The future of work begins at Think

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CEO, The Jensen Group

I learned how I learn best during the mid-‘90s, attending my first of many TED conferences. I was drawn in and pushed forward by paradoxical emotions, a sweet-and-sour roller coaster ride combo.

Think is likewise a roller coaster ride: exhilarating, uplifting, soaring, and scary in ways that make you want to ride again, right away.

Thinking in a new way

Like TED, Think can make you believe that anything is possible, that we can reach for the stars and create unbelievable futures. You’ll meet people and see innovations that inspire you to believe that you, too, can make the impossible possible.

At this year’s Think event, for me, those inspiring people include Michio Kaku, Sal Khan, Mae Jemison, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Thought leaders and change agents like these make me want to soar higher, do more, and be my best self.

Then there are those, like the rush of a roller coaster, that intimidate me, and all I want is more. They include Tanmay Bakshi, who is 14 years old and a self-taught AI expert who caught the attention of IBM at 11 years old, and Jessica Pointing, quantum computer researcher at MIT and Harvard, who has won more accolades than most brilliant minds three times her age.

When I meet beyond-amazing innovators like those, I suddenly realize that even all that I feel proud of and have accomplished, I still have so far to go.

Find your motivation space

Empowered and humbled: that’s the roller-coaster, sweet-and-sour ride I’m on when I attend Think. I’m empowered and emboldened to follow my dreams and push the boundaries of what’s possible. I’m humbled, realizing how far I have to go to push my own boundaries and myself.

That’s why I go to Think. And that’s how I’ve learned I learn best: half pulling into awesome possibilities, half pushing into how I’ve got to do more.

My focus while at Think will be on how all the activities — listening to speakers, hanging with fellow influencers, learning new things — come together to create new possibilities for the future of work.

What I care about is how we’re leaving too many wonderful people behind, and how we can do better. While at events like Think, I try to channel the famous William Gibson quote, “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.”

My small contribution to where AI and all emerging technologies go from here is to help more evenly distribute the future to more people, sooner.

What’s your roller coaster moment?

I invite every Think attendee, before arrival, to ponder:

  •  What’s the one thing you most want to learn, or understand anew?
  • What’s the one thing you hope to feel while attending?
  • What’s the one thing you hope to do differently because you attended Think?

Onward to the future.