Alec Ross’s Career Advice
Alec Ross is one of America’s leading experts on innovation. He served for four years as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a role that earned him a Distinguished Honor Award from the State Department. He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and serves as an advisor to investors, corporations, and government leaders. Ross lives in Baltimore with his wife and their three young children. His book is The Industries of the Future.
Question: What advice would you give someone who wants to enter your field?
Alec Ross: You know, I couldn’t tell you how I prepared for this. I still don’t consider myself to be a technologist per se; I’ve spent the last 15 years fighting poverty. I got started as an inter-city school teacher in West Baltimore teaching middle schoolers. I went and identified portable housing work, and then I started a non-profit that was focused on technology, but for me it wasn’t about technology, it was about educational and economic opportunity. What I did is I sort of immersed myself in technology as a way of addressing those issues.
Now if somebody said to me today, “Alec, you’re 37 years old and you are doing something that is really cool that fuses technology with diplomacy and development,” that’s something I’d like to do. How do I get these technology jobs? How do I get ahead of the curve on these things? My advice to that person would actually be, don’t go get a job in the technology sector, get a job in the development world but figure out how you can apply technology in that world.
Recorded on: July 29, 2009
Alec Ross fell into his technology advisory position in the Office of the Secretary of State after spending years dedicated to fighting poverty.
Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
- Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
- These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.
- The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
- The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
- Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!
As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.