Business & Education


A Deep Dive into 'Shark Tank'

On Shark Tank, the ABC reality show, inventors pitch their ideas to multimillionaire venture capitalists, in hopes of striking a lucrative partnership. As with most “reality” TV, Shark Tank is problematic; as a series about new businesses, this particular iteration sacrifices serious investment and entrepreneurial lessons for entertainment. It also probably gives viewers a vicarious thrill: either winning a capitalist lottery, or deciding someone’s fate. This “emotionally rich” experience surely deflects (and diffuses) people’s anger at crony capitalism and an economic system rigged against them. But even a manipulative reality show sometime......

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Why Apple Users Had an Issue with the U2 Album

Has Apple taken us from 1984 to 2014 and back again? In what is considered one of the greatest commercials ever made, Apple Computer introduced the Mac to the world in 1984 during the Super Bowl, running an ad that instantaneously changed the image of Apple forever. The commercial depicts a futuristic Orwellian dystopia controlled by Big Brother being destroyed by a courageous female runner wielding a sledgehammer – a metaphor for the computer that would change the world. Wearing a white tank top emblazoned with the now-iconic Mac, she hurls the......

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Was Janet Yellen's Advice to Grads Fair?

It’s graduation season, which means at least the following 2 things: 1, most parents are thinking about our kids and how we send them out into the world and the world we are sending them into, and 2, we hear a great many speeches by famous folks addressing those very questions. Whether you are the parent of a graduate or not (I am), questions regarding what the future holds for the next generation of American adults affect us all, so when one of those speeches is especially interesting, it makes me think......

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Teens Under 'Pick a Career' Pressure

How did you pick your current career, or could it better be said that your career picked you? When did you know what you “wanted to be when you grew up”? Think back to eighth grade: Imagine, at that age, committing to the career path you have now. Sound crazy? Well, that is pretty much what the state of Texas has asked 400,000 graduating eighth graders to do. What are they thinking? Their system requires students to pick not so much a career but a specific path of study from among five......

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Accelerating Innovation in Your City

As co-founder of the Disruptor Foundation, Irwin Kula is involved in the Innovation Excellence Innovation Cities Tour – hosted in part by the Disruptor Foundation, HYPE Innovation (Founding Sponsor) and more. The Innovation Cities Tour celebrates the Innovation Movement across the US by capturing, sharing, and spreading stories on innovation. “Our goal is to highlight innovation and innovators in each city we visit, proving that innovation is now a full-fledged discipline. We are gathering together disruptive thinkers, doers, technologies, and resources from the Innovation Excellence community in order to inspire one another,......

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Depth vs. Breadth: Which Is Best for Problem-solving?

Do you enjoy surfing the Internet, learning a little about a lot of things, having many different experiences or do you like diving deeply into one thing, getting excited about mastering one area, developing a specific expertise? Are you a depth first or breadth first person, a generalist or a specialist? Are you a tourist, a pilgrim or a mixture of both? Obviously, which side we privilege depends on our goals, and our personality. But I wonder if the sort of urgent problems we face these days – global warming, income inequality,......

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Do Children Thrive Under Fewer Rules, or More?

It doesn’t take the genius of Einstein or the compassion of Mother Teresa to realize that bullying is bad. But it may take a combination of new information and wisdom to actually curb the practice of bullying and other forms of childhood/adolescent violence. As part of a recent university study, a New Zealand primary school suspended most recess rules, and observed a significant drop in bullying, vandalism and school violence – not to mention an increase in classroom attention by students. To be clear, they didn’t invite kids to brings weapons to......

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What Curling Can Teach You

Believe it or not, there are significant life lessons to be learned from the rather obscure sport of curling – powerful lessons which transcend not only that winter sport, but sports in general, and speak to our everyday pursuit of success. Among the keys to success (and there is no single recipe, especially as there are many definitions), strong relationships built on trust and shared purpose are often central. Did you know that, even at the highest levels of competition, there are no referees in curling? The players police themselves.? Success in......

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Hackschooling: No More Teachers, No More Books?

In the 21st century, the notion of hacking involves much more than some computer aficionados spreading viruses and breaking into official websites. Hacking is a mindset, a way of thinking. It’s really something anyone can do by challenging traditional systems. Teenager Logan Laplante isn’t home schooled, private schooled or public schooled – he is hackschooled! His education revolves around the study and practice of being happy and growing up healthy and nurturing creativity, things which Logan and his parents believe are outside the focus of traditional education. Here’s a kid who doesn’t......

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3D Character Printing: Building Better People

Imagine a gathering of over ?”400 innovators, troublemakers, entrepreneurs inventors and transformation artists” where for a couple of days, thirty-two story-tellers from around the world from every field share their wisdom. ?Well this is BIF#9, the BIF Summit in Providence, Rhode Island – and I was as one of the storytellers. ?It was crazy, inspiring, creative, playful, purposeful and safe – a holy secular place at its best! Sitting there listening to amazing innovators (see this installment of Week in Wisdom) and engaging in conversations about identifying better ways to deliver value......

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