Winston Churchill once said, "Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse."
Welcome to the age of innovation. Governments crave it, great entrepreneurs awe us with it; and where would all our futures be without it?
There are those born to lead and those content to follow; the former are most likely to be interested in smashing up frustrating models of things and replacing them with newer, better, cooler versions destined to rock our world.
Enter the Disruptive Innovators. These are the fearless warriors, the visionaries who dream mega, the nutters who don't sleep, the kids who never understood "no", the square pegs who crave problems because problems are exciting opportunities to find cutting edge solutions. These are the boys and girls who nod with great gusto upon hearing Schopenhauer's thesis: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
Take a risk you won't regret. Hang with these global game changers on April 23rd at their Anti-Summit. You heard right. The Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards Anti-Summit - it precedes the 6th world renowned Disruptive Innovation Awards ceremony on the 24th, helmed by Disruptor Foundation's Chief, Craig Hatkoff (also a Tribeca Film Festival Co-founder, and mover and shaker guilty of the best disruptive habits defined); and Clay Christenson (whose powerful theory of disruptive innovation started this epic movement of movements). These two events promise to give wannabe innovators first hand insights into how disruptors are managing to solve some of the world's biggest challenges.
What does it take to claim the Disruptive Innovation Hammer and the honor of being called a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation honoree? What makes the brilliant mind of a Disruptive Innovator tick? I asked this year's impressive list of TDIA honorees from every domain to share their innermost secrets on disruptive success. Here are some of our favorites (in no particular order):
Alejandro Agag - Formula E - @FormulaERacing @FIAformulaE
"If you're not being called crazy at least once a day - you're not working hard enough!"
"Stay Humble. Surround yourself with people who have skill sets that you don't and work side by side with them to create solutions and systems that did not exist before."
Georgette Mulheir - Lumos - @lumos
"Not everyone has vision. You must believe in your vision, but also have the skill to break it down into small steps that are manageable for people who cannot imagine the end of the journey."
"No doesn't mean no - it means 'not right now'. Realize that it will take time for established players to get on board with your concept (some never will)."
Matthew Putman - Nanotronics - @NanotronicsImag
"Do not look solely to leaders in your field. Let Henri Matisse guide you as much as Steve Jobs."
Jason Silva - @JasonSilva @BrianGames
"Expose yourself to AWE. Recent studies have found that blowing our own minds with awe-inspiring experiences expands our 'mental maps' by forcing us to assimilate these new perspectives and vistas."
"If you are not passionate, challenged and curious, you are on the wrong path."
Nicole Ticea - Teenage researcher for early HIV detection
"Becoming a successful scientist is not about achieving maturity; rather, it is the very opposite. We must strive to maintain this spark of curiosity that makes us excited for what each new day, what each new failed experiment will bring."
Alec Momont - Drones for Good - @D4GUK
"Know that your ideas are only worth as much as their implementation. Being disruptive means that you have a clear strategy, from the very start, on how that idea will actually have an impact on people's lives."
Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham - @wcmx4life
"Everyone has dreams and goals they wish to accomplish, and everyone also experiences hurdles and hardship while trying to reach their goal, but it's very important to not let them stop us from reaching our dreams!"
"Do your research - your idea has almost certainly been attempted before, so make sure you understand why others failed."
Bud Hammes and Linda Briggs - Gundersen Health @gundersenhealth
"Disruption is the more difficult road. It may be obvious to everyone that a different roadway should be taken, but many of us are not willing to take the off ramp."
"Fail fast, fail hard and fail often. You're not moving the needle if you're not taking risks."
"Iterate to innovate (rather than expecting innovation to come in one-time lightbulb moments)."
"Promote a culture of openness, diversity of opinion, and mutual respect that will disrupt established hierarchies and power dynamics, and by doing so will add perspectives, expand our networks, and strengthen our institutions by accepting risk and failure as options."
Sophie Houser and Andrea Gonzales - Tampon Run - @TamponRunner
"Act on your 'aha' moments."
"Question everything - Be persistent - Seek to empathize."
2015 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award Honorees
Row 1 L to R: Mary Childs, Jennifer Hyman, Peter Greste, Reshma Saujani,
Row 2 L to R: Ruzwana Bashir, Trip Adler, Bill Simmons, Alejandro Agag,
Row 3 L to R: Alyse Nelson, Nicole Ticea, Linda Briggs, (C. M. Rubin), Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, Andrea Gonzales, Sophie Hauser
Row 4 L to R: Bud Hammes, Matthew Putnam, Dr. Bill Magee, Georgette Mulheir, Jason Silva
Row 5 L to R: Bob Roth, Brad Kutsuyama, Darren Walker, Brian Chesky,
(All photos are courtesy of Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Foundation)
Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
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C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.