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TED Talk Tuesday: Why Innovators Need to be "Now-ists"

Cornerstone Editors

This is the second post in our monthly "TED Talk Tuesday" series, spotlighting can't-miss TED Talks and their key takeaways. You can learn more about our partnership with TED here.

Joi Ito is the director of MIT MediaLab, where he explores how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society. In his TED Talk, he explains how freedom, action and focus are the new tenets of creativity in our connected world—sage advice for HR leaders innovating and transforming the future of work. Watch the video below, and read on for three key takeaways from his talk on how to innovate:

"The internet... pushed innovation to the edges."

Innovation before the internet—or "B.I." as Ito calls it—required permission, power and authority. But thanks to the rise of technology and connectivity, innovation has been pushed to edges and is no longer reserved for the classrooms of Ive League institutions, or major corporations. Instead, it's happening in dorm rooms and startups. Today, nearly everyone has the opportunity to try new ideas—so don't hold back.

"Learning over education."

As a three-time college dropout, the topic of modern education and learning is personal for Ito. He encourages people to go out and play: "Education is what people do to you," he says, "And learning is what you do to yourself." You need to learn how to learn—which requires going out there and putting your own ideas into action.

"Be a now-ist, not a futurist."

Last but not least, Ito advocates for presence and focus in our complex world. Don't worry about planning every moment, or preparing for every mishap; instead, focus on staying connected and paying attention. "I don't like the word 'futurist,'" he says, "I think we should be now-ists."

Check back next month for a new TED Talk Tuesday post!

Photo: TED

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