Modern MBA students are continuously looking to expand their knowledge of business and finance, both inside and outside the university setting. Tailored to enlighten the budding business student, please enjoy the following eight TED talks that are both informative and tech-minded.
Kevin Kelly: How AI Can Bring on a Second Industrial Revolution
Kevin Kelly, author, visionary, and founder of “Wired” magazine and of multiple nonprofits and foundations, begins his presentation with a simple premise. His opening remarks and rather grandfatherly monotone make the viewer assume his speech will be a straightforward prediction of the technological landscape in the near future. However, as so many TED talk speakers are prone to do, Kelly introduces a few much more cerebral concepts that will provide much thought fodder to the contemplative individual. You won’t want to miss this intriguing lecture.
Philip Evans: How Data Will Transform Business
In a classic-literature-evoking British accent, Philip Evans (an author and consultant) delves into the ways we’ve traditionally approached business strategy and why they will be proven more or less obsolete in the face of a unique commodity making its way onto the global stage: big data. And if you weren’t already well-apprised of the two classic models that Evans references as the basis of all current business strategy, watching this video will serve a double purpose.
David Autor: Will Automation Take Away All Our Jobs?
David Autor boasts significant credentials (Professor of Economics and associate department head at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and opens his lecture with an inviting, humorous introduction. Autor takes on the seemingly paradoxical question: If humans are creating machines that can accomplish more and more of the work we needed to do before, how can we keep ourselves from becoming obsolete? You’ll have to watch this well-structured talk to find out.
Erik Brynjolfsson: The Key to Growth? Race With the Machines
Erik Brynjolfsson’s role as the director of the MIT Center for Digital Business positions his talk squarely over how technology affects, and will continue to affect, our commerce over the coming years. While the data he presents may not be the most concrete or convincing, his ideas are intriguing and he issues a “grand challenge” towards the end of his talk that is particularly thought-provoking and addresses how to overcome the “us vs. the machine” mentality to which so many may once again resort to in our present day and age.
Neha Narula: The Future of Money
Neha Narula’s title sub-line reads “Currency Futurist.” Perhaps an even more awe-inspiring identity than her more conventional position title which is later revealed (director of research at MIT’s Media Lab), Narula doesn’t disappoint and instead opens her presentation with an almost whimsical story about a little-known culture and their fascinating approach to currency. Narula’s concluding revelations lie somewhere between the feel of a science fiction novel and what could comprise several different lecture subjects at any given moment and are well worth the listen.
Bill Gross: The Single Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed
Bill Gross currently acts as CEO of his own business incubator, Idealab. A poor man’s Jim Collins, Gross sought to discover a common denominator amongst hundreds of successful startups as compared to similarly promising companies that ended as failures. To do so, Gross amassed data both from startups under his incubator’s umbrella and from well-known textbook examples of startup success. He reveals the number one factor according to his findings in this short but sweet lecture.
Margaret Gould Stewart: How Giant Websites Design for You (And a Billion Others, Too)
Margaret Gould Stewart’s resume reads like the top of the Fortune 100 list, having held significant design and user experience management positions at companies including Google, YouTube, and Facebook. Her well-delivered talk that tastefully ties together elements of design concepts and humanity bears the unmistakable aesthetic of a designer’s skilled touch.
Dan Bricklin: Meet the Inventor of the Electronic Spreadsheet
In this fascinating talk, Dan Bricklin shares his personal history — which happens to reveal his journey to invent the computerized spreadsheet, arguably one of the single most influential advancements made in personal and business computing. His prototype, VisiCalc, proved catalytic in the success story that became Apple and also provided the basis for Excel, database technology, and spreadsheet computing that provides a backbone for businesses, corporations, and entire industries today.
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