MANY DIFFERENT PATHS LEAD TO A VISION
CONVERSATIONS WITH EXCEPTIONAL INDIVIDUALS
Ifthe protagonists in this edition of Bulletin were to meet and discuss the question of how one becomes a visionary, their conversation might sound like this:
“I don’t like experience,” says RICHARD SAUL WURMAN (page 41), inventor of the TED conferences and the author of around 90 books – adding: “If I knew how something was going to go, I wouldn’t do it.” ROGER FEDERER (page 6) is familiar with the problem: “If I had to play every match in the same way, it would be boring.” Federer says he disliked having to practice the same tennis strokes over and over at the start of his career. It was only when his former coach lectured him about the importance of training (“You just have enough talent to get into the top 100 for a week”) that he accepted that hard work was vital to achieve success.
Next, JANE GOODALL (page 44) explains how important it was for her career not to be part of the academic elite: “At university, someone would have told me at a point in time when I was fairly young and impressionable that animals don’t have personalities, intelligence or feelings.” Goodall, who is today the world’s most renowned researcher of primates, fears that she “perhaps would have believed it” and never challenged the status quo in her field of expertise.
“Technically speaking, Keynes would hardly be regarded as an economist today,” says ROBERT SKIDELSKY, the biographer of John Maynard Keynes, the “most influential economist of the 20th century” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). Keynes (page 18) only attended a few lectures on economics and – like Goodall – went on to develop his own groundbreaking views outside existing schools of thought. The situation was different again in the case of the Swiss Nobel laureate KURT WÜTHRICH, a former ski instructor and forester. It was more or less by chance that he came to focus on his area of expertise (page 26): “I’ve done so many different things, it really didn’t have to be chemistry.”
Many different paths lead to a vision. And today, it is as important as ever – without a vision, there can be no progress, no innovation and, ultimately, no growth. We hope you enjoy reading our 30 conversations with these exceptional individuals. And who knows – maybe this edition of Bulletin will provide inspiration for your own visions.
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