What is your counsel?

Question: Collectively what should we be doing?

Jimmy Wales: What do I think we should be doing that we’re not? Gosh. I don’t know.  I think a lot of things work themselves out over time through the actions of millions of people in concert in ways that are difficult to influence. You can influence them or you can think about them, but they sort of play out on their own schedule.

To my mind, it’s almost useless to think about things we should be doing but we’re not. I think it’s really hard to think about that.  If we’re concerned about, for example, the issue of carbon in the atmosphere, if that’s a big problem, it’s very easy to say, “Well we should be emitting less carbon,” right? Well that’s not a practical thing to even think about.

Instead we have to say, “Gee look. Here’s some trends. Here are some things that are going to happen.” We can start innovating and start thinking about how to deal with that. How do we reduce carbon emissions? Or how do we deal with carbon in a different way in the long run? But there are people working on that, and I feel they’ll come up with something.

I think we should individually be thinking. I think that’s something that I think is really, really important. The more people we have who are living a reflective life where they’re really thinking about their own life, and their own happiness in the context of a global society; in the context of modern technology and things like this, it’s really important. And I think it’s unfortunate sometimes that people seem to not be thinking about things as much as they should.

 

Recorded On: Aug 10, 2007

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Finalist: Greater Commons - Todd McLeod

Greater Commons, founded by Todd McLeod and Andrew Cull, is an organization that helps people live happier, more successful and fulfilling lives through agile learning. The current education system is inefficient and exclusionary, in which many students who end up earning a degree, if at all, enter a career not related to their field of study. Greater Commons solves this problem and gap in post-high school secondary education in a variety of ways. Passionately and diligently, Great Commons helps others obtain skills, knowledge, wisdom, motivation, and inspiration so that they may live better lives.

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PeerForward is an organization dedicated to increasing the education and career success rates of students in low-income schools and communities by mobilizing the power of positive peer influence. PeerForward works with partner schools to select influential students as a part of a team, systemizing the "peer effect." Research in the fields of sociology of schools, social-emotional learning, adult-youth partnerships, and civic education demonstrates that students can have a positive effect on the academic outcomes of their peers. PeerForward is unique through its systemic solutions to post-secondary education.

Finalist: Cogniss - Leon Young

Cogniss combines technology and best practice knowledge to enable anyone to innovate and share solutions that advance lifelong learning. Cogniss is the only platform to integrate neuroscience, through which it solves the problem of access by providing a low-code platform that enables both developers and non-developers to build sophisticated education apps fast, and at a much lower cost. It addresses the uneven quality of edtech solutions by embedding research-based learning design into its software. App creators can choose from a rich set of artificial intelligence, game, social and data analytics, and gamification to build their perfect customized solution.

Finalist: Practera - Nikki James

Practera's mission is to create a world where everyone can learn through experience. Today's workplaces are increasingly dynamic and diverse, however, costly and time-consuming experiential learning is not always able to offer the right opportunities at scale. Many students graduate without developing the essential skills for their chosen career. Practera's team of educators and technologists see this problem as an opportunity to transform the educational experience landscape, through a CPL pedagogical framework and opportunities to apply students' strengths through active feedback.

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Lorna Davis is the Senior Advisor to Danone CEO and is a Global Ambassador for the B Corp movement. Lorna has now joined B-Lab, the non-for-profit that supports the B Corporation movement on an assignment to support the journey of large multi nationals on the path to using business as a force of good.

Dan Rosensweig joined Chegg in 2010 with a vision for transforming the popular textbook rental service into a leading provider of digital learning services for high school and college students. As Chairman and CEO of Chegg, Dan commits the company to fulfilling its mission of putting students first and helping them save time, save money and get smarter.

Stuart Yasgur leads Ashoka's Social Financial Services globally. At Ashoka, Stuart works with others to initiate efforts that have mobilized more than $500 million in funding for social entrepreneurs, engaged the G20 through the Toronto, Seoul and Los Cabos summits and helped form partnerships with leading financial institutions and corporations.

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