Jack Hidary
Chairman, SmartTransportation.org

Jack Hidary on Visioneering

To embed this video, copy this code:

Jack Hidary

Jack D. Hidary built his career as an entrepreneur in the finance and technology sectors and is currently focused on clean energy technology and policy.  In New York City, Hidary was a leading proponent of switching over the taxi fleet to high mileage hybrids. Hidary serves as Chairman of SmartTransportation.org, a non-profit dedicated to promoting clean energy and transportation policy in the US.

Hidary studied philosophy and neuroscience at Columbia University and was then awarded a Stanley Fellowship in Clinical Neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Under the fellowship, Hidary conducted research in functional neuroimaging using techniques such as
positron emission tomography (PET) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study brain and disease states.

Hidary serves on several boards including BT Global Services and Trickle Up. A frequent keynote speaker, Hidary has presented at venues including the business schools of Yale and Columbia.
Committed to community and philanthropic causes, Hidary has received several industry and community awards as well as being recognized as a Global Leader of Tomorrow at the WEF, Davos. Hidary is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Clinton Global Initiative.


Jack Hidary: One of the organizations that I'm quite involved with is called the X Prize Foundation.  At X Prize, the goal is to offer up multimillion dollar prizes, sometimes up to 10 or 20 million dollars per prize, for a set of competitors to go after a huge challenge, a huge goal, and break through that barrier.  

We do something every year called visioneering.  We get together in one room, 60, 70 of not only the smartest people in the world, but the people most open and most eager for innovation and breakthroughs.  These are folks that some of them know each other, but many of them do not.  Many of them come from different sectors.  Some come from ocean analysis, others from space exploration.  We have astronauts in the room.  We have folks in the room who are doctors and medical professionals.  We have folks who are entrepreneurs and techies and geeks.

We bring them in.  We serve them really good food and we lock the door for 48 hours.  Nobody can leave.  We are in there together, in a tank as it were, and we've got to interact in new kinds of ways to come up with, not only what are some breakthroughs, but what are areas of challenge that are just at the edge of human grasp?  If you think about that image of Michelangelo of the human reaching out to the godly sphere, what are those things that are just beyond our grasp right now, that if we have a great incentive and a program we can get people towards?

These kinds of gatherings, this kind of visioneering that essentially increases the serendipity quotient of everyone in the room, and leverages the power of weak links can be applied to the startup, to the medium-size business and even to the very large company as well.

Directed / Produced by

Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd