nonprofit Innosight Institute celebrated its fifth anniversary late last week
with a star-studded bash held at the Mountain View based Computer Museum. Headlining
the evening was a panel that included Harvard Business School luminary, Clayton
Christensen, teacher-of-the-world Sal Khan, and Scott Cook, founder of Intuit.
Institute had news, too: it is rechristening itself the "Clayton
Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation." Christensen offered this charming quip at the end of the
evening: "I feel so sorry for
anyone who isn't Clayton Christensen" presumably because of all the
interesting experiences and smart folks he knows.
the panelists were chock full of thoughtful points. For instance, Christensen
noted that "If you don't frame the problem correctly the probability of
getting an answer is small." Khan talked about how he originally thought
YouTube was just for sharing cat pictures. When he began sharing videos with
his cousins on how to solve their math problems, however, Khan discovered the
technology was "just good enough" to let him try sharing his
"lessons" with teens.
not as hard on American education as the press has it," Khan said.
"No country has as large and diverse population," he noted. Comparing
the US to Finland or other such countries "is not a fair comparison,"
he said. "It's not about what's wrong with the American systems but how
can we make the rest-of-the-world more American."
future I'd like to see: one where students are achieving competency-based
learning," where students go to class not just because they have to but
because they want to achieve mastery," Khan added. (He also noted that
"next year" there will be Khan Academy translated into every major
is hard work, Christensen pointed out. "The leaders of corporate [giants]
didn't stumble because they weren't smart," he said. Broken frameworks lead us astray: when "...what we
think is right is wrong or because what we think is wrong is instead
right." Particularly in a world built around achievement, people tend to
do those things that help them achieve--even when they realize the toll it
takes on their personal relationships.
Christensen urged those attending the dinner to keep their eye focused on the big
issues, including how to build constructive supportive relationships with the
people in their life.