This Stanford Computer Science Genius Aims To Crack The Code Of Learning And Leadership

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Is that your mission right now?

The thing we deeply believe is that leadership is needed across all parts of society. It’s needed in the corporate world, it’s needed in the academic world, it’s needed in government, and it’s needed in nonprofits. Which is why from the beginning we included all graduate programs — MBAs, JDs, MDs, PhDs– because we need people who have expertise in all those fields. And then what we’re doing is building a co-curricular program that will go along with what they’re doing in their degree program. Building some skills and really trying to expose the students to interdisciplinary thinking, collaboration. Those are skills you need if you really want to tackle big problems we have around the world.

Are you impressed by the teen activists who are protesting against gun violence?

I’m a child of the ’60s and early ’70s, so I saw a really mixed bag that came out of the protests and the demonstrations. Certainly, there was societal progress, but there was also a lot of destructive behavior. Young people today are much more open about finding ways to work constructively and to think hard about problems. And they understand that it may be important to bring knowledge, to bring innovation, to bring new approaches to solving problems. It’s more than about protest: it’s calling attention to the issue and saying, ‘How are we, as a society, going fix this problem?’

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