Changing the World: One Challenge at a Time
Larry’s career reads like a movie script. It starts with him as a young doctor who gets recruited to deliver a Native American baby on the occupied Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay in the late 1960s. He then gets swept up into the literal making of a movie, which involves psychedelic buses traveling cross country with the likes of Wavy Gravy and culminates in a Pink Floyd concert in England. He and some others stay on the bus, and travel for the next few years all the way to India. There, Larry meets Ram Dass and studies with a guru in a monastery in the Himalayans. The guru tells him to join the United Nations and eradicate smallpox. After numerous attempts to join the effort, accompanied with journeys up and down the mountain, he finally gets a UN job and eventually becomes one of the leaders of the WHO program that indeed eradicates history’s greatest killer. The story doesn’t stop there. Brilliant goes on to launch a foundation that eventually helps as many as 2 million blind people regain sight—with the help of the Grateful Dead and Steve Jobs, among others. He also becomes involved in a technology company that provides the core hardware and software for the founding of the pioneering online community, the WELL. Brilliant’s career is in every way remarkable. So, too, are his insights into where the world might be heading. In this presentation, he delivers multiple perspectives: those of a physician, a former CEO, a technologist, and—now—one of the world’s most visible philanthropists, to challenge each of us to change the world.
Birds, Bugs, and Business: Preparing for Crisis
The first years of this century have brought increasing shocks—technological, political, economic, and climatic. Now we are facing mounting concerns about a possible biological crisis: an avian flu pandemic. But what is its probability? What steps can we take to prepare? And what are the broader implications for business and society?