I have to admit, until I was invited to keynote the Stern Freshman Convocation on August 27th, I’d never heard the word “convocation” before. Remembering my own freshman year, my best guess was some sort of mash-up of “condoms” and “vacation”. Disappointingly, it really means ”assembly”. Despite this linguistic trickery, I’m not taking my duties lightly. I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to say, but you can get a hint from my recent blog posts. Regardless, our future will be a lot different than today. And these 500 smart freshmen will eventually help shape it. As I prepare my notes, I’m curious what you’d tell the next generation of young entrepreneurs and corporate tycoons? Submit your comments below or on Twitter or Facebook or Google+.
In one episode of Seinfeld, Elaine finds out the birth control sponge was discontinued. So she buys up all available inventory and obsesses over how “Spongeworthy” her many suitors are. Like Elaine, we luxuriate in the abundance of the information age, but it also hides some uncomfortable scarcities. In watching the recent TEDGlobal event in Scotland, it occurred to me that TED is much more than a collection of great talks. TED is that selective lover that doesn’t fish out fresh sponges for just anyone. In that way, TED offers us a glimpse into our future – an unnatural selection of sorts. It foreshadows what success – and even survival will look like in the next century. Of course like any great story, it’s full of lessons for you-me-us.