I teach courses on innovation, strategy and venture development at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business and Princeton University. In addition, I anchor programs for UC's Center for Executive Education and other international sponsors, and guest lectures on various campuses, including Yale, Harvard, and universities overseas. He is also a senior moderator for the Aspen Institute. I am a frequent, highly regarded keynoter and speaker at conferences and seminars around the world, including TEDx, TED Global, association meetings, and many corporate events. I am the co-author of two best-selling books: Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win and The Other ‘F’ Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work. I advise senior executives in business, government and nonprofits in a variety of settings globally - on issues of strategic and leadership significance. For those of you who are fans of TED, I'm also the guy who came up with the idea for TED U[niversity]. I served as a judge for the 2021 Innovation Forum Humanities track.
What will students be able to take away from your class?
A stronger sense of what's possible - for themselves and their ideas, for society, and - most importantly - the future they will help shape. A deeper understanding of how they can elevate their own capabilities - as thinkers, doers, and leaders in whichever roles they saw ahead for their careers.
What are your responsibilities at the Keller Center?
I teach about social entrepreneurship (doing good and doing well) and failure (the dance partner of every innovator and entrepreneur) in addition to supporting various Keller Center initiatives - from judging competitions to advising eLab teams.
What attracted you to the Keller Center?
The opportunity to pilot the social entrepreneurship curriculum here, as I did at UC Berkeley; the chance to share what I know and do with undergraduates, including freshmen; and to do both with colleagues I respect, trust and learn from in the process.
Share an inspiring story about your time at the Keller Center.
Several of my Princeton students have created ventures and other initiatives that are changing people's lives around the world - from bringing affordable energy to isolated communities to improving women and girls' healthcare in the developing world. My freshmen seminar on failure has also spawned several efforts here on campus to strengthen student resilience.
What advice would you have for students about getting involved at the Keller Center?
You have two basic choices in your career: either you will be a "bider" essentially preserving the way things are, or you will be a builder, trying to create new value by challenging the status quo. My working definition of entrepreneurship is "the pursuit and creation of value creation opportunities beyond the resources you control." Guess what, that implies that most of you will have to think and act like an entrepreneur at many points in your career. So take the time to window shop our courses to see what life is like for builders and changemakers; go as deep as your interests and curiosity warrant; and apply some of what you learn to these important choices you will make going forward.