Sink or swim: How to survive waves of change in a fast-paced industry

Here's how to best position yourself for taking advantage of the unexpected.

  • Why are companies like Apple on top of the world while others like Blackberry have been relegated to a minor market share? Why is Netflix king and Blockbuster extinct? Netflix spotted a strategic inflection point and capitalized on it, says Rita Gunther McGrath.
  • A strategic inflection point is a shift in the external environment that changes the assumptions upon which a business is based—it could be technology, social norms, or a company's reputation.
  • People and organizations who see inflection points early and respond to them with a small investment or an experiment have an advantage. They will swim while their competitors may sink.
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Getting 16.4 million people better post-secondary education? Lumina Foundation has a plan for that.

Lumina Foundation wants to help 16.4 million people get a quality credential by 2025, and they're looking for entrepreneurs with the vision to help realize that goal.

  • Lumina Foundation's goal is to help people across the U.S. get a quality post-secondary education.
  • To do that, it's providing grants, helping to shape policy, and it's investing in innovative entrepreneurs through the Lumina Impact Ventures program.
  • Lumina is looking to partner with entrepreneurs who are dedicated to helping students gain a fulfilling post-secondary education and for whom Lumina Foundation can be a strong value-add partner.
  • In 2019, Lumina Foundation and Big Think teamed up to create the Lumina Prize, a search to find the most innovative and scalable ideas in post-secondary education. You can see the winners of the Lumina Prize here – congratulations to PeerForward and Greater Commons!
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You can crowdsource innovation. Here’s how Lumina does it.

What are the best ideas out there to innovate our rapidly changing education system? The Lumina Foundation has partnered with Big Think to find them.

  • The conventional model of innovation involves piloting a product, scaling it, and then mainstreaming it.
  • However, the Lumina Foundation believes that this model won't work quite so well for education: Instead, rapidly prototyping and iterating different ideas is the likely the best way to create a more equitable education system for our rapidly changing society.
  • That's why the Lumina Foundation is partnering with entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to improve our education system through Lumina Impact Ventures, and why Big Think is helping them find the best ideas about the future of learning and work.
  • You can see the winners of the Lumina Prize here - congratulations to PeerForward and Greater Commons!
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The problem with problem solving? It isn’t ridiculous enough.

Ask very silly questions to spur very serious innovation.

  • To get really innovative solutions to complex problems, you need to abandon logic, says Dan Seewald.
  • Asking provocative and ridiculous 'what if?' questions pushes us down lateral paths of thinking versus the vertical or logical path. The latter approach is practical but it doesn't break new ground.
  • Breaking with tradition through lateral thinking allows us to solve really serious problems, from climate change to political turmoil. Or, as Dan Seewald explains, it could just help you solve all your laundry headaches.
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10 best books for entrepreneurs and inventors

Foundational business books for success.

Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy, by Tim Harford

  • Explore the 50 inventions that made the modern world.
  • There is rich advice in the literature of start-up development.
  • Learn about the interconnectedness of innovation and business development.
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