TEDx London Business School speakers 'press reset' on life

Leading thinkers called for a mindset reset at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool


CTRL ALT DEL your expectations and make room for new ideas said speakers at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool 2016.

Thinkers from the worlds of creative arts, science, business and academia set to the stage to share ideas they hoped would make a difference to people’s lives.  

The event was hosted by MBA students Daniel Prior and Itzel Barron Chirino. “When there’s a computer glitch, we all reach for control, alt, delete,” said Barron Chirino. “What does alt stand for? Alternative thinking.” The co-hosts asked the audience to consider changing the way they think, to find alternative solutions in times of vulnerability. 

Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean of London Business School opened the event and said the theme offered people the important chance to “make and take new opportunities”.

Freek Vermeulen, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School discussed ‘corporate viruses’: the idea that people and companies simply do things because they have always been done. He said: “A great source of innovation is to stop doing stupid things. Innovation isn’t just about new ideas; it’s about stopping what doesn’t work and resetting your organisation.”

Rajesh Chandy, Professor of Marketing; Tony and Maureen Wheeler Chair in Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of the Deloitte Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London Business School asked: could fewer entrepreneurs mean greater prosperity? “Yes,” he concluded. “The life of the entrepreneur is far from glamorous. Most entrepreneurs barely eke a living.” He explained the relationship between thriving entrepreneurs and big business: “As an entrepreneur, it helps to have worked at a large company because you better understand how to scale.”

Among the 18 speakers was Ed Rex, Founder and CEO of startup Jukedeck, which makes custom soundtracks. Rex asked: can computers be creative? He demonstrated that indeed artificial intelligence (AI) is making it possible for robots to map and learn creative patterns. 

Rex cited IBM’s Chef-Watson, the cognitive-based cooking machine, which produced a series of new recipes based on people’s likes, dislikes and taste patterns. “AI is gradually learning to create recipes, art and music,” he said. But will AI take people’s jobs? “There’s no reason to fear the rise of creative AI,” he concluded. “It will help us solve problems: today’s impossible will be tomorrow’s commonplace.” 

Charles Irvine, Managing Director of the consulting company Questions of Difference, joined Rex on stage. He said: “People need to reframe conflict: it’s our biggest natural resource.” Irvine drew a parallel between conflict and water. “If unmanaged, like water, conflict has the ability to destroy and devastate.” He urged people in business to call out conflict. “Stop denying that you’re dealing with conflict. Have the courage to name your differences,” he pressed. 

“Sometimes the systems of life, work or society need a reset,” the co-hosts said. “We hope TEDxLondonBusinessSchool 2016 inspires ideas born from the challenge of starting over.”

About Rajesh Chandy

Rajesh Chandy is a Professor of Marketing; Tony and Maureen Wheeler Chair in Entrepreneurship at London Business School. He is also an Academic Director of the Business for Development Institute. 

He teaches on the following programmes:

About Freek Vermeulen

Freek Vermeulen is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School.

He teaches on the following programmes: