Meet the CEO: Zhang Ruimin, Haier

z-830x553Zhang Ruimin is one of the top 50 global management thinkers, a world renowned enterpreneur, founder of Haier Group, Secretary of the Party Committee of Haier Group, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Haier Group.

In recognition of his achievements in management innovation, Zhang Ruimin has received many awards from the international management field including “Inspired Leadership Award”, “IMD Management Thought Leader”, “Asia Brand Eternal Spiritual Leadership Award”, “Dale Carnegie Leadership Award” and Fortune “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. Continue reading

The search for aha moments

In 1988, Matt Goldman co-founded Blue Man Group, an off-Broadway production that became a sensation known for its humor, blue body paint and wild stunts. The show works on the premise that certain conditions can create “aha moments” – moments of surprise, learning and exuberance – frequent and intentional rather than random and occasional.

Now Goldman is working to apply the lessons learned from Blue Man Group to education, creating Blue School, a school that balances academic mastery, creative thinking and self and social intelligence. “We need to cultivate safe and conducive conditions for new and innovative ideas to evolve and thrive,” Goldman says.

Watch the full talk here…

The Davos education: innovating the present to enhance the future

DUUna2pU8AAZOBcThe World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, in the Swiss mountains, is now over. An occasion in which prominent personalities in politics, economics and sciences meet to tackle our present and future challenges.

This year’s topic was “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”. What kind of fractures are we talking about? Political fractures for sure, for winds of hatred and intolerance blow from every directions. But also social cleavages, when inequalities are more and more evident and the world seems to have lost a proper direction.

Did our society really lose direction? Probably yes, but we are not drifted away yet. Continue reading

The nature of innovation

creativity.jpgAuthors of a recently published book, The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the WorldProfessors Anthony Brandt of Rice University of Texas and David Eagleman of Stanford University say that we keep begging as a society for more innovators, but we seem to be moving in the wrong direction in training them.

According to them, we are the only species which does things which are creative, and this is what differentiates the human brain from other species’ in this massive way. The human brain takes an input, mashes it up and puts out new versions. The point is: how can we shape the educational system so that we can make the most of this capacity in young people, largely untapped so far? Continue reading

How NASA’s experience can promote healthcare for all on Earth (too)

do-patients-trust-telemedicine-01One of the principles of Jugaad innovation is to include the margin. This means enabling people living in remote areas with the same (or almost the same) tools as in the more advanced countries.

A smart way to apply this principle is telemedicine. Specific medical instruments are already been designed to connect the patient in a village or far-flung area to the physician in town, who can remotely check the patient and diagnose diseases in real time, reducing costs and still giving proper assistance.

An article published on the Harvard Business Review brilliantly explains how telemedicine is used to remotely assist astronauts who spend months in the space and might experience the need for medical care. Continue reading

Promoting inclusive growth: the AMNC opened in Dalian, China

huayuncp01.china_.comb8592d5b-8c87-bac4-6433-0-33eeec5c795026477b15b0ee8ac52203f429f70b.jpgThe World Economic Forum launched yesterday the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017 in the port city of Dalian, in China. This year’s edition will focus on the challenges related to the development of an “Inclusive Growth in the course of the fourth industrial revolution” and on all those policies, strategies and tools designed to successfully implement it.

The 2017 AMNC gathers government experts, representatives from academia and civil society with the aim of exchanging views and ideas about crosscutting political, social and economic challenges, whose global impact must be timely tackled. Continue reading

Don’t fear intelligent machines, work with them

In 1985, aged 22, Garry Kasparov became the World Chess Champion after beating Anatoly Karpov. Earlier that year, he played what is called simultaneous exhibition against 32 of the world’s best chess-playing machines in Hamburg, Germany. He won all the games, beating 32 computers at the same time.

In 1997, he was still the world champion when chess computers finally came of age. He lost a memorable match against Deep Blue, the IBM super computer. Not that Deep Blue did it, but its human creators — Anantharaman, Campbell, Hoane, Hsu. As always, Kasparov says, machine’s triumph is a human triumph, something we tend to forget when humans are surpassed by our own creations. Continue reading

The left-handed lame: a profile of the brave innovator

Ohfajar 07-1480-kQfD-U10701252322527UpB-1024x576@LaStampa.it.jpgAristide Boucicaut is the inventor of the “Bon Marché”, the first modern mall, a store where you can find everything. In the beginning, Boucicaut worked using a strict method of classification. He organised products by category, with a precise order, well dividing them. Great success. But after a year or two, he realised the profit was not increasing. Thus, one day he mixed up all the products, putting potatoes next to clothes. And the profit went up again, because a housewife has to pass by clothes to find potatoes, and ends up buying them as well. Just like Columbus, he found what he was not looking for. The Anglo-Saxons call it “serendipity”, a lucky and unexpected event. This is one of the secrets of innovation, although it does not happen just by chance, but requires hard work, knowledge and research.

This is the example of innovation that Michel Serres gives. He is a Professor of History of Science at Sorbonne University and author of important philosophical essays, and will present his last book, Le gaucher boiteux, The left-handed lame, at the next Book Salon in Turin. Continue reading

People with autism in the Israeli intelligence: the case of Unit 9900

Unit 9900 of the IDF, the Israel Defence Force, is the section dedicated to visual intelligence. The satellite captures images that should be analysed to determine risks and suspicious movements in a certain area.

It has been a few years since Unit 9900 recruited young men and women with autism. This job requires extraordinary – and uncommon – capacities for visual thinking and attention to detail, both of which lend themselves well to the highly specialised task of aerial analysis. According to a study from the University of Cambridge, those skills often come with autism. Continue reading