This plenary session was in charge of Gerry Garbulsky, Director and Founder of Oblogo and Rick Dow, Advisor at Solution Partners.
Gerry Garbulsky started this Plenary showing how some advances in positive psychology made us rethink how to manage companies and how to live our lives.
He proposed the audience to imagine a situation in which they made a lot of money, had a good effect in the world and in which they are happy.
When he was young he was attracted by science as i loved to ask a lot “why?”. So he tried to be the best at it. His contribution to science was related to binary entropy, but nobody knew what that was. He was alone with his knowledge. In his opinion, science has a little problem: it has neither on its formulation nor its conclusion a human factor. That´s why he became a business consultant. That job is intellectually defying, with a great importance of the human factor.
But after a while, he started to think if he would be proud in the future of what he was doing now. Gerry Garbulsky remarked that “The answer will not always come through our mind, but from other body parts”. So he decided to change and strived to achieve two dreams. The first one was to improve his country (Argentina) and it´s image. The other dream was to make people happy.
So he started tedxriodelaplata.org, that is a non-profit organization that tries to show ideas that are worth spreading. Speakers have 18 minutes to talk about any relevant topic for Argentina.
The Pediatrician Magdalena Goyheneix, can be an exemplifying case of the TED effect. She is part of doctors without borders, working in Nigeria and Chad and the video of her speech reached 2 hundred views. She´s now a rockstar, that taught people how to cure famine. This is is a rockstar that gives a good example to the country, that is a quite rare as it goes against the tide.
Furthermore, Gerry had one more idea: the O´Blogo magazine. The basic idea was to print a blog. He decided to choose the best blogs in internet, publish them and distribute them massively in the public transports. This way he achieved to make happier a lot of people on their way home.
Gerry said “Positive psychology, tries to understand the state of well being and how we define happiness.” What makes people happy? i) purpose in life, ii) using their capabilities and iii) making bonds with other people.
An entrepreneur should be a person who travels though the world and sees something that he does not like and creates an organization in order to solve that problem. The opportunity is to make something good to the world. If they make money doing the organization, it may be also a business. Not the other way around.
Then, it was time for Rick Dow to start his speech. He emphasized that profound ideas are always simple ideas. Today’s challenge is to transform complexity in simplicity.
In the past the information flow went from the brand to the consumer. With collective intelligence the world is going the other way around. The USA retail giant could not adapt to this change. Now people can take a photo to any product and know its price. Now the consumer has negotiating power. That´s why Amazon is growing so much while BestBuy is sinking. Collective intelligence plus transparency is generating better quality and lower prices.
Afterwards, Rick Dow talked about social networks. He stated that the conversation evolved into connection which creates isolation. These gives an illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. That´s what facebook does. Notwithstanding, solitude can be good as it creates self reflection, that is how you learn about yourself. Be open, listen, seek solitude.
The responsibility of leadership relies in the moral compass. In a good leadership there should not be a dictatorship neither anarchy.
Leadership should be guided by the 4 principles of openness (Don Tapscott):
- Transparency (no one can hide of what he does)
- Sharing (such as Linux)
- Empowerment (distribution of knowledge)
Finally, Rick Dow stated “Optimism should be the final characteristic of a leader. Let’s do this!”