Forward Thinking Ideas For Future Focused Individuals

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Sal Khan: Let’s teach for mastery — not test scores

Salman “Sal” Khan is the founder and chief executive officer of Khan Academy, a not-for-profit with a mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

Khan Academy started as a passion project in 2004. Khan’s cousin was struggling with math, so he tutored her remotely and posted educational videos on YouTube. So many people watched the videos that eventually Khan quit his job at a hedge fund and pursued Khan Academy full time. Today Khan Academy has more than 100 employees in Mountain View, California. Khan Academy believes learners of all ages should have unlimited access to free educational content they can master at their own pace. Its resources cover preschool through early college education, including math, grammar, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, finance and history. Additionally, Khan Academy offers free personalized SAT test prep in partnership with the test developer, the College Board. More than 42 million registered users access Khan Academy in dozens of languages across 190 countries.

  • In a traditional academic model, we group students together, usually by age, and around middle school, by age and perceived ability, and we shepherd them all together at the same pace. Yet after testing, we do not cover the gaps in the our knowledge.
  • Instead of artificially constraining, fixing when and how long you work on something, do it the other way around. What’s variable is when and how long a student actually has to work on something,and what’s fixed is that they actually master the material.

James Veitch: The agony of trying to unsubscribe

Packed full of Nigerian princes, can’t miss investment opportunities and eligible Russian brides, James Veitch’s correspondence with email spammers leads to surprising, bizarre and usually hilarious results. Out of this experiment came his first book, Dot Con. In 2014, his first solo comedy show The Fundamental Interconnectedness of Everyone with an Internet Connection, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe to wide acclaim. His second show, Genius Bar, focussed on his time working for Apple, chronicles his attempts to fix his relationship using the same troubleshooting techniques he’d been using to fix iMacs, iPhones and iPods. He is currently writing his third show and preparing to tour the UK.

  • Here’s the problem: The internet gave us access to everything; but it also gave everything access to us.
  • Trying to unsubscribe from a company email is far more difficult than ever before, crippling customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

 

Don Tapscott: How the blockchain is changing money and business

A leading analyst of innovation and the impacts of technology, Don Tapscott has authored or co-authored 15 widely read books about various aspects of the reshaping of our society and economy. His work Wikinomics counts among the most influential business books of the last decade. His new book The Blockchain Revolution, co-authored with his son, Alex, discusses the blockchain, the distributed-database technology that’s being deployed well beyond its original application as the public ledger behind Bitcoin. In the book, they analyze why blockchain technology will fundamentally change the internet — how it works, how to use it and its promises and perils.

Tapscott is an adjunct professor of management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, a Senior Advisor at the World Economic Forum and an Associate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

  • Today, we rely entirely on big intermediaries — middlemen like banks, government, big social media companies, credit card companies and so on — to establish trust in our economy. And these intermediaries perform all the business and transaction logic of every kind of commerce, from authentication, identification of people, through to clearing, settling and record keeping.
  • The internet of value — some kind of vast, global, distributed ledger running on millions of computers and available to everybody. Where every kind of asset, from money to music, could be stored, moved, transacted, exchanged and managed, all without powerful intermediaries? What if there were a native medium for value?
  • Blockchain: For the first time now in human history, people everywhere can trust each other and transact peer to peer.And trust is established, not by some big institution, but by collaboration, by cryptography and by some clever code.
  • Digital assets like money to music and everything in between — are not stored in a central place, but they’re distributed across a global ledger, using the highest level of cryptography.