Rebuild21: Brief summary of day 2

Day 2 of Rebuild21 focused on rebuilding education and rethinking business.

The day started with the personal story of Jake Nickell of Threadless as an example of how the internet and crowdsourcing has revolutionised the way we do business. On the Threadless website, the community decides which T-shirt designs should make it into production – a novel idea when Threadless started out. Jake Nickell offered the following advice for entrepreneurs:

  • Never stop making – we learn from our mistakes – we learn by making.
  • You can only be a beginner once – so make the most of it every time you try something for the first time. You will either learn something – or teach someone else something.
  • Make something cool every day and make sure you post it somewhere for others to react on.

Jerry Michalski gave an excellent presentation on the education system and distilled some excellent points about the current state of affairs. The first one was how schools are in a strange way separate to life – we leave our everyday lives to go to a separate space to learn.

The school system builds on an antiquated ideology with military connotations which might have been useful in a production society but are outdated in a knowledge society. Jerry shared the notion of the “flipped classroom” where students watch prerecorded lessons – like Khan Academy – at home and focus on doing homework in class.

The final point was that we have removed the sense of agency from everyone, pupils, parents and teachers, in education. We need to give kids back the sense of permission and to heal their curiosity.

You can find the Prezi with Jerry’s presentation here.

Bill Tolany

Talked about the business model of Whole Food Markets and why this has been so succesful. The following factors seem to be pointers for others to learn from

Word of mouth marketing has always been the priority method of spreading the message. Social media has merely been a way to extend this philosophy.

And finally but not least build trust within the organisation.

In his closing remarks Lars Kolind very briefly summarised his main takeaways from each presenter at the event and offered the following three characteristics of succesful leaders in the 21st century:

  1. You can’t really do amazing things on your own. Limited organisations need to become unlimited.
  2. Establish mechanisms and processes which motivate people.
  3. There is no substitute for a clear purpose. Put purpose ahead of profit.
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