps in your organization remains secure and the
data in your organization remains secure. With the shifts that
we talked about, now a lot of different
knowledge workers will be building
applications through their entire organization. The role of the IT
now is to become an enabler, a facilitator
for this kind of application development. As a result of that,
it’s very important that IT’s role is to keep the
security of the applications and the security of
the data, and make sure that these apps and data meet
the compliance requirements of the organization. In order to do this,
we are providing a number of different tools,
including whitelisting of the applications. Only the whitelisted
applications can be installed by the
users in your organization. Providing data access
controls via whitelisting APIs and enabling APIs, providing
some data guardrails, as well as monitoring
the app usage and ensuring that the resources
that are allocated from the app are maintained. So those are some
of the ways how we are enabling
the IT to go and be an enabler in your
organization in turn, for knowledge worker
apps to be built. This is an important area
of investment for us. We know that there is a lot
more work to be done here, and we are working on
bringing more capabilities to ensure that, as
IT organizations, you can empower your
business users to build apps and maintain the
security of those apps. So, so far, I gave
you an overview of the different
discrete developer tools and an overview of
what are the industry shifts. I want to take a moment to
summarize some of the best practices that we have learned
from many of the customers that we have spoken to. These best practices, I have
divided them by two personas. One is a knowledge worker, and
the other is IT administrator. So if you’re a
knowledge worker and you are looking to build
an app, your first step should be to identify
what kind of experience your app needs to deliver. Is it a web app that users
are going to access via URL? Is it an add-on that will
be available along with G Suite in the side panel? Or is it an automation–
automation meaning and event-drive app
that automatically does some task for
you in response to some kind of a system event? That would be the first step. The second step is to
lay out the resources that your application needs. These resources could
be, for example, certain compute resources or
certain storage resources. Or maybe you want some
access to resources such as ML models, et cetera. Depending on the
resources that you need, you can think about
what kind of platform that you want to build
your application on. The third is the data
sources and the retrieval. The data sources could
be– for instance, it could be some on-prem system
that you’re already using. If you are in IT, you
have to think about, how will I make this data
available to the knowledge workers so that they
can build our apps? The data sources could also
be some other third-party SaaS services that you
are looking at. And maybe what you want to
access is just a few data items, potentially using APIs. In some cases, you may
want a large amount of data that needs
to be analyzed by the application itself
using some kind of pretty analytics tools. So the fourth step is,
using all of these data from the first three
steps to make sure that you’re choosing the
appropriate G Suite developer tool. If you’re looking to
build a simple application with no code, you will
probably start using App Maker. If you want some customizations
that are a bit more advanced, than you would start
looking at Apps Script, and start using that particular
tool for building your app. If you are looking for much
more advanced data analytics– crunching a large amount
of data, using some email, or if you are looking for
advanced storage such as Cloud SQL, then you would be thinking
about building your app on GCP, the Google Cloud Platform. Those are the kind of things
that you should look at. So now, once you
build this app, you should also think
about how to share this app with the other
users in the organization. This could be, for
example, even IT, providing some amount
of pre-built code for the other knowledge
workers to develop apps on. Or it could be IT enabling
all the enterprise users to use this app via a private
listing on the enterprise marketplace– on the
G Suite marketplace. Or if you’re even looking– if you are a third-party
developer or an ISV, you can use the G
Suite Marketplace as your distribution
platform so that you can reach many different
enterprise customers and have them use
your application. Now, looking at it from an IT
administrator’s perspective, the best practices
are– number one is, make sure that your
business users, the knowledge workers in your
organization, are empowered and they’re aware of the tools. Make the right tools available. For example, you
may want to make App Maker available
for all your business users in the organization–
enable it for them. Or you may want to build some
community around the knowledge workers so that they can
collaborate with each other, share information
with each other, and build the
application on their own. This is important for
you as an IT organization because that reduces
the load on your– and the stress on
your organization, by moving the applications
closer to the business users. The second best practice
is to establish data access and connectivity. If you want your
knowledge workers to be able to build apps
around on-prem data, make sure that
data is available. And the third best
practices is to enforce security and governance. Now when you’re looking
at enabling your business users to install applications
from the marketplace, make sure that they’re secure. If you are enabling
your knowledge workers to build those
applications, then make sure that
those apps are also secured before they are widely
used in your organization. Or you may want to establish
some data guardrails or some quartiles in
the compute to make sure that those apps comply
with those limitations that you enforce. So those are some of the best
practices that we have learned from many different customers. So at this point, I would
like to invite Monica onstage to talk about application
development, and Genentech, and how they’re organized. MONICA KUMAR: Thanks, Satheesh. Hi, everyone, welcome
to the session, and it’s great to be here. Thanks to Sambit and Satheesh
for inviting us here. I have a couple of my colleagues
from Roche and Genentech. So– glad we could
get a team together. So I want to start off with
talking about who we are. So maybe some of the US-based
folks may know Genentech, but Roche is basically a global
pharma company based in Basel, Switzerland, with around– you can see we have
over 100 locations worldwide, with around
95,000 employees. And Genentech, which is a
US-based biotech company, was acquired by Roche in 2009. And ever since, we have been
a member of the Roche group. Another fun fact–
I mean, it’s really a huge number– the 11 billion
Swiss francs in R&D investment. So we basically are focused
on four therapeutic areas– oncology, immunology,
neuroscience, and infectious diseases. And really, we have both
the diagnostics and pharma divisions under one roof. And this gives us the
unique opportunity to actually look at
the patient health care across the whole
spectrum, so right from prevention, diagnosis,
treatment, and then monitoring. And our mission
is really to find those unique and best solutions
to improve our patients’ lives. To really support our business
and to fulfill the mission to have the best solutions
for our patients, we are looking at,
from an IT perspective, how can we actually
simplify the landscape, empower teams with
the right tools, and also support these
new ways of working. Our business is going through
a major transformation today. And what you see on
the left hand side– and just to give
you a background, Roche migrated to
G Suite in 2013. And prior to that, because the
company had been in business for more than 20, 30
years, as some of you know, you tend to build
up on legacy applications, legacy platforms. And lots of custom solutions on
those platforms had been built. So we had sort of a messy
application landscape. And we also have– ever since we’ve
moved to the cloud, we also got these
third-party apps that were sort of
confusing our end users– when do I use this versus that? Microsoft was embedded
in the organization before we moved to G Suite. So a lot of the
questions is, when do I use SharePoint versus
Team Drive or Sites? And so our leadership looked
at this last year, and we said, there is a certain power
in offering our end users a default. And that
default is actually G Suite. So we believe G Suite offers
the right capabilities to make our end users as
productive as possible. But along with G Suite– So the G Suite ++, is really
about these third-party apps that we have also. So we use Smartsheet,
Box, Trello. All of these apps actually
add to that experience, they enhance, and
they meet the gaps that we have just in the
basic Collaboration Suite. So how are we organized to
support this very large, very complex organization? We have a global
IT team oversees that looks at where
is the business going, and what are the enterprise
solutions we need to provide our customers so that they
are not waiting for this and having to do all
this work on themselves. So for example, we are focused
on personalized health care, in the Roche science
infrastructure, ERP, and many cloud capabilities,
even around automation. So that’s something
that global IT provides, those platforms and tools. The functional IT is basically
embedded in the business. They actually have
the closest proximity to what’s going on in
each business division. So for example, our
business functions can be from research,
manufacturing, diagnostics, commercial. So each of these businesses have
their own individual demands, and they have their own
business-critical applications that they work with. And that team actually
sits, and delivers, and drive that global
IT strategy forward. And then, of course,
we wouldn’t be here and be able to do what
we do without hundreds of these knowledge workers
who are both developing, but they’re also
consuming these services. But they are the ones
that are actually building these solutions,
using some of the development platforms we have. And we have a wide spectrum. Given the application
landscape that we have and the complexity of
the business demand, too, we have every– low-code, to medium, to the very
complex apps, a wide spectrum there. And so in the low-code,
we have seen a lot of– because we’ve been on
G Suite for a while. We’ve seen lots and lots
of knowledge workers build app scripts for many,
many different solutions that they want. So for example, Apps Script
comes embedded within G Suite. It gives you the ability to
connect with the G Suite API. So anyone who has
curiosity to solve a problem within their
own group can just pick it up and get started. It offers the integrated
serverless runtime, and it’s no additional cost. So I think this is
something that we have seen grown very organically. We didn’t have to do a whole
lot to support the organization. This is something
people just ran with. In the medium complexity,
we have Apps Script or other web apps
that have evolved to a higher complexity,
where we are seeing the use of GCP and APIs. In fact, we
ourselves, in IT, have built lots of global solutions,
including our employee directory, which
is called Peeps. We have built that
on GCP, leveraging our identity management
systems, HR systems, bringing together the
data so that that Peeps app can be available
both on Chrome as well as on a mobile device. But I think in the last sort
year and a half, two years, we’ve seen a demand for more
intelligent, contextual apps that will reduce the friction
or the barrier of entry to use them. And these apps could be using
some of the cloud technologies like the natural language
processing, machine learning, and AI. We are actually signed
up with Dialogflow, which is part of the
Cloud AI stack on GCP. And we have about 70 digital
assistants and chatbots, either in a PoC or development stage. So there’s huge
interest and a demand from the business in this area. And again, we are
integrating with some of our big third-party systems,
like ServiceNow, Workday, and SAP as well. So today, I actually want to
talk about two use cases, both built with Apps Scripts. And both of these
actually come from our pharma technical business
operations team, which is basically manufacturing. So this team actually has two
manufacturing pilot plants here in South San Francisco. And they really
wanted to have a tool that enabled to do some
sort of workforce planning– so for both technicians
to be able to plan, like, the next weeks and what’s in
the pipeline, and for management to have oversight over
the activities happening in these plants. And so they looked
at– obviously, there are third-party
tools available. There’s a cost associated
with that as well. But given that our
Genentech processes are so customized to the molecules
and the experiments that are being run
in these plants. Just to buy an off-the-shelf
product wouldn’t work. And they could also
have gone to IT. But IT also adds to the
overhead in the sense they need to explain– firstly, get the resource,
explain all their business processes, the roles. And it takes time to
actually deliver it to the pilot plant workers. And so Scott Linnell, who’s
here with us today, the author and the person responsible
for this app script, actually is very much
like some of the knowledge workers in our organization. He saw this problem. And he’s not a
computer science major. He comes from the life
sciences background. He was an intern at
Genentech in 2017, and just dabbled in Apps Script. And along with another
intern, and then later on, as a full-time employee, took
this on and built the app script to address this need. And I think it’s a great
example of what’s possible. You don’t need to wait to
solve a business problem just because you don’t
have IT resources. And again, there’s another
example from the same team, but for a different use case. So there are these
different equipments. There are five different labs
within our manufacturing team. And they have different
equipment based on the roles that the people have. And earlier, it used to be a
very tedious manual process. People would go to the
equipment, sign up on a sheet, like, hey, I want to use
the equipment from 10 to 11 tomorrow– really manual process. And they actually–
this equipment can’t be booked by just anyone. So they’re booked by the role
that you have on the team. And so again, Apps
Script came super handy. Because they could
actually not only see the availability of the
equipment, book the equipment, it’ll show up on
their calendar, there would be an email
sent to remind them, hey, your equipment
is due for return now, and they could also say the
equipment is broken– they’ve used it and it’s not working. They could just schedule
a maintenance right there, through this tool. They have colleagues now,
in Germany, the same team. And they said, we would
like to use this tool, too. And so they’ve localized
that same app script and used it for their German
colleagues and counterparts. Again, a great example
of how empowering your organization and your
knowledge workers to use what’s at their fingertips today. And we’re really proud of
the work that Scott is doing. He even, in fact, ran Apps
Script training for his team there, to help them build more. I want to leave you with
some best practices. Obviously, we’re
not a small company. So some of our best practices
are really centered around how we can scale and support
a very large organization. And the first one is
the enterprise strategy. And this is not just
about seeing technology for technology’s sake. It’s about how can we deliver
platforms and services that actually meet our
business demand. So we look at a
two- to three-year and see how are we positioning
ourselves with the cloud capabilities, with
infrastructure services, application
development services, to enable and
drive that forward? Because the business is
relying on us to do that. And the second thing we
actually really value a lot is this customer experience. So when we think of IT
services, most people just don’t like going to IT. It takes long. You have to open 10 tickets. You have to go here, go there. We try to bundle these services. So we look at what does
an application developer need when they come to us? What does a DevOps person need? What do these
researchers need when they want to quickly
spin up applications? And so we look at how people
are consuming our service, what are they telling about it,
what is their feedback, where can we do better, and
continuously have this cycle with them to improve it. And then the third thing
that we have to drive is the compliance within
all the products, platforms, and services we provide. And this is a proactive, close
collaboration with security, with legal, with
COREMAP, to make sure that anything we
recommend and anything we say, this is
supported by IT, it’s actually complying with Roche
data and privacy standards. So essentially we
are making sure that the heavy lifting
is already done, so that when end users go into
the application landscape, they can actually pick a product
knowing that IT has vetted it, it’s safe to use. The second piece is around
empowering the organization. And this, the first part,
business partnership is essential for us because of
how diverse and geographically dispersed we are. It’s very important to have– we call them IT
business partners. They’re basically
embedded in the business, but they understand
the IT landscape. They can connect the
dots for the business. They can point them
to the right people. They can point them, hey,
you don’t need to build this; there’s already a solution
available for this. So there is this
cross-sharing of ideas, but also solutions
on how business can solve their problem. We also make a very
concerted effort to make sure that
anything that we introduce into the organization,
there’s full transparency on the roadmap, so there
is nothing unexpected or a surprise. So we make sure that we
have our sounding boards, with our stakeholders
and customers internally. We also have user adoption
services regionally, spread across, who are
actually our channels. And they are
communicating new changes that are coming in our
pipeline to all of the users. We also run a lot of pilots. So we’re very– because we want
the organization to be prepared for change, we make
sure that, for example, whether it’s Team Drive,
or it was Hangouts Meet, or they’re a new
docs API, things like that, that are coming. If we open this, run
pilots in our test domain, give early access to developers
so that they are prepared for changes that they need
to make in their applications or in the way they work. And this actually gives us the
early access to their feedback. And we’ve been actually lucky
to have really great partnership with Google to funnel that
feedback back into the product teams so that this feedback
goes there early and often, and they actually know
what doesn’t work for us and what works for us. And the last thing
is around learning. So I think this is also
very critical, especially as technology is changing. There are new
emerging technologies coming, where our business and
our IT is actually ramping up. So we run hackathons. In fact, procurement just had a
Procure-a-thon two weeks back. This is really to say,
let’s bring our top two, three business problems here. Let’s get a team of developers,
UX, business analysts, all of us come together,
and let’s try and solve this in maybe one or two days. And this is a great
way to understand that you’re pushing the
limits of the APIs available, you’re pushing the
limits of how can we address this problem, can
we address this problem, are we too early,
should we then request more feature updates
from the product teams and come back to this later? This really gives us this cycle
of understanding and learning to be prepared to
do it in production. Part about learning is
definitely knowledge sharing. Again, we are huge or heavy
users of Google+ communities. I can tell you that a lot
of our Google+ users rely– in fact, I met Scott through
one of these communities. I just posted something on Apps
Script, and Scott responded. So there are lots
and lots of people that are connecting
with each other, sharing learnings, sharing even
their failures, like, hey, this didn’t work for me, has
anyone else tried this? And so these network communities
are ones where a lot of folks rely on them for learning
and understanding what’s going on in
the organization for specific subjects. And then centers of excellence– we have Roche experts
in specific domains. So for example G Suite app
development, API integration, we now have one on
conversational platforms. So what we do is we
look at the emerging technologies and the
business demand and say, hey, we need a set of
experts on these technologies that are ready to
jump into projects and to help the
business when they need. And so they are at hand to
advise and guide our business as need be. So we’re still
learning, obviously. This is not set in stone. We are learning and
adapting, and we are continuing to do this
to fulfill the need that– basically address what
our patients need next. And with that, I want to
hand it off to Sambit. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] SAMBIT SAMAL: All right. Thank you, Monica. What I’m going to
do is I’m going to talk about the future
of app development, some of the key trends that
at least we see and we hope that you see the same way. So a few things– so if you look at any
productivity platform, everybody provides the
standard mechanism, the same way of sending mail,
calendar, chats, writing docs, receipts, and things like that. But fundamentally, we see three
different market trends or tech trends which is going to
impact this productivity space in next five to 10 years. So what are those three? The first thing that we see
is we have, now, capability to understand the user context. What do I mean by that? So everybody has
a mobile device. So at any point in time,
systems know where you are. And depending on where
you are, the experience can be customized. So that is the context– an example of the context. The second thing that the
systems are good at today is capturing the usage pattern. So what I mean by that
is how you do your work, the systems nor how you
are doing that work. So things can be
customized as per that. For example, if you’re
always offlining something, the systems can know. And based on how and
when you are doing it, we can take actions on that. And the third thing
that happens is, when you go to a
new organization, the way to learn about that
particular organization is you go and ask people. The knowledge in
the organization is there in people’s heads. It’s sort of the
tribal knowledge. Wouldn’t it be better for you
to know in a systemic way? There are some people who
have tried this using sort of structured data analysis. But given the fact that
today we have this knowledge scattered across different
chat exchanges, different email exchanges, different docs, a
way to synthesize that knowledge will become important. And that’s what we’re
calling enterprise knowledge. Using these three,
you can potentially categorize the experiences
that are going to come into three broad categories. I’ve called this as
assistive experience, knowledge visibility,
and process automation. Let’s look at each of these. So this will give you an idea
of what I’m talking about. So if you drive any new
car today, what you can see is there is blind spot
detection in most of the cars. What is that doing? It’s helping you drive better. It’s providing an assistive
capability on driving. You can see the same pattern
emerging in software. So if you look at a chat, and
the moment some chat comes in, it suggests to you some
option based on the context. And why does that help you? Especially on a
mobile device, it helps you give a response
which is relevant. So that is assisting
you in responding. You can see that
if you have used Gmail auto-compose– the
same kind of mechanism. The opportunity here is bring
that to the developer platform so that you can use that
or the knowledge workers can use that to build
assistive experiences. The next thing I’m
going to talk about is this whole idea of
enterprise knowledge. Now, with the
structured data, you can go to your analytics
system and know, for example, who the best customer
is, and is he being spoken to by the best
customer service representative in your organization. Who is the expert in
a particular area? But with enterprise knowledge,
it will be possible for you to, without having any
structured analysis, know who is the expert
and who do we reach out to if we need some help, be
it usual things like 401(k) or anything of that sort. So think about it. When an average worker
spends 20% of the time– if you say that instead
of working for five days, you’re walking for
four days, that’s 20%. Or you can use that day
to do your 20% project. Whichever way you look at
it, that’ll help you do that. The third thing I’m going
to talk about is automation. This use case, all
of us go through. We want to have a discussion,
and we want to have a chat. And what happens
is, before we know, five or 10 email
chats gets exchanged before we set up a meeting. The system recognizes that. So let’s do some
time slots by looking at your calendar
and your ability. And you click– just one click–
and the meeting is set up. Not only that, based
on conversation, maybe it can set up
the agenda, figure out which are there the
documents that are important, and attaches that to
the Calendar invite. All those things will be
possible by automating processes and tasks. So that is the third
big trend you will see. Most of the productivity
improvement and the ensuing developer tools will
capture these three trends. Now to the final section. So what’s new in G Suite? I’m going to talk
about three things. So we are launching a
new Add-Ons platform. Add-Ons has been
there for a long time. But we are going to do
a new Add-Ons platform. What that will help you do is,
instead of driving an add-on for each of the G Suite
apps, you write it once, and it works across all
the different G Suite apps. It will have the user
context, and you can have that customized user context. It will make the
development easier, it will make the
management easier. It’s that uniform experience
across G Suite instead of per host app. The second thing that
we are announcing today is Alpha for data connectors. So what this means
is most of you, as you tried to move
your workload to cloud, you have this hybrid
scenario where you wanted the cloud to work
with your on-prem system. So with this Alpha,
what we are doing is we are integrating Sheets
with the on-prem relational Datastore you have on
your on-prem data center. This could be SQL Server,
this could Oracle, this could be MySQL. So you can have all that
data come in to Sheets and be used in
Sheets, and you can have that hybrid experience. The Third thing that I’m going to
talk about an announce today is what we’re calling G Suite
Marketplace Security Assessment Program. The GSM Marketplace, it
has more than 6,000 apps, as was talked about. It becomes very,
very challenging for people to know
which apps to rely on, which apps not rely on, and
it’s a big challenge for admin. We have partnered with some of
the industry-leading security analysts. And the publisher
of these apps, they can go and have their
apps security assessed. And if they pass the test,
we’ll send them a badge. Then that becomes easy
for the administrator to facilitate an
[INAUDIBLE] buying process. So those are the
three announcements. With that, I’ll
end this session. But your feedback
is super important. It’s a gift for us. So please provide the
feedback, and that will help us improve the system. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Optical illusions show how we see | Beau Lotto


I want to start with a game. Okay? And to win this game, all you have to do is see
the reality that’s in front of you as it really is, all right? So we have two panels here,
of colored dots. And one of those dots
is the same in the two panels. And you have to tell me which one. Now, I narrowed it down to the gray one, the green one,
and, say, the orange one. So by a show of hands,
we’ll start with the easiest one. Show of hands: how many people
think it’s the gray one? Really? Okay. How many people think it’s the green one? And how many people
think it’s the orange one? Pretty even split. Let’s find out what the reality is. Here is the orange one. (Laughter) Here is the green one. And here is the gray one. (Laughter) So for all of you who saw that,
you’re complete realists. All right? (Laughter) So this is pretty amazing, isn’t it? Because nearly every living system has evolved the ability
to detect light in one way or another. So for us, seeing color is one of the simplest things
the brain does. And yet, even at this
most fundamental level, context is everything. What I’m going to talk about
is not that context is everything, but why context is everything. Because it’s answering that question that tells us not only
why we see what we do, but who we are as individuals, and who we are as a society. But first, we have to ask
another question, which is, “What is color for?” And instead of telling you,
I’ll just show you. What you see here is a jungle scene, and you see the surfaces
according to the amount of light that those surfaces reflect. Now, can any of you see the predator
that’s about to jump out at you? And if you haven’t seen it yet,
you’re dead, right? (Laughter) Can anyone see it? Anyone? No? Now let’s see the surfaces according to the quality of light
that they reflect. And now you see it. So, color enables us to see the similarities and differences
between surfaces, according to the full spectrum
of light that they reflect. But what you’ve just done is in many respects
mathematically impossible. Why? Because, as Berkeley tells us, we have no direct access
to our physical world, other than through our senses. And the light that falls onto our eyes is determined by multiple
things in the world, not only the color of objects, but also the color of their illumination, and the color of the space
between us and those objects. You vary any one of those parameters, and you’ll change the color
of the light that falls onto your eye. This is a huge problem, because it means that the same image could have an infinite number
of possible real-world sources. Let me show you what I mean. Imagine that this
is the back of your eye, okay? And these are two projections
from the world. They’re identical in every single way. Identical in shape,
size, spectral content. They are the same,
as far as your eye is concerned. And yet they come
from completely different sources. The one on the right
comes from a yellow surface, in shadow, oriented facing the left, viewed through a pinkish medium. The one on the left comes
from an orange surface, under direct light, facing to the right, viewed through sort of a bluish medium. Completely different meanings, giving rise to the exact same
retinal information. And yet it’s only the retinal
information that we get. So how on Earth do we even see? So if you remember anything
in this next 18 minutes, remember this: that the light that falls onto your eye, sensory information, is meaningless, because it could mean literally anything. And what’s true for sensory information
is true for information generally. There’s no inherent
meaning in information. It’s what we do with that
information that matters. So, how do we see?
Well, we see by learning to see. The brain evolved the mechanisms
for finding patterns, finding relationships in information, and associating those relationships
with a behavioral meaning, a significance, by interacting
with the world. We’re very aware of this in the form of more cognitive
attributes, like language. I’m going to give you some letter strings, and I want you to read them
out for me, if you can. Audience: “Can you read this?” “You are not reading this.” “What are you reading?” Beau Lotto: “What are you reading?”
Half the letters are missing, right? There’s no a priori reason why an “H” has to go
between that “W” and “A.” But you put one there. Why? Because in the statistics
of your past experience, it would have been useful to do so. So you do so again. And yet you don’t put a letter
after that first “T.” Why? Because it wouldn’t have been
useful in the past. So you don’t do it again. So, let me show you how quickly
our brains can redefine normality, even at the simplest thing
the brain does, which is color. So if I could have
the lights down up here. I want you to first notice that those
two desert scenes are physically the same. One is simply the flipping of the other. Now I want you to look at that dot between the green and the red. And I want you to stare at that dot.
Don’t look anywhere else. We’re going to look
at it for about 30 seconds, which is a bit of a killer
in an 18-minute talk. (Laughter) But I really want you to learn. And I’ll tell you — don’t look
anywhere else — I’ll tell you what’s
happening in your head. Your brain is learning, and it’s learning
that the right side of its visual field is under red illumination; the left side of its visual field
is under green illumination. That’s what it’s learning. Okay? Now, when I tell you, I want you to look
at the dot between the two desert scenes. So why don’t you do that now? (Laughter) Can I have the lights up again? I take it from your response
they don’t look the same anymore, right? (Applause) Why? Because your brain
is seeing that same information as if the right one is still
under red light, and the left one is still
under green light. That’s your new normal. Okay? So, what does this mean for context? It means I can take two identical squares, put them in light and dark surrounds, and the one on the dark surround
looks lighter than on the light surround. What’s significant is not simply the light
and dark surrounds that matter. It’s what those light and dark surrounds
meant for your behavior in the past. So I’ll show you what I mean. Here we have that exact same illusion. We have two identical tiles on the left, one in a dark surround,
one in a light surround. And the same thing over on the right. Now, I’ll reveal those two scenes, but I’m not going to change
anything within those boxes, except their meaning. And see what happens to your perception. Notice that on the left the two tiles look nearly
completely opposite: one very white and one very dark, right? Whereas on the right,
the two tiles look nearly the same. And yet there is still one
on a dark surround, and one on a light surround. Why? Because if the tile in that shadow
were in fact in shadow, and reflecting the same
amount of light to your eye as the one outside the shadow, it would have to be more reflective
— just the laws of physics. So you see it that way. Whereas on the right,
the information is consistent with those two tiles
being under the same light. If they’re under the same light reflecting
the same amount of light to your eye, then they must be equally reflective. So you see it that way. Which means we can bring
all this information together to create some incredibly
strong illusions. This is one I made a few years ago. And you’ll notice you see
a dark brown tile at the top, and a bright orange tile at the side. That is your perceptual reality. The physical reality
is that those two tiles are the same. Here you see four gray tiles on your left, seven gray tiles on the right. I’m not going to change
those tiles at all, but I’m going to reveal
the rest of the scene. And see what happens to your perception. The four blue tiles on the left are gray. The seven yellow tiles
on the right are also gray. They are the same. Okay? Don’t believe me? Let’s watch it again. What’s true for color is also true
for complex perceptions of motion. So, here we have — let’s turn this around — a diamond. And what I’m going to do is,
I’m going to hold it here, and I’m going to spin it. And for all of you, you’ll see it
probably spinning this direction. Now I want you to keep looking at it. Move your eyes around,
blink, maybe close one eye. And suddenly it will flip, and start
spinning the opposite direction. Yes? Raise your hand if you got that. Yes? Keep blinking. Every time you blink, it will switch. So I can ask you,
which direction is it rotating? How do you know? Your brain doesn’t know,
because both are equally likely. So depending on where it looks, it flips between the two possibilities. Are we the only ones that see illusions? The answer to this question is no. Even the beautiful bumblebee, with its mere one million brain cells, which is 250 times fewer cells
than you have in one retina, sees illusions, does
the most complicated things that even our most
sophisticated computers can’t do. So in my lab we work on bumblebees, because we can completely
control their experience, and see how it alters
the architecture of their brain. We do this in what we call the Bee Matrix. Here you have the hive. You can see the queen bee,
the large bee in the middle. Those are her daughters, the eggs. They go back and forth between this hive
and the arena, via this tube. You’ll see one of the bees come out here. You see how she has
a little number on her? There’s another one coming out,
she also has a number on her. Now, they’re not born that way, right? We pull them out, put them
in the fridge, and they fall asleep. Then you can superglue
little numbers on them. (Laughter) And now, in this experiment they get
a reward if they go to the blue flowers. They land on the flower, stick their tongue in there,
called a proboscis, and drink sugar water. She’s drinking a glass of water
that’s about that big to you and I, will do that about three times, then fly. And sometimes they learn
not to go to the blue, but to go where the other bees go. So they copy each other. They can count to five.
They can recognize faces. And here she comes down the ladder. And she’ll come into the hive,
find an empty honey pot, and throw up, and that’s honey. (Laughter) Now remember, she’s supposed
to be going to the blue flowers, but what are these bees doing
in the upper right corner? It looks like they’re
going to green flowers. Now, are they getting it wrong? And the answer to the question is no.
Those are actually blue flowers. But those are blue flowers
under green light. So they’re using the relationships
between the colors to solve the puzzle, which is exactly what we do. So, illusions are often used, especially in art, in the words
of a more contemporary artist, “to demonstrate the fragility
of our senses.” Okay, this is complete rubbish. The senses aren’t fragile.
And if they were, we wouldn’t be here. Instead, color tells us
something completely different, that the brain didn’t actually evolve
to see the world the way it is. We can’t. Instead, the brain
evolved to see the world the way it was useful to see in the past. And how we see is by continually
redefining normality. So, how can we take this incredible
capacity of plasticity of the brain and get people to experience
their world differently? Well, one of the ways we do it
in my lab and studio is we translate the light into sound, and we enable people to hear
their visual world. And they can navigate
the world using their ears. Here’s David on the right,
and he’s holding a camera. On the left is what his camera sees. And you’ll see there’s a faint line
going across that image. That line is broken up into 32 squares. In each square,
we calculate the average color. And then we just simply
translate that into sound. And now he’s going to turn around, close his eyes, and find a plate on the ground
with his eyes closed. (Continuous sound) (Sound changes momentarily) (Sound changes momentarily) (Sound changes momentarily) (Sound changes momentarily) (Sound changes momentarily) Beau Lotto: He finds it. Amazing, right? So not only can we create a prosthetic
for the visually impaired, but we can also investigate how people literally
make sense of the world. But we can also do something else. We can also make music with color. So, working with kids, they created images, thinking about what might
the images you see sound like if we could listen to them. And then we translated these images. And this is one of those images. And this is a six-year-old child
composing a piece of music for a 32-piece orchestra. And this is what it sounds like. (Electronic representation
of orchestral music) So, a six-year-old child. Okay? Now, what does all this mean? What this suggests is that no one
is an outside observer of nature, okay? We’re not defined
by our central properties, by the bits that make us up. We’re defined by our environment
and our interaction with that environment, by our ecology. And that ecology is necessarily
relative, historical and empirical. So, what I’d like to finish with
is this over here. Because what I’ve been trying to do
is really celebrate uncertainty. Because I think only through uncertainty
is there potential for understanding. So, if some of you are still
feeling a bit too certain, I’d like to do this one. So, if we have the lights down. And what we have here — Can everyone see 25
purple surfaces on your left, and 25, call it yellowish,
surfaces on your right? So now, what I want to do, I’m going to put
the middle nine surfaces here under yellow illumination, by simply putting a filter behind them. Now you can see that changes the light
that’s coming through there, right? Because now the light is going
through a yellowish filter and then a purplish filter. I’m going to do the opposite
on the left here. I’m going to put the middle nine
under a purplish light. Now, some of you will have noticed
that the consequence is that the light coming through those
middle nine on the right, or your left, is exactly
the same as the light coming through the middle
nine on your right. Agreed? Yes? Okay. So they are physically the same. Let’s pull the covers off. Now remember — you know that the middle nine
are exactly the same. Do they look the same? No. The question is, “Is that an illusion?” And I’ll leave you with that. So, thank you very much. (Laughter) (Applause)

Do schools kill creativity? | Sir Ken Robinson


Good morning. How are you? (Audience) Good. It’s been great, hasn’t it? I’ve been blown away by the whole thing. In fact, I’m leaving. (Laughter) There have been three themes
running through the conference, which are relevant
to what I want to talk about. One is the extraordinary
evidence of human creativity in all of the presentations that we’ve had and in all of the people here; just the variety of it
and the range of it. The second is that it’s put us in a place where we have no idea
what’s going to happen in terms of the future. No idea how this may play out. I have an interest in education. Actually, what I find is,
everybody has an interest in education. Don’t you? I find this very interesting. If you’re at a dinner party,
and you say you work in education — actually, you’re not often
at dinner parties, frankly. (Laughter) If you work in education,
you’re not asked. (Laughter) And you’re never asked back, curiously.
That’s strange to me. But if you are, and you say to somebody, you know, they say, “What do you do?” and you say you work in education, you can see the blood run from their face. They’re like, “Oh my God. Why me?” (Laughter) “My one night out all week.” (Laughter) But if you ask about their education,
they pin you to the wall, because it’s one of those things
that goes deep with people, am I right? Like religion and money and other things. So I have a big interest in education,
and I think we all do. We have a huge vested interest in it, partly because it’s education
that’s meant to take us into this future that we can’t grasp. If you think of it, children starting school this year
will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue, despite all the expertise that’s been
on parade for the past four days, what the world will look like
in five years’ time. And yet, we’re meant
to be educating them for it. So the unpredictability,
I think, is extraordinary. And the third part of this
is that we’ve all agreed, nonetheless, on the really extraordinary
capacities that children have — their capacities for innovation. I mean, Sirena last night
was a marvel, wasn’t she? Just seeing what she could do. And she’s exceptional, but I think
she’s not, so to speak, exceptional in the whole of childhood. What you have there is a person
of extraordinary dedication who found a talent. And my contention is,
all kids have tremendous talents, and we squander them, pretty ruthlessly. So I want to talk about education, and I want to talk about creativity. My contention is that creativity now
is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it
with the same status. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause) That was it, by the way.
Thank you very much. (Laughter) So, 15 minutes left. (Laughter) “Well, I was born … ” (Laughter) I heard a great story recently —
I love telling it — of a little girl
who was in a drawing lesson. She was six, and she was
at the back, drawing, and the teacher said this girl
hardly ever paid attention, and in this drawing lesson, she did. The teacher was fascinated. She went over to her,
and she said, “What are you drawing?” And the girl said,
“I’m drawing a picture of God.” And the teacher said, “But nobody
knows what God looks like.” And the girl said,
“They will in a minute.” (Laughter) When my son was four in England — actually, he was four
everywhere, to be honest. (Laughter) If we’re being strict about it,
wherever he went, he was four that year. He was in the Nativity play.
Do you remember the story? (Laughter) No, it was big, it was a big story. Mel Gibson did the sequel,
you may have seen it. (Laughter) “Nativity II.” But James got the part of Joseph,
which we were thrilled about. We considered this to be
one of the lead parts. We had the place crammed
full of agents in T-shirts: “James Robinson IS Joseph!” (Laughter) He didn’t have to speak, but you know
the bit where the three kings come in? They come in bearing gifts,
gold, frankincense and myrrh. This really happened. We were sitting there, and I think
they just went out of sequence, because we talked to the little boy
afterward and said, “You OK with that?” They said,
“Yeah, why? Was that wrong?” They just switched. The three boys came in, four-year-olds
with tea towels on their heads. They put these boxes down, and the first
boy said, “I bring you gold.” And the second boy said,
“I bring you myrrh.” And the third boy said, “Frank sent this.” (Laughter) What these things have in common
is that kids will take a chance. If they don’t know, they’ll have a go. Am I right? They’re not
frightened of being wrong. I don’t mean to say that being wrong
is the same thing as being creative. What we do know is,
if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up
with anything original — if you’re not prepared to be wrong. And by the time they get to be adults,
most kids have lost that capacity. They have become
frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies like this. We stigmatize mistakes. And we’re now running
national education systems where mistakes are the worst
thing you can make. And the result is that
we are educating people out of their creative capacities. Picasso once said this, he said
that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain
an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately,
that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it. So why is this? I lived in Stratford-on-Avon
until about five years ago. In fact, we moved from Stratford
to Los Angeles. So you can imagine
what a seamless transition this was. (Laughter) Actually, we lived in a place
called Snitterfield, just outside Stratford, which is where
Shakespeare’s father was born. Are you struck by a new thought? I was. You don’t think of Shakespeare
having a father, do you? Do you? Because you don’t think
of Shakespeare being a child, do you? Shakespeare being seven? I never thought of it. I mean, he was seven at some point. He was in somebody’s
English class, wasn’t he? (Laughter) How annoying would that be? (Laughter) “Must try harder.” (Laughter) Being sent to bed by his dad,
to Shakespeare, “Go to bed, now!” To William Shakespeare. “And put the pencil down!” (Laughter) “And stop speaking like that.” (Laughter) “It’s confusing everybody.” (Laughter) Anyway, we moved
from Stratford to Los Angeles, and I just want to say a word
about the transition. Actually, my son didn’t want to come. I’ve got two kids;
he’s 21 now, my daughter’s 16. He didn’t want to come to Los Angeles. He loved it, but he had
a girlfriend in England. This was the love of his life, Sarah. He’d known her for a month. (Laughter) Mind you, they’d had
their fourth anniversary, because it’s a long time when you’re 16. He was really upset on the plane. He said, “I’ll never find
another girl like Sarah.” And we were rather pleased
about that, frankly — (Laughter) because she was the main reason
we were leaving the country. (Laughter) But something strikes you
when you move to America and travel around the world: every education system on earth
has the same hierarchy of subjects. Every one. Doesn’t matter where you go. You’d think it would be
otherwise, but it isn’t. At the top are mathematics and languages,
then the humanities. At the bottom are the arts.
Everywhere on earth. And in pretty much every system, too,
there’s a hierarchy within the arts. Art and music are normally given
a higher status in schools than drama and dance. There isn’t an education
system on the planet that teaches dance every day to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why not? I think this is rather important. I think math is very important,
but so is dance. Children dance all the time
if they’re allowed to, we all do. We all have bodies, don’t we?
Did I miss a meeting? (Laughter) Truthfully, what happens is,
as children grow up, we start to educate them progressively
from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads. And slightly to one side. If you were to visit education as an alien and say “What’s it for, public education?” I think you’d have to conclude,
if you look at the output, who really succeeds by this, who does everything they should, who gets all the brownie points,
who are the winners — I think you’d have to conclude
the whole purpose of public education throughout the world is to produce university professors. Isn’t it? They’re the people who come out the top. And I used to be one, so there. (Laughter) And I like university professors, but, you know, we shouldn’t hold them up as the high-water mark
of all human achievement. They’re just a form of life. Another form of life. But they’re rather curious. And I say this out of affection for them: there’s something curious
about professors. In my experience — not all of them,
but typically — they live in their heads. They live up there
and slightly to one side. They’re disembodied, you know,
in a kind of literal way. They look upon their body as a form
of transport for their heads. (Laughter) Don’t they? It’s a way of getting
their head to meetings. (Laughter) If you want real evidence
of out-of-body experiences, by the way, get yourself along to a residential
conference of senior academics and pop into the discotheque
on the final night. (Laughter) And there, you will see it. Grown men and women
writhing uncontrollably, off the beat. (Laughter) Waiting until it ends, so they can
go home and write a paper about it. (Laughter) Our education system is predicated
on the idea of academic ability. And there’s a reason. Around the world, there were
no public systems of education, really, before the 19th century. They all came into being
to meet the needs of industrialism. So the hierarchy is rooted on two ideas. Number one, that the most useful
subjects for work are at the top. So you were probably steered benignly away
from things at school when you were a kid, things you liked, on the grounds you would never
get a job doing that. Is that right? “Don’t do music, you’re not
going to be a musician; don’t do art, you won’t be an artist.” Benign advice — now, profoundly mistaken. The whole world
is engulfed in a revolution. And the second is academic ability, which has really come to dominate
our view of intelligence, because the universities design
the system in their image. If you think of it, the whole system of public education
around the world is a protracted process of university entrance. And the consequence is
that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people
think they’re not, because the thing
they were good at at school wasn’t valued,
or was actually stigmatized. And I think we can’t afford
to go on that way. In the next 30 years, according to UNESCO, more people worldwide will be
graduating through education than since the beginning of history. More people. And it’s the combination
of all the things we’ve talked about: technology and its
transformational effect on work, and demography and the huge
explosion in population. Suddenly, degrees aren’t worth anything. Isn’t that true? When I was a student,
if you had a degree, you had a job. If you didn’t have a job,
it’s because you didn’t want one. And I didn’t want one, frankly. (Laughter) But now kids with degrees
are often heading home to carry on playing video games, because you need an MA
where the previous job required a BA, and now you need a PhD for the other. It’s a process of academic inflation. And it indicates the whole structure
of education is shifting beneath our feet. We need to radically rethink
our view of intelligence. We know three things about intelligence. One, it’s diverse. We think about the world in all the ways
that we experience it. We think visually, we think in sound,
we think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms,
we think in movement. Secondly, intelligence is dynamic. If you look at the interactions
of a human brain, as we heard yesterday
from a number of presentations, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. The brain isn’t divided into compartments. In fact, creativity — which I define as the process of having
original ideas that have value — more often than not comes about through the interaction of different
disciplinary ways of seeing things. By the way, there’s a shaft of nerves
that joins the two halves of the brain, called the corpus callosum. It’s thicker in women. Following off from Helen yesterday, this is probably why women
are better at multitasking. Because you are, aren’t you? There’s a raft of research,
but I know it from my personal life. If my wife is cooking a meal
at home, which is not often … thankfully. (Laughter) No, she’s good at some things. But if she’s cooking,
she’s dealing with people on the phone, she’s talking to the kids,
she’s painting the ceiling — (Laughter) she’s doing open-heart surgery over here. If I’m cooking, the door
is shut, the kids are out, the phone’s on the hook, if she comes in, I get annoyed. I say, “Terry, please,
I’m trying to fry an egg in here.” (Laughter) “Give me a break.” (Laughter) Actually, do you know
that old philosophical thing, “If a tree falls in a forest,
and nobody hears it, did it happen?” Remember that old chestnut? I saw a great T-shirt
recently, which said, “If a man speaks his mind in a forest,
and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?” (Laughter) And the third thing about intelligence is, it’s distinct. I’m doing a new book at the moment
called “Epiphany,” which is based on a series
of interviews with people about how they discovered their talent. I’m fascinated by
how people got to be there. It’s really prompted by a conversation
I had with a wonderful woman who maybe most people
have never heard of, Gillian Lynne. Have you heard of her? Some have. She’s a choreographer,
and everybody knows her work. She did “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera.” She’s wonderful. I used to be on the board
of The Royal Ballet, as you can see. (Laughter) Gillian and I had lunch one day.
I said, “How did you get to be a dancer?” It was interesting. When she was at school,
she was really hopeless. And the school, in the ’30s,
wrote to her parents and said, “We think Gillian
has a learning disorder.” She couldn’t concentrate;
she was fidgeting. I think now they’d say she had ADHD. Wouldn’t you? But this was the 1930s, and ADHD
hadn’t been invented at this point. It wasn’t an available condition. (Laughter) People weren’t aware they could have that. (Laughter) Anyway, she went to see this specialist. So, this oak-paneled room,
and she was there with her mother, and she was led and sat
on this chair at the end, and she sat on her hands for 20 minutes, while this man talked to her mother about all the problems
Gillian was having at school, because she was disturbing people,
her homework was always late, and so on. Little kid of eight. In the end, the doctor went
and sat next to Gillian and said, “I’ve listened to all these
things your mother’s told me. I need to speak to her privately. Wait here. We’ll be back.
We won’t be very long,” and they went and left her. But as they went out of the room, he turned on the radio
that was sitting on his desk. And when they got out of the room, he said to her mother,
“Just stand and watch her.” And the minute they left the room, she was on her feet, moving to the music. And they watched for a few minutes,
and he turned to her mother and said, “Mrs. Lynne, Gillian isn’t sick. She’s a dancer. Take her to a dance school.” I said, “What happened?” She said, “She did. I can’t tell you
how wonderful it was. We walked in this room,
and it was full of people like me — people who couldn’t sit still, people who had to move to think.” Who had to move to think. They did ballet, they did tap, jazz;
they did modern; they did contemporary. She was eventually auditioned
for the Royal Ballet School. She became a soloist; she had
a wonderful career at the Royal Ballet. She eventually graduated
from the Royal Ballet School, founded the Gillian Lynne Dance Company, met Andrew Lloyd Webber. She’s been responsible for some of the most successful
musical theater productions in history, she’s given pleasure to millions, and she’s a multimillionaire. Somebody else might have put her
on medication and told her to calm down. (Applause) What I think it comes to is this: Al Gore spoke the other night about ecology and the revolution
that was triggered by Rachel Carson. I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception
of human ecology, one in which we start
to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth
for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t serve us. We have to rethink
the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children. There was a wonderful quote
by Jonas Salk, who said, “If all the insects
were to disappear from the Earth, within 50 years,
all life on Earth would end. If all human beings
disappeared from the Earth, within 50 years,
all forms of life would flourish.” And he’s right. What TED celebrates is the gift
of the human imagination. We have to be careful now
that we use this gift wisely, and that we avert some of the scenarios
that we’ve talked about. And the only way we’ll do it
is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are and seeing our children
for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate
their whole being, so they can face this future. By the way — we may not see this future, but they will. And our job is to help them
make something of it. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Jonas Kjellberg’s Masterclass (Co-creator of Skype)


I have the great opportunity, as you
heard to showing up at the right time and had the opportunity to be part of this
beautiful company called Skype. I also had the great opportunity to invest in
a lot of companies, so I’m a serial entrepreneur, author, investor. I’ve
started more than like 50 different companies. I started a company called the
Player.IO, Can it works and Nonoba. I sold all of these companies to Yahoo. So,
if you’re an entrepreneur having a company that doesn’t work out?
Call Yahoo, because they buy everything with some persuasions.
I also invested over 400 million Euros into a company called Zalando. I don’t
think you know it, but it’s basically the equivalent of ASOS here in the UK.
Anyone know Zalando? Yeah, okay. Yeah there’s a lot of Europeans, of course. So
it was a small company and I invested 400 million Euros and you know I would
say you know the stock owners were not very pleased. I spent quite a lot of time
here in the UK trying to explain why selling shoes on the internet was a good
idea. But most of the investors here basically said you know, every smart
human being understands that you need to try on the shoes, before you buy them.
This is a very stupid idea. But it turned out to be okay anyway. I was also the
chairman of the board of a company called iCloud. Which was actually
purchased by Apple. No one really believed in you know having things on a
server you know everybody wanted to rack things
in the basements, but I believed in it and very very luckily one day Apple
calls and wants to buy it. I’m also on the board of IKEA, which I’m now helping
to transform and rethink their perspectives. But as you heard and and
here my life has always been how do you change the game? How do you disrupt the
existing? How can take it perfectly working business model and destroy it?
That’s why I get out of bed every morning.
That’s what enjoys me. What can you destroy? I don’t know how many of you
like that idea, but I really strive by it. And then if this would be a normal lecture
be spending most of my time talking about my successes. But I’m not. I’m gonna
spend the next 40 minutes talking about all my failures and if again in normal
lecture I’d be standing here talking to you but let’s flip coin this around. You
know, we have some really good leaders here. Please interrupt me say I’m wrong
let’s get the dialogue going. I often have very very strong opinions about
things I have no clue about. I don’t know if that’s just me, but let’s see if we
can get the dialogue going. But maybe we could start with the first question.
Is it the big that beat the small or is it the fast that beats the slow? Anyone?
Fast. Matthew? Fast. Okay, is that correct? Hands
up for fast! Okay. Okay let’s hands up for the big that beat the small. Two, three
hands, some coming up. Yeah I think for me this was actually a tricky question.
Because in most of the successes I’ve had the fast beat the slow. But in the
failures, which are quite numerous, it was actually the big that beat me. I couldn’t
actually surpass them. I couldn’t get up to speed because they killed me. Why was
that? So I was super puzzled, but I had the great opportunity after we sold
Skype to start lecturing at Stanford. If you ever have time go there, it is a
beautiful place. And it was a dream so I went. But after a while my professor Tom
Kosnik, he came up to me and said: Jonas, you know, the students love you, you’re
doing great job, you’re very provocative. There’s only one little thing. Would you
would you be interested in some feedback? I don’t know how it is with you, but
when I hear the word feedback it’s never positive. It’s like maybe you should give
the faculty some feedback that would be good. But then you’re like of course I’ll
be super happy with feedback, so um but it’s a lie. And I’m okay,
what’s on your mind? Yeah, well you know you’re doing a really good job, so we
just wanna have that said. But from the faculty side we have noticed that you
haven’t read the literature you’re lecturing about. Okay, fair point.
You know, I can see that, you know? I read you know, the first chapter and the last
chapter, thought I could get away with it. I don’t know how many here have ever read
American management literature? Hands up! No one? Not a lot of people. Well, the
others who haven’t read anything you haven’t missed anything. Most of these
books are actually shit boring. Like you have one theory it’s like 500 pages you
read the first chapter you get it. That’s what I thought, you know get along with
it. But I had to read all of these books page by page. But I came to the same
conclusion: these books are shit boring. So, I went to
Tom and I said Tom why don’t you write a book or we write a book about all the
knowledge that you’ve had at Harvard then you take it to Stanford you touch
some of the most interesting entrepreneurs in this world. Why don’t we
write a book together? And said that’s a good idea. And I think he was envisioning
you know this big Bible of knowledge, but I said if I want to do it together Tom I
want to do it my way. I said, if I want to write a book I want
to write a book that is a hundred pages long and half has to be pictures. I’ll
tell you he was not utterly convinced. I said you know this is what the world
needs you know everyone can read you know normal management literature so we
set off we wrote the book and then we were super proud. And we printed 30
copies and we sent it to his former colleagues at Harvard. What do you think
they said when I saw this book? Anyone? Brilliant or bad?
Yeah well I think they said like ‘Oh Tom, this is so sweet.
You’ve written a children’s book.’ Tom was totally devastated. Because, we have
to cancel it, you know it doesn’t work. And the academics on the other side
was like well it’s it don’t be shy Tom, it’s it’s probably really well suited
for the West Coast. But here at the East Coast we have a bit higher academic
standards. So you know Tom was devastated said you know we have to
cancel the book you know. We can’t do it. My reputation, and all the fear. And I was
like Tom. Let’s be honest who really cares about 30 professors at Harvard?
They just don’t understand my brilliance, Tom. It happens all the time.
Trust me this is gonna be all right. Éet’s go talk to the big publishers in
the world. So I went round and I met all the biggest publishing houses. What do
you think they said when they saw this book? Any one cute little book?
Yesm children’s department is down the hall. Well, that’s basically what they said.
They, most of them sent home really formal letters that you open and you get in your
mailbox. And you open them and said “Dear Mr. Kjellberg, we wish you great success,
somewhere else. What do you do with that kind of information? Basically, fuck off.
We don’t like it. Okay. I get that part. So, was turned down everywhere and I said
ok how hard can it be to print the book, you know? I start a lot of companies, we
printed on paper and you start selling it. So I did. And since I was pissed with
the whole industry I went back and I wrote another book: Business Creation. And this has only
pictures. Saying fuck you all! Now there’s a third book published by Wiley here in the UK. One of
the most prestigious and publishing houses. Why would they call back and
change their mind? Anyone? It sold a lot of copies! Yes. And when that happens
apparently you’re willing to change your academic standards. It’s very interesting,
isn’t it? So, what’s the book about? Well, the book is about the nine years that
you need to be successful and I think in this center part here is actually
customer acquisition. How do you actually drive sales? And this is where my, my
journey started I actually had the opportunity to become the CEO assistant
of a company called the Kinnevik group which I actually later came back and did
all the investments for. But as a CEO assistant you cook coffee, you repark
cars, you do a shitload of powerpoints. We bought a couple of companies and we sold
a couple companies. And what’s still tradition today, is that after this first
year you become the CEO of a subsidary. Felt fairly natural for me you know?
Double degree, spent one year with top management. Of course I should become the
CEO of a new company. So, you’re all leaders, what’s the first thing you do
when you become an assigned a new boss for something? Anyone? You could do
nothing, you know that works quite well. You’re all HR people, what’s the first
thing we do? What did we learn at school? What do you need? A strategy, yeah? And
here I could excel. I could sit in my corner office and I could do a hundreds
of thousands of Power Points. But this is where it really hit me. Have you ever
thought how easy it is to add customers in Excel? It’s a brilliant tool. But things weren’t really working out. So
I couldn’t really figure this one out, so since I studied both technology and
economy at the same time I thought: I must have missed that lecture about sales. So I
went back to all my management books. and I found this model, in nearly all books.
It must be shit important, because it’s in a lot of books. What model is it?
Anyone? The BCG growth-share matrix. Yeah. Do you think I got you know the star
company? Of course not. Do you think I got a company that made money? No, I got the
dog. What do you do with the dog in this model? You kill it. You divest. Thank you
BCG, that didn’t really help me. I was stuck being the dog. So, but luckily
I found a SWAT model. How many has done a SWAT model? Great. Let’s put Jonas Kjellberg in here 30 years ago? What comes out? A lot of weaknesses. Still pride
predominantly. So, I’m starting to panic. This company is not you know taking off
and I have basically nowhere to turn to. So it ended actually up I called my
father and he was very surprised he said ‘Jonas, you’ve never ever asked for advice
ever before. You must be in a really shitty position before you call me, yeah?
You’ve always got it all figured out, haven’t you?’ Yeah, it seems to be the only
thing you know management boards care about is actually sales and have no
clue how to run it. So he said OK I have an old friend of mine who started as a
sales guys, he’s now the CEO it was the CEO for NCR, one of the largest corporates in
the US. And he’s coming over to our house in the next two weeks you should come
over and meet him. I’m like super excited to meet this like super CEO, get all the
knowledge and when we meet the only thing he gives me is a small brochure,
that says: That’s in Swedish you need to knock on a hundred doors, you need to
talk to 10 people before you get one yes, from a famous vacuum sales clean guy.
and I’m like what? What does this have to do I’m the CEO, I do the difficult shit,
you know? He said read it, you’ll figure it out.
So, I did an engineering degree so I thought about it. You do 100 people you
get one yes. You do 200 you sell more. It’s not complicated. It’s maths. It’s
actually super simple. We can make it a bit more complicated talking about how
do you increase frequency? I think this is one of the main perspectives. Os that
how would you unlock sales? Because if you want to be disruptive today, you want
to rethink many of the successful companies I’ve been part of have
rethought customer acquisition and they’ve innovated beyond. This is one of
the most important perspectives. And for me, it was just maths. And it’s still just
maths. I ran a telco company. So we said: Okay, how do we reach four million
Swedish household sby running up and down stairs? So we started running up and down
stairs knocking on doors you know just getting the frequency up. Was a bit slow.
So said, what could we do instead? We came to the conclusion, what happens if we
call everyone? So we had some operators problem is you know dialling everything
was a bit slow, so we said okay how do we increase frequency? You know. we
played around a lot with computers and Atari I said okay, what happens if we
connect the computer to the switchboard? And then let’s have this computer call
10 phones at the same time because when someone answer will just connect the
call and we increased frequency. The other problem is that if you want to
call all these households you have to buy a lot of phone numbers from British
Telecom or Vodafone. And they’re very expensive. So we said okay, what happens if
we call all number combinations available? The problem here is that the
operators complained a lot about this
tactics. But the beauty here is that the computer never complained.
Until we one day, we call this red phone at Musk, a naval base outside
Stockholm. And this red phone is only used for the Prime Minister. Yes this is
this is the Prime Minister. What can I do for your Prime Minister yes this is from
Optimal Telecom would you be happy to buy some cheap telephone? Later that
same day I was picked up by the Swedish secret police, Sapo. And I was locked in
for 36 hours before I could convince them I was not a Russian spy, I was just
a new managing director that tried to figure out sales, connected computers to
the public network. But I could also with very clear certainty tell them if they
had more red phones connected to the public network we would be calling them
as well. Offering cheap telephone. But I think
this is just one example how computer power has rethought, you know running
frequency. If I look at what’s happening today I would say one of the most
disruptive places is going to be how you use day than how you use customer
acquisition by doing machines. Because it would drastically change everything.
We’re so focused on things. So for me this was great. I just kept on doing you
know sales. I started a new company called Campus Mobile sold that to Vodafone.
start another one and Mobile Sun unlisted that you know my life was great. My life
was all about frequency. Then I get a call from a headhunter that asked me if
I want to become the CEO of a company called Lycos? How many remember the
company Lycos? What was it? It was the world’s second largest search engine. The
headhunter, she was a bit you know confused. Said you never made any
mistakes everything has been you know super progress, you know I’d like to see
that you had some you know failures in your, in your resume. But you know, we got
on and I got the job. But what basically do you think
happenedm basically the same day I started there? Another little shitty
company was founded. Google. So, now if you’re in the board of Bertelsmann and
Telefónica what do you do when a little shifty company is founded? Correct
nothing. And when you have done nothing for a while what do you do then? Then you start
making fun of the company. How will they ever survive? They don’t even have a
business model. Then the board panicked. We sent over biggest you know most
prominent German M&A team What do you think they came back with? Should we buy
it? I think their recommendation was very clear.
You know, it’s burning through cash is not making money, does not have a
business model, of course we should not buy it. Because Google talked about
always delighting the shareholder and this was something totally new for me. My
life had always been always delight the shareholder myself. But things were not
working out really well. So in the end I went to the chairman of the board
Kristoff Mon I said: Christophe we need to think outside the box here. Because
what they’re doing, they’re killing us. And then he just looked at me and said
‘Jonas, there is a reason we have the box. And that is because you should
be inside the box and not outside the box. Otherwise we would not have the box.’
Stupid me! Of course. So when Google said the content is king I said sales is King
Kong and I just pushed my frequency sales throttles. How do you think it went?
You think it was a success? No, it was an epic failure. Epic. Company was listed the
Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It was a disaster. So in the end I called back to
the HR person and the headhunter and said you know you were worried about I
didn’t have any failures. Now I have quite one big one on my
resume and she says ‘That’s not the failure
that’s the career-ending move. We will never be able to work with you again. you
know when I was talking about failure I think you come like you wanted to win
the Olympics you end up fifth that’s a failure for me, you know this is a
career-ending thing.’ But the interesting thing is Google did something which was
delight. We’ve taken the word delight from the Hierarchy of customer needs. How
many here know Maslow’s hierarchy needs? Hands up! Basically it works the same
way. In the top you have dellight the bottom you have efficiency in the end
you have functionality. I can give you a example. Alfa Romeo has always had design
as their delight. The problem here is the car doesn’t go from A to B. The delight
fails. Any Alfa Romeo owners in here? Ah beautifulm it’s a beautiful car. It’s
magical. It’s just one little problem: it doesn’t work. I can give you another
example. Volvo had a strong delight what was it? Safety. What is it today? Chinese-Scandinavian design. Yeah. So
here’s the challenge. During the period of time the Volvo engineers, the Swedish
engineers, the brilliant people they added enough safety features and
customer satisfaction increased. But what do you think happens when all cars are
as safe? It becomes a functionality. And the
Swedish engineers couldn’t figure it out. They had to sell the company to the
Chinese. The Chinese came back and said ‘No it’s Scandinavian design which is our
delight and they just carried on.’ And the company is doing okay today. We don’t like
to talk about that in Sweden, it is like our Nokia moment,
you know? But here’s the thing as you heard I work for the Boston Consulting
Group so I have I spend a lot of time in front of the biggest boards in the world.
And I’m so surprised that most of their time they spend on defining efficiency
or functionality. Why is that? When I go to startup events it’s all about
innovating tomorrow’s delight. Why is it so difficult for the most successful
boards to rethink their business? Because defining your delight is difficult. I can
give you an example. Harley Davidson enormous problems during the 80s. You
know, they got a lot of company competition from the Japanese. Cheaper,
better, faster. But Harley Davidson went into chapter 11. So the management needed
to find out, okay what do we do? Then went away spent a weekend trying: okay, we
need to nail it or we’re dead. And what they came up with that day, but still
stands, is what we sell is the ability for a 43 year old accountant to dress in
black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him. And
this is our innovation intent, It’s nothing about running a motorcycle from
A to B, it’s about being an outlaw 30 minutes a weekend. It’s very simple to
figure it out, but in the end it’s all about that friction free storytelling.
What’s your company about? So when I’m in the front of the boards I only ask one
question. Very simple. Stresses a lot of my
colleagues out, but it’s very simple. What are you selling? How often do you think I
get a straight answer? It’s like ‘Oh well Jonas, you know it’s very complicated.
We have 30,000 300,000 people in the company. You know? We have a lot of
things going on. It’s like yeah, but if your 30 people around this table don’t
know what you’re selling how should the rest three hundred thousand know what
they should be doing? I had the opportunity to have Stefan
Persson, on one of the founders in from H&M in my board. And he talked very
passionately. Take him 10 years to figure out his delight. Of confusion trying to
understand until he one day wakes up and says ‘Okay,
from today on we’re going to be a fashion company with a zero less on the
price tag. If Prada can be on Fifth Avenue so can we. If Gucci does
have supermodels so do we. If Yves Saint Laurent will take $300 for a
pair of jeans we’ll take 30. But from today on we’re going to be a fashion
company, we’re going to act like one, we’re gonna have a cereal less on the
price tag. Everyone in the organization could understand it, the consumers
understood it and it has been a success journey from being a little shitty
company in Sweden to now being a global giant. And this is their stock price. Then
comes another company founded a couple of years later that actually has
overtaken H&M. Which one? Zara. Inditex. They don’t
even see themselves as a fashion company. They see themselves as a logistic
company. They’re first with the latest. When H&M work really hard and trying to
make the supply chain cheaper. They said no let’s increase the cost for
supply chains, so we can be more rapid of having things that we see on a catwalk,
we can have in stores in three weeks. Then I invested four hundred million
Euros into Zalando that has overtaken now. Zalando is 50% of H&M’s
stock price. and their delight is we dress code. And when I was in the board
of Zalando, you know in the beginning everything we did was unproportional e
ugly and I was like you know, hey, let’s see if we’re a fashion company. Can’t we
make a little bit more beautiful homepage? And then the head of fashion,
who was from BCG just looked at me and said
‘The owners never ever underestimate the bad taste of Germans.’ Because for her
everything was just an excel sheet. What kind of products were you looking to buy?
It was all about propensity models, trend models, all about trying to understand.
What are you going to buy based on your behavior? It’s a tech play. And then you
can say OK it’s an interesting exampl,e but if you put this example, if you look
at H&M, when Zalando has increased their stock
pric, H&M, its stock price has dropped with 50% the last two years. And
they must think ‘Ah they must be doing really, really bad. But the interesting
thing their profits and earnings are still climbing the same. But the market
doesn’t believe that they can enable change. So it’s not only about profit,
it’s not only about profitability, it’s about the vision of actually rethinking
things. It’s basically what is your future
delight? Okay, we talked about frequency we talked about delight. Unfortunately,
in this world you need a business model. I’ve tried a lot of companies that
doesn’t have a business model, but over time you need one. You can put it in a
more elegant wrapping, you can talk about growth, product market fit, business model
innovation. But as you know I was just, you know ,person non grata,
after this epic failure. I called some old friends that I worked with earlier. And
Nicklaus and Jonas had just started playing around with the technology and I
came on board. And then the first thing is like okay, how do we price this
service? It’s a telecom service, we did it before, you know? And then I said, okay let’s
just look at the prices of other international calls. Okay this is
how prices have gone from British Telecom. Constantly down. So if we should
going to be rational we need to price this as zero. And everyone is sitting the teams like who brought this idiot along? Stupid. How are we gonna make money on this? I
don’t know, I don’t have a clue! We’ll just have to figure it out later, you
know? And Nicholas is yeah let’s see I’ll give this, give this guy a chance, you
know? Tecruitment is hard today, you know? It’s difficult, you know we had to do
with the leftovers and we got one, you know. So, but I think he’s on to something.
If this is true we need to price it at zero, if we were able to do that we maybe
need to rethink everything. So we started the innovation in zero games. If we will
be able to present this cost for zero we needed to rethink things.
So we said, okay let’s start doing that. So we started comparing. Okay, we need to
do things different. This is a Telco, this was Skype. A Telco invests in a lot of
infrastructure. We didn’t have that money. So we said. okay let’s use the internet
that you were already paying for. We found our first zero. Second thing: the
Telco buys Ericsson switches or Nokia switches. We said okay. the interesting
thing here is that the CPU power is actually the same in a Ericsson switch
as a personal computer. We said ok let’s use that processing power to call the
calls in your computer. We found another zero. To be able to drive good voice
quality around the world we need a lot of servers everywhere, Cisco servers. By
the way how many here actually use Skype? Cool. How many used Skype before Microsoft
destroyed the product? That’s a lot of people people. That’s cool.
Do you remember when you had great internet, you had a good computer, you
left your computer on for three hours. went had a coffee, came back your
computer was your fan was on max and your computer was super hot. Remember it?
Yes, hmm? What had happened then is that your computer had become a supernode
and all traffic was routed through your computer. Because we came to the
conclusion there was a lot of CPU power not being used connected to good
internet, so we said sharing is caring and we used your computer. You know
there’s a lot of you know government building big banks, that are not
utilizing their computers. Now the IT department complained a bit, but no one
really understood why, because the product was great. So found another zero.
Then, you have customer service. And I knew customer service could be very
expensive. My problem was though, I was often more pissed after I talked to
Vodaphone’s customer service than before. And we had all the same
experience. Ee were happy, we called, we were sad. So the only logical thing there
to do, is that there is a negative Delta by having a customer service. So we said
let’s make it impossible to call Skype. Let’s just take away our phone numbers.
you know let’s place the company in Luxembourg, let’s make it impossible to
call us. Ee didn’t know buy them but there’s a positive side effect to this
as well, is that you know the regulatory guys don’t know where to call, you know
the tax authorities don’t know who to call. So you know, but that wasn’t part of
the plan it just happened out to be positive side effect. Then you have
advertising, you know the big Vodafone, British Telecom, they love doing TV
advertisement. We didn’t have that kind of money. So we said OK, how do we figure
this one out? Because let’s remember if there’s only a few people having Skype
it’s quite a useless service. It’s like an inverted Network effect. Everyone
talks about the network effect, but try it without it. This doesn’t really work
out very well. How do we get past this? We said okay, what happens if we make a
little pop-up button, that comes up after placing a good call. And it said
would you like to recommend Skype? And if you clicked on that button, since it was
a downloadable client, we went in and we opened your inbox and we sent a mail to
all of your contacts. And the beauty is you sent the mail. So the opening frequency
was really well received. We sent quite a lot of mails. We found
another zero. And then maybe you’re all thinking. Okay, but this is madness. You
can’t do this. But if you go back to Tom Kolsenik’s research at Harvard.
Innovating in zeros is one of the main objectives for all the successful
companies. It’s about innovating in zeros on the cost side. Think about it. Which
companies have done this really successfu?l Airbnb. Very good example, has
no cost, for hotel rooms now larger than Hilton. Anymore companies that have done
this? Uber, same thing. No drivers, no cars, valued at 65 billion
USD. You think they must have a lot of cars on their balance sheets. t’s a
goddamn app. Ahat about Facebook? No cost for journalism, you are there journalist.
Facebook, Google. Google every night goes out and cruise all the web, takes all the
content they can find, download it onto their servers and then they sell
advertising on someone else’s content. How did they get away with it? Apple,
because if you have a strong delight you can also increase your price by zero. So
I think they did that, but what about their app store? They have no cost of
development for apps and they’ll take 30% of the profit. All of these companies
have innovated in zeros. And rethought the game and been super
successful. So it’s one of the most important things. So as you hear, my life
is innovate, don’t imitate. This is really difficult. Because I think you
need to decide in your company how you recruit. Is do you recruit game changers?
That think differently, that are willing to go to the edge of the uncertainty to
redefine the company? Or are you just recruiting outperformers? There’s
nothing wrong with having outperformers. But they will play a totally different
game. Are you recruiting outperformers or do you need to change and recruit
game changers? I don’t know it’s up to you. But I would think the biggest
challenge here, when I talk to all the outperformance, all the great guys in
suits. They have it all figure out. When I spend time with my friends and the ones
were building companies, the game changers.
You know, things that’s fear, I don’t know what I’m doing, you know, will this ever
work out, you know? We’re pissing away someone else’s money! I’m afraid. ll of
these are feelings that come up, but I don’t know, maybe that’s just my game
changers. Because they out the all the outperformers. They have it all figured out. Because in the end you need to decide: are you going to drive linear change? The
outperformers? They do it all well? Because here’s my problem.
I believe in exponential growth. I believe in rethinking things in totally
new way. So everybody wants to hire me. The problem is, after six months
everybody wants to fire me. Because this is not working out, more expensive, didn’t
really work. But have you set off for exponential growth? I think you need to
be super honest. And what you’re selling and how you’re driving change in your
companies. And what you want to accomplish? Because in the end you can
feel it in your stomach. And then you say okay great Jonas. You come here, you do a
lot of mumbo-jumbo you’ve never really been in a real
company, you don’t understand things. I can agree with that, you know. But I think
Simon Sinek says it really well. You only have to ask for three questions. What are you selling? Very simple. To who?
And how? And in the end why are you doing it? And making money is not always the
right answer. I can ask my 12 year olds on this. Philip
what are you selling: I’m selling cookies. Okay. Fair enough.
To who and how? I’m selling it to the people that enter the local community
train every morning. Okay, fine. Seems to be a good plan. Why Philip? Why
are you doing this? Why are your cookies going to be better than Unilever’s and
all the other cookies in the world? And then he just looks at me and says, no we
have to because we’re going on a class journey. Normal parents wouldn’t give him
enough by then and said okay, that’s fine. But his father can’t, so he goes you know
Philip, how have you innovated in zeros in this
business model? We talked about the importance about this. You can’t start a
business without innovating in zeros. nd then it just looks at me and said if
mother buys the cookies I make so much more. Correct Philip now you first you
found your first zero. Rhank you very much! That was all for me.

Are we in control of our decisions? | Dan Ariely


I’ll tell you a little bit
about irrational behavior. Not yours, of course — other people’s. (Laughter) So after being at MIT for a few years, I realized that writing academic papers
is not that exciting. You know, I don’t know
how many of those you read, but it’s not fun to read
and often not fun to write — even worse to write. So I decided to try and write
something more fun. And I came up with an idea
that I would write a cookbook. And the title for my cookbook
was going to be, “Dining Without Crumbs:
The Art of Eating Over the Sink.” (Laughter) And it was going to be a look
at life through the kitchen. I was quite excited about this. I was going to talk
a little bit about research, a little bit about the kitchen. We do so much in the kitchen,
I thought this would be interesting. I wrote a couple of chapters,
and took it to MIT Press and they said, “Cute, but not for us.
Go and find somebody else.” I tried other people,
and everybody said the same thing, “Cute. Not for us.” Until somebody said, “Look, if you’re serious about this, you have to write about your research
first; you have to publish something, then you’ll get the opportunity
to write something else. If you really want to do it,
you have to do it.” I said, “I don’t want to write
about my research. I do it all day long, I want to write something
a bit more free, less constrained.” And this person
was very forceful and said, “Look, that’s the only way
you’ll ever do it.” So I said, “Okay, if I have to do it –” I had a sabbatical. I said, “I’ll write about my research,
if there’s no other way. And then I’ll get to do my cookbook.” So, I wrote a book on my research. And it turned out to be
quite fun in two ways. First of all, I enjoyed writing. But the more interesting thing
was that I started learning from people. It’s a fantastic time to write, because there’s so much feedback
you can get from people. People write to me
about their personal experience, and about their examples,
and where they disagree, and their nuances. And even being here —
I mean, the last few days, I’ve known heights of obsessive behavior I never thought about. (Laughter) Which I think is just fascinating. I will tell you a little bit
about irrational behavior, and I want to start by giving you
some examples of visual illusion as a metaphor for rationality. So think about these two tables. And you must have seen this illusion. If I asked you what’s longer, the vertical
line on the table on the left, or the horizontal line
on the table on the right, which one seems longer? Can anybody see anything
but the left one being longer? No, right? It’s impossible. But the nice thing about visual illusion
is we can easily demonstrate mistakes. So I can put some lines
on; it doesn’t help. I can animate the lines. And to the extent you believe
I didn’t shrink the lines, which I didn’t, I’ve proven to you
that your eyes were deceiving you. Now, the interesting thing about this
is when I take the lines away, it’s as if you haven’t learned
anything in the last minute. (Laughter) You can’t look at this and say,
“Now I see reality as it is.” Right? It’s impossible to overcome
this sense that this is indeed longer. Our intuition is really fooling us in a repeatable,
predictable, consistent way. and there is almost nothing
we can do about it, aside from taking a ruler
and starting to measure it. Here’s another one.
It’s one of my favorite illusions. What color is the top arrow pointing to? Audience: Brown.
Dan Ariely: Brown. Thank you. The bottom one? Yellow. Turns out they’re identical. Can anybody see them as identical? Very, very hard. I can cover the rest of the cube up. If I cover the rest of the cube,
you can see that they are identical. If you don’t believe me,
you can get the slide later and do some arts and crafts
and see that they’re identical. But again, it’s the same story,
that if we take the background away, the illusion comes back. There is no way for us not
to see this illusion. I guess maybe if you’re colorblind,
I don’t think you can see that. I want you to think
about illusion as a metaphor. Vision is one of the best things we do. We have a huge part of our brain
dedicated to vision — bigger than dedicated to anything else. We use our vision more hours
of the day than anything else. We’re evolutionarily
designed to use vision. And if we have these predictable
repeatable mistakes in vision, which we’re so good at, what are the chances we won’t make
even more mistakes in something we’re not as good at,
for example, financial decision-making. (Laughter) Something we don’t have
an evolutionary reason to do, we don’t have a specialized
part of the brain for, and we don’t do that many
hours of the day. The argument is in those cases, it might be that we actually
make many more mistakes. And worse — not having
an easy way to see them, because in visual illusions, we can
easily demonstrate the mistakes; in cognitive illusion
it’s much, much harder to demonstrate the mistakes to people. So I want to show you
some cognitive illusions, or decision-making illusions,
in the same way. And this is one of my favorite
plots in social sciences. It’s from a paper
by Johnson and Goldstein. It basically shows the percentage
of people who indicated they would be interested
in donating their organs. These are different countries in Europe. You basically see two types of countries: countries on the right,
that seem to be giving a lot; and countries on the left
that seem to giving very little, or much less. The question is, why? Why do some countries give a lot
and some countries give a little? When you ask people this question, they usually think that it has
to be about culture. How much do you care about people? Giving organs to somebody else is probably about how much you care
about society, how linked you are. Or maybe it’s about religion. But if you look at this plot, you can see that countries
that we think about as very similar, actually exhibit very different behavior. For example, Sweden
is all the way on the right, and Denmark, which we think
is culturally very similar, is all the way on the left. Germany is on the left,
and Austria is on the right. The Netherlands is on the left,
and Belgium is on the right. And finally, depending
on your particular version of European similarity, you can think about the U.K. and France
as either similar culturally or not, but it turns out that with organ
donation, they are very different. By the way, the Netherlands
is an interesting story. You see, the Netherlands is kind
of the biggest of the small group. It turns out that they got to 28 percent after mailing every household
in the country a letter, begging people to join
this organ donation program. You know the expression,
“Begging only gets you so far.” It’s 28 percent in organ donation. (Laughter) But whatever the countries
on the right are doing, they’re doing a much
better job than begging. So what are they doing? Turns out the secret has to do
with a form at the DMV. And here is the story. The countries on the left
have a form at the DMV that looks something like this. “Check the box below if you want to
participate in the organ donor program.” And what happens? People don’t check, and they don’t join. The countries on the right,
the ones that give a lot, have a slightly different form. It says, “Check the box below
if you don’t want to participate …” Interestingly enough,
when people get this, they again don’t check, but now they join. (Laughter) Now, think about what this means. You know, we wake up in the morning
and we feel we make decisions. We wake up in the morning
and we open the closet; we feel that we decide what to wear. we open the refrigerator and we feel
that we decide what to eat. What this is actually saying, is that many of these decisions
are not residing within us. They are residing in the person
who is designing that form. When you walk into the DMV, the person who designed the form
will have a huge influence on what you’ll end up doing. Now, it’s also very hard
to intuit these results. Think about it for yourself. How many of you believe that if you went to renew
your license tomorrow, and you went to the DMV, and you encountered one of these forms, that it would actually
change your own behavior? Very hard to think
that it would influence us. We can say, “Oh, these funny Europeans,
of course it would influence them.” But when it comes to us, we have such a feeling
that we’re in the driver’s seat, such a feeling that we’re in control
and we are making the decision, that it’s very hard
to even accept the idea that we actually have an illusion
of making a decision, rather than an actual decision. Now, you might say, “These are decisions we don’t care about.” In fact, by definition,
these are decisions about something that will happen
to us after we die. How could we care about something less than about something
that happens after we die? So a standard economist,
somebody who believes in rationality, would say, “You know what? The cost of lifting the pencil
and marking a “V” is higher than the possible benefit of the decision, so that’s why we get this effect.” (Laughter) But, in fact, it’s not because it’s easy. It’s not because it’s trivial.
It’s not because we don’t care. It’s the opposite. It’s because we care. It’s difficult and it’s complex. And it’s so complex
that we don’t know what to do. And because we have no idea what to do, we just pick whatever it was
that was chosen for us. I’ll give you one more example. This is from a paper
by Redelmeier and Shafir. And they said, “Would this
effect also happens to experts? People who are well-paid,
experts in their decisions, and who make a lot of them?” And they took a group of physicians. They presented to them
a case study of a patient. They said, “Here is a patient.
He is a 67-year-old farmer. He’s been suffering from
right hip pain for a while.” And then, they said to the physicians, “You decided a few weeks ago that nothing is working for this patient. All these medications,
nothing seems to be working. So you refer the patient
for hip replacement therapy. Hip replacement. Okay?” So the patient is on a path
to have his hip replaced. Then they said to half of the physicians, “Yesterday, you reviewed
the patient’s case, and you realized that you forgot
to try one medication. You did not try ibuprofen. What do you do? Do you pull
the patient back and try ibuprofen? Or do you let him go
and have hip replacement?” Well, the good news is
that most physicians in this case decided to pull the patient
and try ibuprofen. Very good for the physicians. To the other group
of physicians, they said, “Yesterday when you reviewed the case,
you discovered there were two medications you didn’t try out yet —
ibuprofen and piroxicam.” You have two medications
you didn’t try out yet. What do you do? You let him go,
or you pull him back? And if you pull him back, do you try
ibuprofen or piroxicam? Which one?” Now, think of it: This decision makes it as easy to let
the patient continue with hip replacement, but pulling him back, all of the sudden
it becomes more complex. There is one more decision. What happens now? The majority of the physicians
now choose to let the patient go for a hip replacement. I hope this worries you, by the way — (Laughter) when you go to see your physician. The thing is that
no physician would ever say, “Piroxicam, ibuprofen, hip replacement.
Let’s go for hip replacement.” But the moment you set this
as the default, it has a huge power over whatever
people end up doing. I’ll give you a couple of more examples
on irrational decision-making. Imagine I give you a choice: Do you want to go for a weekend to Rome,
all expenses paid — hotel, transportation, food,
a continental breakfast, everything — or a weekend in Paris? Now, weekend in Paris, weekend
in Rome — these are different things. They have different food,
different culture, different art. Imagine I added a choice to the set
that nobody wanted. Imagine I said, “A weekend in Rome, a weekend in Paris, or having your car stolen?” (Laughter) It’s a funny idea, because why
would having your car stolen, in this set, influence anything? (Laughter) But what if the option to have your car
stolen was not exactly like this? What if it was a trip to Rome,
all expenses paid, transportation, breakfast, but it doesn’t include
coffee in the morning? If you want coffee, you have to pay
for it yourself, it’s two euros 50. (Laughter) Now in some ways, given that you can have Rome with coffee, why would you possibly
want Rome without coffee? It’s like having your car stolen.
It’s an inferior option. But guess what happened? The moment you add Rome without coffee, Rome with coffee becomes more popular,
and people choose it. The fact that you have Rome without coffee makes Rome with coffee look superior, and not just to Rome without coffee —
even superior to Paris. (Laughter) Here are two examples of this principle. This was an ad in The Economist
a few years ago that gave us three choices: an online subscription for 59 dollars, a print subscription for 125 dollars, or you could get both for 125. (Laughter) Now I looked at this,
and I called up The Economist, and I tried to figure out
what they were thinking. And they passed me from one person
to another to another, until eventually I got to the person
who was in charge of the website, and I called them up, and they went
to check what was going on. The next thing I know,
the ad is gone, no explanation. So I decided to do the experiment that I would have loved
The Economist to do with me. I took this and I gave it
to 100 MIT students. I said, “What would you choose?” These are the market shares —
most people wanted the combo deal. Thankfully, nobody wanted
the dominant option. That means our students can read. (Laughter) But now, if you have an option
that nobody wants, you can take it off, right? So I printed another version of this, where I eliminated the middle option. I gave it to another 100 students.
Here is what happened: Now the most popular option
became the least popular, and the least popular
became the most popular. What was happening
was the option that was useless, in the middle, was useless
in the sense that nobody wanted it. But it wasn’t useless in the sense
that it helped people figure out what they wanted. In fact, relative
to the option in the middle, which was get only the print for 125, the print and web for 125
looked like a fantastic deal. And as a consequence, people chose it. The general idea here, by the way, is that we actually don’t know
our preferences that well. And because we don’t know
our preferences that well, we’re susceptible to all of these
influences from the external forces: the defaults, the particular options
that are presented to us, and so on. One more example of this. People believe that when we deal
with physical attraction, we see somebody, and we know immediately
whether we like them or not, if we’re attracted or not. This is why we have
these four-minute dates. So I decided to do
this experiment with people. I’ll show you images here, no real people,
but the experiment was with people. I showed some people a picture
of Tom, and a picture of Jerry. and I said, “Who do you want to date? Tom or Jerry?” But for half the people,
I added an ugly version of Jerry. I took Photoshop and I made
Jerry slightly less attractive. (Laughter) For the other people, I added
an ugly version of Tom. And the question was,
will ugly Jerry and ugly Tom help their respective,
more attractive brothers? The answer was absolutely yes. When ugly Jerry was around,
Jerry was popular. When ugly Tom was around, Tom was popular. (Laughter) This of course has two
very clear implications for life in general. If you ever go bar-hopping,
who do you want to take with you? (Laughter) You want a slightly uglier
version of yourself. (Laughter) Similar, but slightly uglier. (Laughter) The second point, or course, is that
if somebody invites you to bar hop, you know what they think about you. (Laughter) Now you get it. What is the general point? The general point is that, when we think about economics, we have
this beautiful view of human nature. “What a piece of work is a man!
How noble in reason!” We have this view of ourselves, of others. The behavioral economics perspective
is slightly less “generous” to people; in fact, in medical terms, that’s our view. (Laughter) But there is a silver lining. The silver lining is, I think, kind of the reason that behavioral
economics is interesting and exciting. Are we Superman, or are we Homer Simpson? When it comes to building
the physical world, we kind of understand our limitations. We build steps. And we build these things
that not everybody can use, obviously. (Laughter) We understand our limitations, and we build around them. But for some reason, when it comes
to the mental world, when we design things like healthcare
and retirement and stock markets, we somehow forget the idea
that we are limited. I think that if we understood
our cognitive limitations in the same way we understand
our physical limitations, even though they don’t stare us
in the face the same way, we could design a better world,
and that, I think, is the hope of this thing. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Thomas Heatherwick: Building the Seed Cathedral



المترجم: Faisal Jeber
المدقّق: Lubna Elsanousi مرحبا، اسمي توماس هيذرويك. لدي استوديو في لندن بنهج معين لتصميم المباني. عندما شببت عن الطوق ، تعرفت على صناعة الأشياء المواد والحرف اليدوية والاختراع على نطاق صغير. وكنت هنالك أشاهد على نطاق المباني الأوسع و وجدت ان المباني التي كانت حولي و التي كان يجري تصميمها والتي كانت موجودة في المنشورات التي كنت أتصفحها جعلتني اشعر انها بلا روح و باردة. وهناك على النطاق الأصغر ، بحجم قرط أو وعاء من السيراميك أو آلات موسيقية ، كانت جوهرية ومترعة بالعاطفة. وأثر هذا بي. وكان المبنى الأول الذي بنيته قبل 20 عاما. ومنذ ذلك الحين ، في السنوات الـ 20 الماضية ، طورت استوديو في لندن. عذرا، هذه والدتي، بالمناسبة، في متجرها للخرز في لندن. قضيت الكثير من الوقت في عد الخرز واشياء من هذا القبيل. انا فقط سأظهر، للأشخاص الذين لا يعرفون عمل الاستوديو الخاص بي ، عدد قليل من المشاريع التي عملنا عليها. هذا هو عبارة عن مبنى مستشفى. هذا هو متجر لشركة حقائب. هذه استوديوهات للفنانين. هذا النحت مصنوع من مليون متر من الأسلاك 150,000 خرزة زجاجية بحجم كرة الغولف. وهذه نافذة عرض. وهذا هو زوج من أبراج التبريد لمحطات الكهرباء بجانب كاتدرائية سانت بول في لندن. وهذا المعبد في اليابان لراهب بوذي. وهذا هو مقهى على شاطئ البحر في بريطانيا. و بسرعة كبيرة ، شيء ما كنا نعمل عليه قريبا جدا وكان بتكليف من رئيس بلدية لندن لتصميم حافلة جديدة تعطي الراكب حريته مرة أخرى. لأن الحافلة الأصلية روتماستر التي قد تكون مألوفة لبعض منكم، كان لها منصة مفتوحة في الخلف — في الواقع، أعتقد أن جميع حافلاتنا الروتماستر هنا في ولاية كاليفورنيا الآن-في الحقيقة. لكنها ليست في لندن. إذن أنت عالق في حافلة. وإذا كانت الحافلة ستتوقف وهي على بعد ثلاث امتار عن محطة الحافلات، فأنت مجرد سجين. لكن رئيس بلدية لندن اراد إعادة تقديم الحافلات مع هذه المنصة المفتوحة. هكذا كنا نعمل مع النقل في لندن، وهذه المنظمة لم تكن في الواقع مسؤولة كعميل لحافلة جديدة لمدة 50 عاما. وهكذا كنا محظوظين جدا الحصول على فرصة للعمل. إيجازاً الحافلة ينبغي ان تستخدم طاقة 40 في المئة أقل . لذا حصلت على محرك هجين. ولقد عملنا في محاولة لتحسين كل شيء من النسيج إلى التصميم والهيكل و الجمالية. كنت ذاهبا لعرض أربعة مشاريع رئيسية. وهذا هو مشروع لجسر. وهكذا كلفنا بتصميم الجسر الذي من شأنه أن يفتح. و بدت طرق الفتح– الجميع يحب الجسور التي تفتح، ولكن هذا شيء أساسي جدا. وأعتقد أننا جميعا نتوقف لنراقب. لكن الجسور التي رأيناها تفتح وتغلق — أنا شديد الحساسية قليلا — لكنني رأيت مرة صورة لاعب كرة قدم يقفز منزلقا لالتقاط كرة. وبينما كان محلقا شخص ما لكزه في ركبته، وكسرت هكذا. و بعد ذلك نظرنا في هذه الأنواع من الجسور ولم تمنعنا من الشعور انه شيء جميل ينكسر. وهكذا هو في بادينغتون في لندن. وانه جسر ممل جدا، كما ترون. انها مجرد فولاذ و خشب. ولكن بدلا من ما هو عليه ، كان تركيزنا على الطريقة التي يعمل بها. (تصفيق) ولذا فإننا أعجبنا بفكرة أن طرفي الجسر البعيدين سينتهي بهم المطاف بتقبيل بعضهم بعضا. (تصفيق) ونحن في الواقع خفضنا سرعته بمقدار النصف، لأن الجميع كان خائفا جدا عندما فعلنا لأول مرة. و هذا هو معجلا. والمشروع الذي كنا نعمل عليه قريبا جدا هو تصميم محطة طاقة الكتلة الحيوية الجديدة — محطة لتوليد الكهرباء تستخدم المواد العضوية من النفايات. في الأخبار، موضوع من اين مياهنا سوف تأتي في المستقبل و من اين طاقتنا سوف تأتي في جميع الجرائد في كل وقت. وكنا فخورين جدا بالطريقة التي ولدت بها الطاقة. لكن في الآونة الأخيرة، أي تقرير سنوي لشركة كهرباء لا يوجد محطة للطاقة فيه. هناك طفل يجري في حقل، أو شيء من هذا القبيل. (ضحك) لذا عندما اقترحت مجموعة من المهندسين لنا وطلبوا منا العمل معهم في هذه المحطة، كان شرطنا للعمل معهم وأنه مهما فعلنا، لن نقوم بمجرد تزيين محطة كهرباء عادية. وبدلا من ذلك ، كان علينا أن نتعلم — نوعا ما أجبرناهم على تعليمنا. وقضى الوقت في السفر معهم وتعلم كل شيء عن العناصر المختلفة، و العثور على الكثير من أوجه القصور لم يتم الاستفادة منها. ان مجرد أخذ حقل وازالة كل هذه الاشياء ليست بالضرورة الطريقة الأكثر فعالية ليتمكنوا من العمل. لذا نظرنا في كيف يمكن ان نألف كل تلك العناصر — بدلا من توليد القمامة فقط، إنشاء تكوين واحد. وماذا وجدنا — هذه المنطقة هي واحدة من أفقر المناطق في بريطانيا. و حصلت في التصويت على نتيجة أسوأ مكان للعيش في بريطانيا. وهناك 2000 وحدة سكنية جديدة يجري بناؤها بجانب محطة توليد الكهرباء هذه. لذا شعرت أن لديها هذا البعد الاجتماعي. لها أهمية رمزية. وينبغي أن نكون فخورين بالمكان الذي تأتي منه طاقتنا، بدلا من شيء نشعر بحاجة للخجل. هكذا كنا ننظر كيف يمكننا جعل محطة للطاقة، انه بدلا من ابعاد الناس بسياج كبير يعزل الخارج، يمكن أن تكون المكان الذي يدفعك للدخول. ويجب أن تكون — أنا أحاول ان اجعلها — بأرتفاع 200 قدم. لذا شعرت أن ما يمكن أن تحاول أن تفعل هو جعل الطاقة متنزه ويؤدي في واقع الى جذب المنطقة كلها، واستخدام التربة التي على الموقع ، لجعل محطة لتوليد الكهرباء صامتة أيضا. لأن تلك التربة فقط هي التي يمكن أن تصنع فرق في الصوت. ووجدنا أيضا أننا يمكن أن نعمل هيكل أكثر كفاءة ويكون فعال من حيث تكلفة صنع هيكل للقيام بذلك. المشروع النهائي من المفترض ان يكون ليس أكثر من مجرد محطة طاقة. لها مساحة يمكن أن تمارس فيه الطقوس الدينية لأطفالكم " بار ميترفاه-طقس ديني يهودي" في القمة. (ضحك) وانها حديقة الطاقة. حتى يتمكن الناس من القدوم وتجربة هذا حقا ونتطلع أيضا إلى جميع أنحاء المنطقة ، لاستخدام هذا الارتفاع لوظيفته التي بني من اجلها. في شنغهاي ، وجهت لنا دعوة لبناء — لم نتلق دعوة؛ ما الذي أتكلم عنه. فزنا في المسابقة، وكان مؤلما الوصول إلى هناك. (ضحك) فزنا في مسابقة لبناء جناح المملكة المتحدة. والمعرض هو جنون مطلق. هناك 250 جناحا. انها المعرض الأكبر في العالم من أي وقت مضى. حيث يكون هناك ما يصل الى مليون شخص كل يوم. وتتنافس جميع البلدان الـ 250. الحكومة البريطانية قالت : "عليك أن تكون في المراكز الخمسة الاولى." وبحيث أصبح هدفا حكوميا — هو، كيف تبرز في هذه الفوضى، وهو معرض لتحفيز الحواس ؟ لذا كان إحساسنا هو علينا أن نفعل شيئا واحدا، وشيء واحد فقط، بدلا من السعي لامتلاك كل شيء. وذلك ما لمسناه أيضا وكان هذا كل ما فعلناه أننا لا نستطيع تقديم إعلان ساذج لبريطانيا. (ضحك) ولكن الشيء الذي كان صحيحا ، وكان المعرض حول مستقبل المدن، وخصوصا النمط الفيكتوري رائدة دمج الطبيعة في المدن. و أول حديقة عامة في العالم في العصر الحديث كانت في بريطانيا. و المؤسسة النباتية الأولى في العالم في لندن. ولديهم هذا المشروع الاستثنائي حيث لقد تم جمع 25 في المئة من جميع الأنواع النباتية في العالم. لذلك نحن أدركنا فجأة أن هناك هذا الشيء. ويتفق الجميع على أن الأشجار هي جميلة. ولم اجتمع ابدا باي شخص يقول : "أنا لا أحب الأشجار". ونفس الشيء مع الزهور. ولم اجتمع ابدا باي شخص يقول : "أنا لا أحب الزهور". لكن أدركنا أن البذور — كان هناك هذا المشروع الخطير جدا يحدث — إلا أن البذور — في هذه الحدائق النباتية الرئيسية البذور ليست في المعرض. ولكن عليك أن تذهب إلى حديقة المركز، لتجدهم في حزم ورقية صغيرة. لكن فيما كان هذا المشروع الهائل يحدث. أدركنا ان علينا صنع مشروع من البذور ، ونوع من كاتدرائية البذور. ولكن كيف يمكن أن نعرض هذه الأشياء، الضئيلة و الصغيرة؟ فيلم "الحديقة الجوراسية" ساعدنا فعلا. لأن الحمض النووي للديناصور الذي حصر في العنبر أعطانا نوعا من فكرة أن هذه الأشياء الصغيرة يمكن ان تكون محصورة وبنفس الوقت تبدو ثمينة، بدلا من أن تبدو مثل المكسرات. لذلك كان التحدي، كيف يمكننا تسليط الضوء و عرض هذه الأشياء؟ ونحن لم نكن نريد أن نجعل مبنى منفصل ومحتوى منفصل. لذا كنا نحاول التفكير ، كيف يمكن أن نجعل كل شيء ينبع. بالمناسبة، كان لدينا نصف ميزانية الأمم الغربية الأخرى. بحيث كان أيضا في مزيج مع موقع حجم ملعب لكرة القدم. وهكذا كان هناك لعبة واحدة خاصة اوحت لنا بفكرة. (فيديو) صوت : كوافير شعر رأس الممسحة بطين اللعب الجديد. أغنية : ♫ لدينا شعر رأس الممسحة ، طين لعب شعر رأس الممسحة ♫ ♫ أدر الكرسي فقط لينمو شعر ♫ طين اللعب ♫ انهم الرؤوس ذوي شعر الممسحة ♫ توماس هيذرويك : حسنا، حصلتم على الفكرة. الفكرة هي كان من المقرر أن هذه البذور الـ 66000 التي وافقوا على أن يقدموها لنا، لأخذ كل بذرة و وضعها في هذا الشعر البصري الثمين وتنمو من خلال هذا المربع، عنصر مربع بسيط جدا ، وجعله بناء يمكن أن يتحرك في مهب الريح. بحيث يمكن نقل كل شيء بلطف عندما تهب الرياح. وفي الداخل ، ضوء النهار — كل واحده من هذه الالياف البصرية تعيد النور إلى المركز. وليلا، ضوء اصطناعي في كل واحده ينبع ويخرج إلى الخارج. ولجعل المشروع بأسعار معقولة ، ركزنا طاقتنا. بدلا من بناء مبنى كبير مثل ملعب لكرة القدم، ركزنا على هذا العنصر واحد. وافقت الحكومة على ذلك وليس أي شيء آخر ، وركزنا طاقتنا على ذلك. وهكذا بقية موقع مساحة عامة. مع وجود مليون شخص هناك يوميا، شعرت تماما مثل تقديم مكان عام. عملنا مع الشركة المصنعة للاعشاب أسترو لتطوير نسخة مصغرة من كاتدرائية البذور، بحيث انه ، حتى لو كنت تنظر جزئيا، ستجد نوعا مقدد وناعم، من المناظر الطبيعية التي تراها هناك. ومن ثم، كما تعلمون عندما حيوان أليف يخضع لعملية ويحلقون قليلا من الجلد للتخلص من الفراء — لكي تتمكن من الدخول إلى كاتدرائية البذور، في الواقع، لقد حلقنناها. وليس هناك شيء في الداخل؛ ليس هناك صوت ممثل شهير؛ ليس هناك اسقاطات ؛ لم يكن هناك تلفزيونات، ليس هناك تغيير لون؛ هناك صمت فقط ودرجة حرارة معتدلة. وإذا مرت سحابة، يمكنك ان ترى سحابة على النهايات من خلال السماح للضوء. هذا هو المشروع الوحيد الذي قمنا به بحيث ان الشيء المنجز بدا وكأنه عرضا صوريا أكثر من عروضنا الصورية الحقيقية. (ضحك) وكان الشيء الرئيسي هو كيف يمكن للناس أن تتفاعل. أعني، بطريقة ما أن هذا هو الشيء الأكثر خطورة يمكنك أن تفعل في معرض. وأردت فقط أن ابين لكم. ان الحكومة البريطانية — أي حكومة من المحتمل أن تكون أسوأ عميل في العالم ربما تريد أن يكون لك في أي وقت. وكان هناك الكثير من الرعب. لكن كان هناك دعم كامن. وهكذا كان هناك لحظة عندما فجأة — في الواقع، والشيء التالي. هذا هو رئيس التجارة والاستثمار في المملكة المتحدة، الذي كان عميلنا، مع الأطفال الصينين، يستخدام المناظر الطبيعية. (فيديو) للأطفال : واحد ، إثنان، ثلاثة، الذهاب. (ضحك) ت.هـ. : أنا اعتذر عن صوتي الغبي هناك. (ضحك) وأخيرا ، الملمس شيء. في المشاريع التي عملنا عليها، هذه المباني الملساء، حيث أنها قد تكون بشكل فاخر، لكن الجوهر هو نفسه، شيء كنا تحاول البحث عنه حقا، واستكشاف البدائل. والمشروع الذي نحن نبنيه في ماليزيا هو مباني سكنية للتطوير العقاري. وانه قطعة أرض هذا هو الموقع. وعمدة كوالالمبور قال إنه إذا كان هذا المطور العقاري سيعطي شيئا يضيف شيئا ما للمدينة، سيعطونهم المزيد من إجمالي المساحة الأرضية التي يمكن البناء عليها. ذلك كان هناك حافزا للمطور ليحاول للتفكير حقا ما هو الأفضل للمدينة. والشيء التقليدي مع المباني السكنية في هذا الجزء من العالم لديك البرج الخاص بك، وتحشر عدد محدود من الاشجار حول الحافة، وتشاهد سيارات متوقفة. انها في الواقع سوى أول زوجين من الطوابق التي يمكنها مشاهدتها تماما، والباقي هو فقط للبطاقات البريدية. أدنى قيمة هو في الواقع للجزء السفلي من برج بهذا التصميم. إذا حتى نتمكن من الابتعاد عن ذلك ونعطي البناء قاعدة صغيرة، ويمكن أن نأخذ قليلا من القاعدة ونضعها في الأعلى حيث تزيد القيمة التجارية للبناء العقاري. وبربط هذه معا، ربما يكون لدينا 90 في المئة من موقع كما الغابات المطيرة، بدلا من 10 في المئة فقط من أشجار خضراء وقليل من الطرق حول المباني. (تصفيق) لذا نحن نبني هذه المباني. انهم في الواقع متطابقة، لذلك فهي فعالة تماما من حيث التكلفة. فقط قمنا بتشذيبها على ارتفاعات مختلفة. لكن الجزء الأساسي هو محاولة رد قطعة استثنائية من المناظر الطبيعية، بدلا من ابتلاعها. وهذه هي شريحتي النهائية. شكرا لكم. (تصفيق) شكرا لكم. (تصفيق) يونيو كوهين : شكرا لك لذلك. شكرا لك ، توماس. انت مبهج. حيث ان لدينا هنا دقيقة اضافية، اعتقدت ربما قد تخبرنا قليلا عن هذه البذور، التي جاءت ربما من عملية حلق المبنى. توماس هيذرويك: هذه هي القليل من التجارب عندما قمنا ببناء الهيكل. ولذلك كانت هناك 66000 من هذه. هذا البصريات وكانت بطول 22 قدم. وهكذا فإن ضوء النهار كان داخلا — ألتقط من خارج المربع وكان نازلا لإلقاء الضوء على كل البذور. منع تسرب المياه في المبنى كان نوعا من الجنون. لأنه من الصعب جدا على أي حال حماية المباني من الماء، لكن اذا قلتم انكم ستحفرون 66000 ثقب في ذلك — كان لدينا الكثير من الوقت. كان هناك شخص واحد في المقاولين الذين كان بالحجم الكافي — ولم يكن طفلا — الذي يمكن أن يكون بينها لمنع تسرب المياه النهائي للمبنى. يونيو كوهين : شكرا لك، توماس. (تصفيق)

Robbie Baxter | "The Membership Economy" | Singularity University



(music) – So Robbie, first of all,
what is The Membership Economy? We've heard about it
from American Express, they're probably the most well known for the Membership Plan. – So, it's a massive
transformational trend that I've seen with
virtually every industry, from software, to hospitality,
to financial services, and it's all about a move
from ownership to access, from anonymous transactions
to known relationships, and from one-way communication where you're just pushing
messages at your customer to an open conversation, not just between you and the consumer, but also among the customers
themselves under your umbrella. – So this sounds like this is
a fundamental strategy shift. I mean, really a very
different way of thinking about how you engage with customers at every aspect of your business. – Yeah, absolutely. It's about putting the customer at the center of everything you do instead of the product or the processes or even the technology. – Tell us about some of the core elements that are enabling this
transformation to happen around membership. – So membership is not new, right? I mean we've had membership
since the 12th century, trade guilds and religious groups. But what's happened
recently, two big things. One of them is that technology has extended the infrastructure that enables trusting relationships. So, we've always wanted to have these long-term relationships with the companies that serve us, but now it's possible to do that not just with companies
that we know personally like the shop around the corner, but actually with organizations where we've never met anybody. And these are through technologies like always-on devices, mobility, artificial intelligence that gives us a personalized experience; the
ability to connect networks. All of that is enabling
new ways of relating. The other thing is, the
influx of financial capital, that is giving entrepreneurs
a longer runway to build relationships
with their customers before they actually
have to generate revenue. – So, the fact that we
are always connected, and we have so many
different ways to connect, is enabling these organizations
to think differently about how to be a part
of those connections. – Yeah, it's like a new palette of colors that you can use when you're
painting your business model. – I love that; can you
give us some examples about some companies
that have taken advantage of this new palette? – Yeah, well there's two groups; there's what I think of
as the digital natives, the Amazons, LinkedIn, Netflix, who started their
businesses thinking about the forever transaction, thinking about this longterm, member-oriented approach. And then there are companies
that have transformed to membership models, companies
like Intuit and Adobe, who have moved from these
anonymous box transactions to a real ongoing relationship,
subscription model community with the people they serve. – So Robbie, you know that
at Singularity University we spend a lot of time
talking about impact. Does the membership economy
work in the social sector? Are there other examples that
you've seen of organizations that are not necessarily
in the corporate world, that are using this strategy? – Yeah. Well you guys talk a lot
about grand challenges, and one organization that I work with, the American Nurses Association, has a grand challenge going on right now where they're focused on helping the 3.5 million
nurses in the US get healthy. Because nurses are among, on the five major elements
of health, which is like, stress, sleep, weight, smoking,
and I think drugs, maybe. I think those are the five. They perform less well than the American population at
large, in four out of five. So they're really using,
they're using online community, they're using their subscription model, they're using their live events, all to support this initiative, this grand challenge around making nurses as healthy as possible this year. – I think that all leaders are gonna need to really take a hard look
at their business model. What suggestions would
you have for leaders that want to really understand how to get into the membership economy, and how to make sure that they really are getting their leadership team prepared for thinking very
differently about strategy? – So I think the first thing
is to get them out talking to customers, and really understanding what is the value that they provide? What is the, you know as
Clayton Christian says, "What's the job that your
product does for them?" And that's one piece. Also, getting into their
shoes and understanding what technologies they expect
and see as the new normal. And the other thing is not getting too wrapped
up in the technology. Because even though technology is great, it's not great when it's not in service to an actual benefit, for the person you're trying
to serve, the customer. – So how do we become more curious? How should we look at new businesses? What are some questions we should ask? – That's a good question. So, becoming more curious is, it's innate. We all are curious. If you get back, if you've been with a
four year old recently, you know we are born to ask questions. And over time I think we
get embarrassed about it, or we think we know too much. So, what I'd suggest is, ask
questions, look at businesses, think to yourself, why is
this business successful? What can I learn from this business? And putting things together,
a lot of people have said to me, we want to be the
Netflix of our industry. And on some level you
can't copy an organization. On the other hand, if you say,
what would that look like? So you'd ask the second question. So okay, great. What would it look like if you're the Netflix of your industry? What would that be? If you Amazoned your competitors,
what would that mean? And so sometimes, just
asking the second question is a great way to really
break open the paradigm. – Great, well so many wonderful things that you have to share. Go and talk to customers. Ask better questions. Try to understand which organizations are doing well, and why. Be curious about it.

Ken Meter: Building A Local Food Economy (part 1 of 3)



my name is Ken meter and I'm director of crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis and I've really been working for about thirty seven years looking at how do we make communities stronger especially in low-income areas inner-city areas and in farm country so tell me about a strong food system what makes something a strong food system and how does that contribute to the to a community's health or the economy well to me a food system is really the whole set of relationships we have that gets us from a farm like this to food to the at the at our tables and it really involves so many players it involves obviously fresh air and good soil and clean water and all the things we need to produce a crop well it also includes all the people who handle and process and distribute the food to get it to our table to get into restaurants or hospitals or schools and it's a very complex set of relationships but we we in my mind what a food system ought to do and what a strong one would accomplish is to really give us very healthy food that we know the source of and it should help us build wealth in our communities it should also help us connect with each other as people who learn about what farmers do and learn what consumers need and learn about what each other has to have to work well in a system and also in my mind it really helped us know the skills and the capacities we need to really handle food safely to cook it adequately to create lovely meals and have good ecstatic experience while we dine so people talk a lot about going back to the way it used to be done but as you point out we've never had local food systems before we've had local food but mostly those farmers were growing food to export it so talk to me about our current food system as it exists today and sort of how is it different from pre-world War two for example okay good actually we're standing here across the river from Clark County Washington and I did a little analysis there for a speech I gave in Vancouver in January and we found out that 10% of all the land in Clark County in 1930 was dedicated to farm families raising food for themselves that was the local food system but it really involved farm family is working very hard and go against great odds to produce lots of stuff they could preserve and put in the cellar and use later in the year but that was really their main source of food was just whatever they could raise for themselves and then they would also work to sell some product that could sell to a commodity market it might be wheat it might be milk it might be livestock but the farmer at that point in 1930 had a choice of saying do I want to raise use my land to raise food for myself from my own family do I want to sell it to a market and that's really been kind of the classic story for farmers in the United States that from the word go Virginia was settled as a place to export tobacco to England and we've always had this mentality that food is about selling it to somebody else at a high price and often the people selling those commodities whether it was wheat to export abroad or whether it was corn to export didn't get paid very well for that but it was the way of getting some cash that they could use to expand their farm or have a better life and at the same time for most American history farmers could choose whether to do that or to really pull out of the market and raise food for themselves I think around 1960 farm families started buying into the notion that they it really wasn't effective use of their time to raise their own food and a lot of consumers started really wanting to have good foods from it from Europe so nice delicacies that were hard to raise in the Midwest where I come from or from the Oregon area and we sort of got convinced that we could do more by relating with the market than by really planning local food systems that would work well for the people were raising food for the farm workers who work in the fields for those of us who eat we've had local food systems but they were always sort of something we built hoping that someday we'd make a lot of money shipping our products away and so instead of planning and saying we're gonna really make sure we have enough acreage to feed ourselves instead of saying we're going to make sure that farmers really get paid well for raising food for our own local market instead of saying we're going to guarantee that farm workers have a fair shake when they do back-breaking work in the field we pretty much said you're on your own and if you can find some good deal you might pull sellout of commodities and make a lot of money if you don't do that you'll probably get out of farming and that mentality has worked quite a way quite a long time for now for us now and I think in about 1970 in the 1970s that mentality sort of caught up with us and we started really shipping more and more money out of farm country and losing more and more power over the choices that we need to make day-to-day to be good eaters to be good farmers to be good processors and I think since then people have just sort of taken toll they've summed up the toll of that loss and they've started to say I really want to know what the farmer over my food who raised my food I want to know that the person who's cooking for me really is doing tasty food in a way that's really healthy I want to have more those skills back that I know people did have because we knew how to produc produce food and process it in our homes before we've lost those skills we lose 5,000 people here to food poisoning because where our consumers don't really know all the time how to take care of food in the proper way and so I really see this incredible movement that I get to sort of help shape and meet around the United States where folks are saying we'd like to have real experience around food we'd like to know that our food is good we'd like to feel that the people in that system are treated well and we want it to be a good connecting experience instead of something that's just done for profit