Author Archives: C. DAY

The Future of Work, Empower Workers to Master New Technologies

Guided by a new social contract, here’s how you can develop working models that deliver for your shareholders, employees, and global communities.

Digital transformation. Automation. Globalization. A persistent productivity-wage gap — and the anger and activism it can engender in the workforce.  Those are just a few of the headwinds buffeting business leaders as they try to set a course for the work of the future. And that’s before accounting for pandemic- related shocks like supply chain disruptions, inflation, and the changing norms around hybrid work and geolocation.

Business leaders “need to build strong companies and good jobs in a globally competitive economy where technology is advancing, with the social diversity we find in our world.” That’s how MIT Sloan professor of management Thomas Kochan introduces his online executive education course, “Leading the Future of Work.”

Across industries, workers are worried that automation and artificial intelligence will steal their jobs, said Kochan, a member of the MIT Task Force on Work of the Future. Kochan shares those concerns, but also sees “tremendous” innovative potential in new technologies.  “We believe that we can harness advancing technologies to create a productive and more equitable future,” he said

In the U.S., nine out of 10 people born between the 1940s achieved a higher income and a higher standard of living than their parents. In contrast, only half of people born after 1980 have been able to achieve a standard of living that’s higher than what they grew up with.  Globalization, the presence of the “informal economy” of jobs without a social safety net, and the decline of union membership has led to “an imbalance of power at work that needs to be addressed,” Kochan said.

Courtesy of the MIT Sloan School of Management, below we offer the PDF from the series “Why Ideas Matter”, containing “Why Leadership is the Future of Management” by Meredith Somers, “Five Traits of the Workforce of the Future” by Kara Baskin., and “What ‘Work of the Future’ means to Five Business Leaders” by Sara Brown.
Guided by a news social contract, here’s how you can develop working models that deliver for your shareholders, employees, and global communities.
For many leaders, work of the future means integrating data and AI programs, honing empathy skills, and meeting worker’s wants and needs.

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Florida Venture Emerging Tech Award Winners


Exploration Park, Miami, and Tampa, Fla. (May 20, 2022) – 
Space Florida and the Florida Venture Forum, Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, are pleased to announce the award winners at the 2022 EmergingTech Showcase, held May 20 in Lake Nona. A panel of judges evaluated each eligible company’s presentation and supporting materials. Third place winner Brick Street Farms will take home $10,000 of Space Florida’s Accelerating Innovation (AI) Award. Second place winner Helicon will receive $20,000. First runner-up Kalogon will receive $30,000. Grand Prize Winner Hardee Nutritional, will receive $40,000.

Hardee Nutritional, Lake Delton, Wisconsin, will grow and extract value-added ingredients from two types of algae in Hardee County FL, specifically: Haematococcus pluvialis (aka Hp), a source of natural astaxanthin and its co-product defatted algal meal; and Spirulina, known for its complete protein content and as a source of natural blue food colourings. These algae/products have been validated in the marketplace and represent more-than $1 billion in annual global sales.  Helicon, Orlando, Florida, makes the most advanced propellant in the world. They are working with more than 70 percent of the rocket industry today to increase rocket performance by 20-40 percent. The DoD has endorsed them and has place to scale up production 100X this year.

Kalogon, Melbourne, Florida, has tested and proven their market-ready solution to pressure injuries – Smart Seating. Their smart cushions dynamically adjust the pressure distribution of the user and intelligently change their algorithms to suit the needs of the patient. Their product allows for easy software customization to offload locations of concern and has been designed to prevent pressure injuries and help heal existing injuries. This allows their users to sit for longer, without pain, and reduce the risk of developing life-threatening injuries.

The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, helping fast-growth companies connect with sources of capital from across the country. Since 1984 more than 1500 companies have presented at Forum events and have gone on to raise upwards of $11B in equity capital, producing billions more in economic value to Florida. The Forum’s 250+ members represent a “who’s who” of venture capital and private equity dealmakers, including equity and debt investors at all stages, as well as major law, accounting, and investment banking firms, and large corporates active in the innovation ecosystem. The Forum provides programs and programming statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting major annual conferences like the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, the Early Stage Capital Conference, and industry-focused events including aerospace and healthcare. For more information, visit: http://www.flventure.org.

Courtesy Space Florida, Florida Venture Forum Press Release 5/20/2022

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – Explained.

Courtesy of Steve Blank (Godfather of Lean Startup, Mentor to your editor and designer of Customer Development evidenced-based entrepreneurship).  

Hundreds of billions in public and private capital is being invested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning companies. The number of patents filed in 2021 is more than 30 times higher than in 2015 as companies and countries across the world have realized that AI and Machine Learning will be a major disruptor and potentially change the balance of military power.

Until recently, the hype exceeded reality. Today, however, advances in AI in several important areas (here, here, here, here and here) equal and even surpass human capabilities.  If you haven’t paid attention, now’s the time.

Artificial Intelligence and the Department of Defense (DoD)
The Department of Defense has thought that Artificial Intelligence is such a foundational set of technologies that they started a dedicated organization- the JAIC – to enable and implement artificial intelligence across the Department. They provide the infrastructure, tools, and technical expertise for DoD users to successfully build and deploy their AI-accelerated projects.

We’re in the Middle of a Revolution
Imagine it’s 1950, and you’re a visitor who traveled back in time from today. Your job is to explain the impact computers will have on business, defense and society to people who are using manual calculators and slide rules. You succeed in convincing one company and a government to adopt computers and learn to code much faster than their competitors /adversaries. And they figure out how they could digitally enable their business – supply chain, customer interactions, etc. Think about the competitive edge they’d have by today in business or as a nation. They’d steamroll everyone.

That’s where we are today with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. These technologies will transform businesses and government agencies. Today, 100s of billions of dollars in private capital have been invested in 1,000s of AI startups. The U.S. Department of Defense has created a dedicated organization to ensure its deployment.

But What Is It?
Compared to the classic computing we’ve had for the last 75 years, AI has led to new types of applications, e.g. facial recognition; new types of algorithms, e.g. machine learning; new types of computer architectures, e.g. neural nets; new hardware, e.g. GPUs; new types of software developers, e.g. data scientists; all under the overarching theme of artificial intelligence. The sum of these feels like buzzword bingo. But they herald a sea change in what computers are capable of doing, how they do it, and what hardware and software is needed to do it.  This brief will attempt to describe all of it.

New Words to Define Old Things
One of the reasons the world of AI/ML is confusing is that it’s created its own language and vocabulary. It uses new words to define programming steps, job descriptions, development tools, etc. But once you understand how the new world maps onto the classic computing world, it starts to make sense. So first a short list of some key definitions.

AI/ML – a shorthand for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – a catchall term used to describe “Intelligent machines” which can solve problems, make/suggest decisions and perform tasks that have traditionally required humans to do. AI is not a single thing, but a constellation of different technologies.

Machine Learning (ML) – a subfield of artificial intelligence. Humans combine data with algorithms (see here for a list) to train a model using that data. This trained model can then make predications on new data (is this picture a cat, a dog or a person?) or decision-making processes (like understanding text and images) without being explicitly programmed to do so.

Machine learning algorithms – computer programs that adjust themselves to perform better as they are exposed to more data. The “learning” part of machine learning means these programs change how they process data over time. In other words, a machine-learning algorithm can adjust its own settings, given feedback on its previous performance in making predictions about a collection of data (images, text, etc.).

Deep Learning/Neural Nets – a subfield of machine learning. Neural networks make up the backbone of deep learning. (The “deep” in deep learning refers to the depth of layers in a neural network.) Neural nets are effective at a variety of tasks (e.g., image classification, speech recognition).rning neural net algorithm is given massive volumes of data, and a task to perform – such as classification. The resulting model is capable of solving complex tasks such as recognizing objects within an image and translating speech in real time. In reality, the neural net is a logical concept that gets mapped onto a physical set of specialized processors. See here.)

Data Science – a new field of computer science. Broadly it encompasses data systems and processes aimed at maintaining data sets and deriving meaning out of them. In the context of AI, it’s the practice of people who are doing machine learning.

Data Scientists – responsible for extracting insights that help businesses make decisions. They explore and analyze data using machine learning platforms to create models about customers, processes, risks, or whatever they’re trying to predict.

What’s Different? Why is Machine Learning Possible Now?
To understand why AI/Machine Learning can do these things, let’s compare them to computers before AI came on the scene. (Warning – simplified examples below.).

Machine Learning

In contrast to programming on classic computing with fixed rules, machine learning is just like it sounds – we can train/teach a computer to “learn by example” by feeding it lots and lots of examples. (For images a rule of thumb is that a machine learning algorithm needs at least 5,000 labeled examples of each category in order to produce an AI model with decent performance.) Once it is trained, the computer runs on its own and can make predictions and/or complex decisions.

Just as traditional programming has three steps – first coding a program, next compiling it and then running it – machine learning also has three steps: training (teaching), pruning and inference (predicting by itself.)

Machine Learning – Training
Unlike programing classic computers with explicit rules, training is the process of “teaching” a computer to perform a task e.g. recognize faces, signals, understand text, etc. (Now you know why you’re asked to click on images of traffic lights, cross walks, stop signs, and buses or type the text of scanned image in ReCaptcha.) Humans provide massive volumes of “training data” (the more data, the better the model’s performance) and select the appropriate algorithm to find the best optimized outcome. (See the detailed “machine learning pipeline” section for the gory details.)

What Does this Mean for Businesses?

Hang on to your seat. We’re just at the beginning of the revolution. The next phase of AI, powered by ever increasing powerful AI hardware and cloud clusters, will combine some of these basic algorithms into applications that do things no human can. It will transform business and defense in ways that will create new applications and opportunities.

Human-Machine Teaming
Applications with embedded intelligence have already begun to appear thanks to massive language models. For example – Copilot as a pair-programmer in Microsoft Visual Studio VSCode. It’s not hard to imagine DALL-E 2 as an illustration assistant in a photo editing application, or GPT-3 as a writing assistant in Google Docs.

AI in Medicine
AI applications are already appearing in radiology, dermatology, and oncology. Examples: IDx-DR,OsteoDetectEmbrace2.  AI Medical image identification can automatically detect lesions, and tumors with diagnostics equal to or greater than humans. For Pharma, AI will power drug discovery design for finding new drug candidates. The FDA has a plan for approving AI software here and a list of AI-enabled medical devices here.

Autonomous Vehicles
Harder than it first seemed, but car companies like Tesla will eventually get better than human autonomy for highway driving and eventually city streets.

Decision support
Advanced virtual assistants can listen to and observe behaviors, build and maintain data models, and predict and recommend actions to assist people with and automate tasks that were previously only possible for humans to accomplish.

Supply chain management
AI applications are already appearing in predictive maintenance, risk management, procurement, order fulfillment, supply chain planning and promotion management.

Marketing
AI applications are already appearing in real-time personalization, content and media optimization and campaign orchestration to augment, streamline and automate marketing processes and tasks constrained by human costs and capability, and to uncover new customer insights and accelerate deployment at scale.

Making business smarter: Customer Support
AI applications are already appearing in virtual customer assistants with speech recognition, sentiment analysis, automated/augmented quality assurance and other technologies providing customers with 24/7 self- and assisted-service options across channels.

(more…)

Best Practices in Entrepreneurship Recording

#entrepreneurship 

Do NOT miss Best Practices in Entrepreneurship broadcast recording. Two excellent professors answer key questions, sharing their knowledge and experience. Host and two guests all former entrepreneurs who have taught the subject for years. https://studio.youtube.com/channel/UC2QfIMvtbLtJ6nBVDMRYNrw    YouTube Link

 

Guests are Dr. Andy Gold, Hillsborough Community College Tampa, NACCE advisor, veterans entrepreneurship specialist.

&

Michael Grimshaw, Director of Entrepreneurship at Cal State University Dominguez Hills (Los Angeles) Entrepreneurial Institute, Enactus social entrepreneurship advisor

Hosted by blog editor Clinton E. Day, MBA

Length 57 minutes

Full of a treasure trove of resources and ideas.

Best Practices of Entrepreneurship LinkedIn Live Broadcast

A treasure of entrepreneurship education based on questioning two highly rated entrepreneurship professors who head programs on the two coasts, one in Los Angeles and the other in Tampa FL.  Each one has unique experience and specialties to share with entrepreneurs, educators and the business world in general.

All participants, your editor Clint Day, Dr. Andy Gold of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, and Mike Grimshaw director of entrepreneurship at Cal State Dominguez Hills  (Los Angeles), were successful entrepreneurs before moving into teaching the subject. Andy and Mike also operate busy incubators on their campuses, enjoy diverse student bodies, and have disadvantage entrepreneurs programs (Andy’s EEVF inside NACCE.com) and Mike Enactus activity for underdeveloped country students to speak on the social aspect of new venture.

https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:6918503399181139968/

With so much to cover, we tried to list resources for both entrepreneurs and their educators which may entail stopping the recording (runs 57 minutes) at selected points and replay to hear the source repeated.   Email are provided at the conclusion, and we encourage any viewer to contact the speaker for more information on topics of interest.  Some the resources on the web:

Current in Entrepreneurship Blog –  https://cllintoneday.com  (host & blog editor)

   Enactus.org.  – developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders using social innovation.

   NACCE.com  – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (included referenced EVVF inner city funding).

Cal State Dominguez Hills. – https://www.csudh.edu/cbapp/institutes/the-entrepreneurial-institute.

Hillsborough Community College  – https://www.hccfl.edu/academics/inlabhcc

STRIVE veterans entrepreneurship program  – https://www.nacce.com/news/nacce-announces-rollout-of-strive-consortium-in-partnership-with-the-institute-for-veterans

 

California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference, 4/29/22 San Diego

A special group of entrepreneurship professors were assembled by Alex DeNoble of San Diego State University’s Lavin Center for this years California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (CEEC) and offered free to all comers online.  We counted four past USASBE (U. S. Assn of Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Presidents among the presenters, and topics were razor focused -the entrepreneurial mindset, entrepreneurship and the disadvantaged, and ethics and entrepreneurship.

Rebecca White, Chair and Director of the University of Tampa entrepreneurship center, led the mindset panel providing that part of her new book See, Do, Repeat about three elements of an entrepreneurial mindset.  Opportunity recognition must also include willing action and an ability to execute, the latter overcoming past failures, the ability to pivot, and optimism.  Dr. White shares her startup process on this Start here website:

https://drrebeccawhite.com/start-here/

Others in her panel, Jeffrey Stamp from the University of Minnesota and Jeffrey Hornsby from UMKC added intrinsic curiosity, a willingness to try new things, and exhaustive research to the topic with many resources.  Daspit et al. developed an integrated definition of the mindset as “a cognitive perspective that enables an individual to create value by recognizing and acting on opportunities, making decisions with limited information, and remaining adaptable and resilient in conditions that are often uncertain and complex.”

Another jewel of a panel was that of Dr. Mike Morris from Norte Dame who has established the Entrepreneurship Development Institute to eliminate impoverishment through entrepreneurship. Targets of his work are minorities and disadvantaged populations focused on Africa, Latin America and inner U. S. cities.  One participant from Dearborn MI uses project learning or PBL, project based learning, for students to experience the social benefit of small business enterprise in depressed neighborhoods.  Patrick Synder, Ex Director of Biz Starts Milwaukee told how he has adopted the model of helping underserved communities improve by helping disadvantaged entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality.  His program teaches cohorts on Saturdays the basics like accounting, design thinking and business planning to build micro businesses that raise inner city’s economy.

Mike’s panel featured others who teach entrepreneurship as a pathway to reducing poverty.  One pointed-out the need to prepare students for their time in lower-income neighborhoods which includes humility training for better collaborations. Impoverished people are incredibly intelligent, but just did not have the same opportunities as those more fortunate.  Showing how to generate empathy for lower-income entrepreneurs increases the success of the program.  Generally speaking, business in general must play a role in abolishing impoverishment, and introducing corporation social responsibility programs into the disadvantaged communities has proven particularly effective over time.

Sponsors of the conference are going to share recordings and slides in the near future, and we will provide follow-up to this report in the near future.  Editor Clint Day

 

Real Reason to Be an Entrepreneur

 

Lots of people become entrepreneurs for the wrong reasons

 Why do you need to do more? Why aren’t you just happily retired on your private island somewhere? What drives a serial entrepreneur like you to keep building even after having as much success as you’ve had?”

I wish I could tell you his answer surprised me. However, having spent nearly two decades either building startups myself or teaching entrepreneurship, his answer is exactly what the experienced entrepreneur I’ve become would expect. It’s also an answer the younger version of me as an entrepreneur — the one who was focused on becoming rich — would have never understood or appreciated. For Scott Heiferman, building companies isn’t about money at all. Instead, it’s about helping solve the world’s biggest problems. Or, as Scott put it when we spoke, the reason he’s still building startups is:

“Because the world’s messed up and because there’s an opportunity to help. I mean, if the world was going swimmingly and people’s lives were fully solved for and they had opportunity and they felt powerful, I wouldn’t keep doing it, but it’s what I’m good at. Some people are good chefs, so they should make people happy by making good food. Some people are good teachers or nurses, or whatever the heck they do that helps people, and that’s a good way to spend their lives. I’m not good at most things, but I’m good at building companies, so that’s how I contribute… And, it’s not like there are many people who have built platforms that have been used by tens of millions of people. So it would be a shame if I didn’t put some of that experience to good use.”

Scott’s answer underscores something I’ve written before and something I’ll keep writing over and over and over again because I want to make sure every aspiring entrepreneur understands it in a way I didn’t when I first began my startup journey. The thing I didn’t understand was this:

Entrepreneurship isn’t about building companies or making money or becoming famous. Entrepreneurship is about solving problems.

Yes, sometimes solving problems in entrepreneurial ways can lead to big companies and money and fame, but that’s a byproduct, not a purpose, which is why it’s not the thing the best entrepreneurs are focused on. The best entrepreneurs are focused on solving problems and helping improve the world. When they do that successfully, great things happen. For proof, just ask an entrepreneur like Scott Heiferman. Or, better yet, find an important problem to solve so you can discover the real purpose of entrepreneurship for yourself.

Courtesy of Entrepreneur’s Handbook by Duke’s Aaron Dinin Ph.D.

7 Ways to Know Your Worth and Shake the ‘Poverty Mindset’.

How to learn what you deserve and be a better business owner when you came from nothing.
 

My name is Ashely Smith. It’s one of the most common names in the  (especially if you were born in the 80s), except my first name is misspelled on account of my dad, who just couldn’t spell so good.

I’m a middle child of five siblings. Pale-skinned, freckle-faced and ordinary. I was born in Milton, , 15 minutes from the Alabama state line. Its original name was “Hell Town” because the mosquitoes, snakes, briar patches, alligators and hot, humid weather left it undesirable to anyone with a lick of common sense.

Now I sit in my plant-filled sunroom in St. Petersburg, Florida, watching the remnants of another fantastic sunrise turn into a bright white sky. My Mercedes  sits in the driveway — a societal testament that I’ve graduated from roads made of clay and whip antennas.

Milton is all but a distant memory. Yet, when I think back to everything that had to happen to get me here, gratitude wells up in my chest for what I didn’t know at the time was the that I needed to get me to the next level of my life.

I needed to grow up poor. I needed my dad to leave us at 8 years old. I needed to learn the hard way that I was fueled by a deep rejection from father figures — that’s why I always got my heart broken by the many “bad boys” that roamed around town. I needed there to be an old skating rink where I would spend hours rolling around on the slick rink floor, and I needed to  it deeply.

Ten years ago, I was really trying to get it together, especially for my newborn daughter. I enrolled in college and started working hard to become a dental hygienist — a $70,000 annual salary and a 35-hour work week sounded pretty sweet to me.

To gain some experience in the field, I got a job as a dental assistant and laboratory technician. And to escape the tumultuous arguing with bad boy #37, I played roller derby in the evenings.

One night, I showed up to derby practice wearing a mouth guard I made at the dental office — with my derby name “Slim Skatey” written across the front — and my future began to take shape. The derby girls loved my mouthguard, so much so that they asked to buy some from me.

I bought a thermoforming machine, a die-cutting printer for the vinyl, ordered the material online and set up shop in my laundry closet. I’ve come a long way since using the top of the washer and dryer as my workspace.

I read somewhere that when you go to work on your business, you’re really going to work on yourself. Your business is a direct reflection of you. It will never exceed who you are. So, if you want more, you have to become more.

With that said, here are seven tips for anyone that has ever had an inkling that they deserve more out of life.

1. Get away from negative people
 
2. Know your worth and embrace your authentic self
 
3. Learn patience
 
4. Love and be kind
 
5. Work hard and cut out distractions
 
6. Start putting money back early
 
7. Raise your standards

Courtesy Entrepreneur.com by Ashley Notarmaso 4/18/2022

The New Startup.

A new world calls for a new kind of startup.  But, it won’t be solving entirely new problems.

Entrepreneurs create solutions –but with the world bogged down in problems, it’s hard to know where to begin.  Global investor Alexandre Lazarow has some advice: take inspiration from companies built in the most difficult environments.  Lazarow is the author of the book Out-Innovate, in which he studied 200 companies built in small and often challenging marketplaces –where resources and talent may be scarce, and where economic uncertainty reigns.  So how do those entrepreneurs there thrive?  “They have sustainability and resilience built into their DNA,  and into the operational fabric of the business,” he says.  Below, he talks about how to take a long-term approach and build for the future.

How do you innovate in such a time of uncertainty?  In Silicon Valley, they’re obsessed  with disruption.  Everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted.  But what we need today is different.  We need creators.  This is a semantic difference; it’s offering a product or service that wasn’t already available in the formal economy, or available at all.  And these entrepreneurs are the shoulders upon which others build, so they’re actually building their ecosystems at the same time.

Here’s an example: M-Pesa, a mobile banking startup in Kenya.  They created a payment system, and now 80 percent of Kenyan adults use it as their primary method.  That enabled a whole host of other industries across energy, education, healthcare, etc., that were never possible before.  That’s what I’m talking about: How do we channel this creator’s mindset to solve problems domestically and internationally, to capture meaningful opportunities in the market?  Coronavirus is laying bare the challenges we have in our society; we have to face them differently than we have before.

Once an entrepreneur has a solution, what next?  I think we’ve been plagued by this notion of “Move fast and break things”, where it’s OK to take risks and make mistakes with no mention of the consequences.  We have an opportunity to revisit that, for the better.  The best entrepreneurial creators are also managing risks.  They build risk management into their KPIs, their operations, their culture. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take risks; it means figuring out what risks are acceptable.  We don’t know what best practices will be yet, but let a lot of ideas come from the bottom up.  It’s the folks at the front line, who know a business really well, who can guide some of this.

We’re talking about building for the future, but…when exactly does “the future” start? 

The author William Gibson once said, “The future’s already here.  It’s just not evenly distributed.”  The problems of tomorrow are still going to be the problems of today, and the problems of yesterday.  Healthcare, education, financial inclusion –those are not new challenges.  Try to identify a pain point in your community, and in your society, that you feel really passionate about and that you have an approach to tackling.  That’s a really good place to start.

Courtesy of Entrepreneur.com by Jason Feifer

 

 

 

Entrepreneurship, Key to Lifelong Happiness.

“The idea of opportunity and boundless adventure, that’s central to entrepreneurship. And, I think one of the most important characteristics, the most important ingredient of entrepreneurship is happiness.”

Bestselling author and acclaimed social scientist Dr. Arthur C. Brooks had just started detailing how Babson College students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, and entrepreneurs of all types can maintain happiness throughout their lives when he began talking turkey—both literally and metaphorically.

“In the next few minutes, I’m going to introduce to you the incredible world of neuroscience and social science and human happiness. And, if I do my job, you’re going to have a 401(k) plan for your happiness. Just like I have one for me,” Brooks said during a nearly hourlong discussion on campus Tuesday night.

The free presentation, which packed Knight Auditorium, was hosted by the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise Through Entrepreneurship.

Brooks, who writes a regular column for The Atlantic about happiness and loneliness in the pandemic era, went on to compare happiness to a well-balanced Thanksgiving meal of pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and, of course, turkey.

“Now, why do I bring that up? Because that’s a good metaphor for happiness. All foods are made up of three micronutrients—fat, carbohydrates, and protein,” he said. “Happiness requires three macronutrients in abundance and balance. They are enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose.”

The vivid Thanksgiving imagery captured the imagination of Amanda Blein, a prospective Babson student from Haiti who came to the event with her mother and sister.

“I never really thought about it like that, but when he said it, it made sense,” said Blein, who stuck around after the event to have a free copy of Brooks’ newest book signed. “We really need that balance of everything to have it together.”

Bestselling author and acclaimed social scientist Dr. Arthur C. Brooks had just started detailing how Babson College students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, and entrepreneurs of all types can maintain happiness throughout their lives when he began talking turkey—both literally and metaphorically.

“In the next few minutes, I’m going to introduce to you the incredible world of neuroscience and social science and human happiness. And, if I do my job, you’re going to have a 401(k) plan for your happiness. Just like I have one for me,” Brooks said during a nearly hourlong discussion on campus Tuesday night.

The free presentation, which packed Knight Auditorium, was hosted by the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise Through Entrepreneurship.

Brooks, who writes a regular column for The Atlantic about happiness and loneliness in the pandemic era, went on to compare happiness to a well-balanced Thanksgiving meal of pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and, of course, turkey.

“Now, why do I bring that up? Because that’s a good metaphor for happiness. All foods are made up of three micronutrients—fat, carbohydrates, and protein,” he said. “Happiness requires three macronutrients in abundance and balance. They are enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose.”

The vivid Thanksgiving imagery captured the imagination of Amanda Blein, a prospective Babson student from Haiti who came to the event with her mother and sister.

“I never really thought about it like that, but when he said it, it made sense,” said Blein, who stuck around after the event to have a free copy of Brooks’ newest book signed. “We really need that balance of everything to have it together.”

Brooks spent much of his presentation breaking down those three key ingredients for happiness. Enjoyment, he said, is more than sheer pleasure, it’s a well-earned pleasant experience shared with those closest to you. While success, he said, is actually about wanting less. Otherwise, you’re constantly focusing on things you don’t have, instead of embracing the things you do.

“This will not come naturally,” Brooks said. He tries to cross off things from his so-called bucket list every year, not by doing them, but by letting them go. “I make a strategic plan to free myself from those attachments, and if you do this, it will change your life.”

This wasn’t the first time that Brooks’ work has been discussed on Babson’s campus. Andrew Corbett, the Butler Institute’s faculty director who introduced Brooks on Tuesday night, held a screening and student discussion about Brooks’ documentaryThe Pursuit, at the Sorenson Center for the Arts in 2020. The film details the positive role of free enterprise and capitalism in the fight against poverty.

Article courtesy of Babson College, by Hillary Chabot, April 21, 2022