Connected Conversations collects stories from thought leaderships discussing how innovators live smarter every day.

Connected Conversations

Connected Conversations highlights stories from the most creative leaders throughout all industries. Flex discusses how innovators live smarter. They are revealing what influences and motivates them, their personal passions, future predictions, and lessons learned.

Connected Conversations

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Nersi Nazari, Ron Gutman

Intro: The convergence of health and technology is enabling faster more efficient ways of remotely managing our personal wellness. But can these technologies potentially save your life?
The world is made of intelligent systems. Dynamic, connected designs, constantly learning, adapting, exchanging information. Our body is one of life’s smartest systems. One that requires care and holds the secrets to our health.


MICHAEL: Hi, I’m Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex. Today, I’m in San Diego at Fortune Brainstorm Health, where I’ll be talking with three pioneers in digital healthcare: Ron Gutman, Nersi Nazari, and the President of Flex Medical Solutions, John Carlson. These industry leaders are not only revolutionizing quality of care, but how we deliver it, and who we deliver it to. As the founder and CEO of HealthTap, Ron built an innovative mobile application that instantly connects people to a broad network of first rate doctors and he recently introduced HOPES, the world’s first health operating system. Nersi is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Vital Connect, a medical device company that uses connected wearable technology to redefine patient care. Join us for an important discussion about the future of healthcare and what breakthroughs will transform how we fundamentally experience health.
Thank you all for being here.

NERSI: It’s a pleasure to be with you.

MICHAEL: You know, so much in the news today about healthcare is rising cost, the customer sort of experience that patients have with healthcare, and a lot of frustration around this and when you think of the GDP as it relates to the cost of healthcare for countries around the world. What’s broken? And John, I’ll start with you, what’s broken with the system?

JOHN: So fundamentally it’s a question of aligned or misaligned incentives. And today healthcare, in money, the developed countries it is viewed as a right. And I should have access to healthcare in an unlimited fashion at no cost to me personally. So you create a situation, where you’re creating a marketplace with no cost to the individual who’s receiving the benefit. At the same time, the people who are delivering the benefit are incentivized to provide you more and more healthcare, so the more they can provide to you, they get paid for, they get reimbursed for, so a bizarre marketplace where the consumer receiving the benefit has no cost. The person who is delivering the benefit has no constraint on what they can charge for it. And I think it’s a question on how you can start to realign the incentives to take out the inefficiencies that have been built over time into that healthcare system.

MICHAEL: I’ll come to you, Ron. At HealthTap, I mean, does service start to improve and the care side of this become better for the patients?

RON: I believe so, because when we actually get incentivized or providers get incentivized, by the outcome and not by the services they provide we start creating incentives for the providers to provide better care and to really focus on experiences from end to end. And healthcare is very fragmented, right? So what we need to do together is start bringing all the pieces together, to connect them and make them smarter, so the patient can get better healthcare.

MICHAEL: So Nersi, you’re in the business of connecting some of those dots, with Vital Connect. How important is smart, intelligent data and connection today?

NERSI: It is enormously important. And one of the reasons for this cost increase is because people live longer, and then the chronic disease management is 75% of the cost of healthcare in the United States. If we can predict a condition coming to patients, a condition can be detected so the patient does not have to go to the hospital in an ambulance and stay there for days, but preventive care can be administered at home.

MICHAEL: John, how far behind is society, relative to improving healthcare, and the speed at which we could be moving and helping save more lives?

JOHN: You have to answer that question in a balance fashion, which is part of the reason things go slow, is so that bad outcomes don’t happen. And so there’s a conservativeness that exists in healthcare, which I think we have to respect and understand. That being said, we’re at least a decade behind any other industry, if you look at the efficiencies, you’ve seen in almost every other industry that’s out there. Things like data standards don’t exist in healthcare, where they’ve existed in other industries for more than 40 years, to allow people to share information, to move things more rapidly. Simple things like just the ability to talk to a physician over a phone; in many places you can’t get paid for it. There’s a lot of areas where the technology is 10 to 20 years ahead of where medicine is today. We could do 10 times more than we’re doing right now if we simply let some of those regulations go and allow us to latch on to current state technology in medicine that doesn’t exist today.

MICHAEL: Which medical specialty will we see move first?

JOHN: It will be the people who are supporting chronic diseases, because that’s the area, as you mentioned earlier, that is burdening healthcare. You could look at any other chronic diseases, whether that’s diabetes, COPD, congestive heart failure – I’m not sure which ones going to move first, but they’re all have the potential to bankrupt healthcare. It’ll be the burning platform on which change has to happen, because the economics will not support the old way of doing it.

MICHAEL: So Ron, you’ve launched a new service. What is that, and what is that new innovation coming from your company?

RON: Sure, I think that the most important thing is bringing it all together. It’s called HealthTap Cloud, and what we did is took our infrastructure and to enable developers to bake some of the building blocks that they’ve created, into their products and services. Kaiser Permanente announced that more than 50% of the care that they delivered here in southern California, is now delivered via telemedicine, which is great. Some companies charge these hospitals, or these healthcare systems a lot of money in order to provide this technology. But what we as a technology company decided to do is democratize it. What if we make the building block of incorporating virtual care into your apps or websites? Then the medicine alone is just one feature. What about a clinical CRM, reminders for people to just adhere to their medication? What about analysis of data? What if we give you that building block, to bake into your products and services? We have big software companies, we have device makers, we have app creators collaborating with each other to build better experiences that are interpretable, engaging, and smart.

MICHAEL: So Nersi, 10 years from now, what is your hope for healthcare?

NERSI: I think in 10 years from now, there can really be preventive health in a way that we don’t see it right now. Right now preventive health means exercise, eat right, and so forth. But if you tell the person specifically, Michael, because of your genetics and so forth, you’re really at the risk of this particular thing and you should do A, B, and C. The reception is enormous. So, I think that technology is going to be here in 10 years, and before that, in 5 years, we’re going to have censors that are very accurate and help patients to do most of their recovery, if not all of it, at their own home.

MICHAEL: Ron, 10 years from now, healthcare.

RON: I have a very strong belief that doctors are moving from being providers of information, and regurgitators of information, to a very different profession. So, the way that med school is taught today, is a lot of memorization that can actually be handled by computers better than by human beings. So instead of that, what I believe will happen, in the coming decade, is doctors will become data scientists. Doctors will have access to a lot more data that comes from a lot of devices, a lot of censors, to give them a better picture about the individual than what the individual says, freeing the doctors to take the time, and use the data, and synthesize it, in a way that will be valuable to patients.


JOHN: I think 10 years from now, healthcare is a very personal decision that allows you to live your life the way you want to. Today, you’re making trade-offs in your healthcare every day and you have no idea what the consequence of those decisions are. I think you can be a much more informed consumer that if you know that by eating this piece of cake, I have to do something different, otherwise I’m going to have this consequence long term. So if we develop these systems and tools that allow people to live their lives the way they want to, and we give them tools to maximize their happiness, 10 years from now it’s the personal decisions that we’re making, that we’re accountable for, we understand the trade-offs that we’re making. That to me will change completely how people look at healthcare, how they invest in their own selves, and how they look at long term happiness.

MICHAEL: Thank you all for being with us. That was fantastic.
When it comes to our health, nothing is more important. We all want immediate, trustworthy, and personalized care. In collaboration with Flex, visionary companies like HealthTap and Vital Connect are making those hopes a reality. bringing the power of connected health to us, whenever, and wherever we need. Their innovations enable a more efficient connection with our doctors, as well as a more engaged connection with ourselves; empowering us to take control of our own health management, and in the process give light to a smarter, healthier future.

David Kenny

Intro: The age of artificial intelligence has arrived. Where is this technology going and how will it revolutionize business models in the not-too-distant future? At the core of technology is intelligence. And when it's shared with the collective mind of collaborative thinkers we open the floodgates of innovation allowing ideas to flow faster, and solutions to spread further. Inspiring us to pursue a smarter way of life.


MICHAEL: Hi I'm Michael Mendenhall. I'm here in Aspen for Fortune Brainstorm Tech An annual conference for the leaders of Fortune 500 companies. Today I'll be speaking with David Kenny. The general manager of IBM Watson and a leading figure in the field of cognitive and artificial intelligence.
Join us for an insightful discussion on the extraordinary future before us.So thank you very much for coming, David. It's good to have you here.

DAVID: Good is my pleasure Michael glad to be with you.

MICHAEL: How real is artificial intelligence?

DAVID: The question of how real is artificial intelligence is that complex one. I would say if we define artificial intelligence as the ability of a machine on its own to understand large volumes of data to reason that data with a purpose to predict the future and then to continue to learn and get better. That is happening today in certain fields.

MICHAEL: How far the continuum is IBM Watson in operability artificial intelligence?

DAVID: Yes so, first of all once, once it's actually intelligent and will no longer be artificial. So we're moving to the point that these systems increasingly understand enormous volumes of data and I think understand unstructured data which is the next level up and then they're beginning to self-learn. Because they understand when they were right and more importantly when they were wrong. What I would say, about IBM Watson's approach to this is we do focus on specific vertical use cases.
So oncology, cardiology, and endocronology. In each of those cases, it can become a really smart system that's pretty far. Some people then talk about the view of artificial general intelligence, that will be all-knowing I have my doubts actually that there will be a single algorithm that can know everything. Certainly, that doesn't mimic human capacity. All humans are experts at something. You would ask your oncologist for cancer advice but not for real estate advice.

MICHAEL: So there are so many big societal issues and it seems like IBM Watson is really going at and using mathematics using data in real-time. Using cloud computing and mobility to really address these things is that true?

DAVID: Yes Michael, all the team at IBM Watson and the IBM cloud team broadly are excited about Grand Challenges. There are so many things we need to do to sustain the planet to close the digital divide. And to just help humans live a better existence. So we're excited about that. I also would say, we are IBM and are humble.
We know that we're not going to solve all of these things. What we're trying to do is make Watson available to researchers, to scientists, to companies. All of these people are taking what we've done, adding in what they know, adding in all sorts of data that isn't freely available on the Internet and creating these answers.

MICHAEL: So is it five years out that we actually see artificial intelligence?

DAVID: I would say that we are seeing artificial intelligence today in small ways. I would say when a radiologist can actually save, you know hours of time because all the x-rays and MRIs are read for her and she can then begin to diagnosis. That's an AI assist today. It may be augmented intelligence first but it's helping make better decisions. And that continues to evolve. So the real question you ask is where will we be in five years?


DAVID: So because the cloud is faster, and because more people are interested and because we've solved some of the privacy questions so that data can become free. I would say we're going to see a far more pervasive cognitive computing and a far more pervasive AI in five years.
We're going to interact with computers in different ways, we're going to be sharing sensor data. I think we're going to see an enormous assist in the way technology carries us through our everyday lives in five years.

MICHAEL: So David, if you could advise the fortune 500 CEOs and give them one bit of advice about what the future holds since you and IBM Watson see that future what would that be?

DAVID: I would say first of all the foundation of the cognitive era is your data. Understand your data, understand how to make it open and agile and easy-to-use. Understand where your proprietary advantages in that are, and then build a business model on that. Everything else can be disintermediated.
Everything else is going to change: manufacturing processes will change, logistics are changing, but your data your cumulative knowledge what brought you to this point is unique and you need to protect that and understand that. Number1.
Number2: Empower your organizations to be able to build solutions on that data. Every company is going to become a software company to some extent.
Having the ability to compose the software real time, to serve your customers is going to be key. The rate of change is accelerating. And I know that we've said that before it has happened, but I know what the cloud has brought to the rate of change and making sure that you're ready to move with that change in your organization and the ecosystem you work with I think is going to be key.

MICHAEL: Thank you so much for being here David, appreciate it.

DAVID: Glad to be with you.


Our world is undergoing a seismic change. Soon cognitive computing will impact every part of our daily lives. Of course there will be skeptics. History is full of doubters. Fortunately, history also occasionally provides us with visionaries like David Kenny. Someone who truly understands the full implications of this new computing power. With these cognitive technologies, we will be able to substantially improve our lives and address the great challenges that face our world.

Kirsten Helvey

Intro: Today, the biggest driver of economic growth is people. So how does the company leverage its culture to stay ahead in today's rapidly evolving world? At the core of technology is intelligence.
And when it's shared with the collective mind of collaborative thinkers, we open the floodgates of innovation, allowing ideas to flow faster and solutions to spread further, inspiring us to pursue a smarter way of life.


MICHAEL: Hi, I'm Michael Mendenhall. I'm here in Aspen for Fortune Brainstorm Tech, an annual conference for leaders of the Fortune 500 companies to discuss their innovations and pioneering business strategies. Today I'll be meeting with Kirsten Helvey, the Chief Operating Officer at Cornerstone-on-Demand. The game-changing cloud-based learning and talent management solutions provider. Please stay with us.
Kirsten, thank you for joining us.

KIRSTEN: Michael, I'm excited to be here.

MICHAEL: We hear so much about capitalism. A lot of that has to do with infrastructure facilities, buildings, things. And now we understand that intellectual capital is important.
How important is it?

KIRSTEN: It is the number one most critical asset for a company. You have to focus on the people and making sure that you're nurturing people, developing that, giving them a reason to be at the company, be excited and passionate to work at the company and achieve the company's goals.
All of it is about collaboration and how people work together to build that culture. But a company has no culture without people, that people make the culture and it's so critical, and I think companies that don't focus on that, will not have an advantage in the future.
I think companies who really put their people first will be the winners in any category.

MICHAEL: How important is team in a remote workforce?

KIRSTEN: I think team is critical, and being able to interact with team, rely on team. I think one of the ways you do that is giving an environment for teamwork, to be valued, and making sure that people know it's okay to fail. Failure means that you're learning, you're growing and that you are moving towards success.
I think cultures that don't allow failure, don't allow innovation. They don't allow creativity.

MICHAEL: So, Cornerstone certainly is about not only recruiting great talent, but keeping the great talent organized, engaged, participating in the company, feeling a part of a team.
Is social media an important part to what Cornerstone does?

KIRSTEN: I would say collaboration is an important part to those things. I think that having people work together and working on common goals or goals that are important to them, in relation their work is what's critical.

MICHAEL: It's really interesting because you've been in Fortune 500 companies, you've been in startups. All of this has very, very different cultures.


MICHAEL: And now you're in a company that's disrupting the idea of how you engage employees. Do you find that that has helped you on this journey with Cornerstone-on-Demand?

KIRSTEN: Absolutely. I believe that culture's table stakes. I think companies are about people that make companies great.
When I interview somebody, I talk about a couple of things, but one of them is about accountability to culture. I believe that every person who comes into our company, or any company, has a responsibility to be accountable for creating that culture within that company.
The company doesn't do it. We, the people, set the culture.

MICHAEL: What are the major trends you see taking place today? And how does a company in this ever complex world prepare itself for what's coming?

KIRSTEN: I think the one thing that I think companies have to realize is: No matter what you do, you are a data company. You are a software company.
Everything you're running, your infrastructure, and I don't care whether you make products in factories, everything is running off software.
With that, I think the next foray is how does AI, or the cognitive software’s influence what we're doing. And it's not taking away jobs.
I think one of the key things that I'm passionate about is also making sure that our children have the skills they need for that next generation.
Right? People are learning differently. How are we shifting to prepare, you know, the incoming workforces to actually be able to do the work that we'll need which will mostly be in a lot of ways software-based or technology-based?
How you think is different, how you learn is different now.

MICHAEL: You know, it's interesting because there were so many concerns during the first Industrial Revolution that, you know, people weren't going to have jobs, that machines were going to replace jobs.
Yet now, in this fourth Industrial Revolution, we're hearing the same thing. Now data, information, cognitive capabilities are going to replace people. You know. Do you share those same concerns?

KIRSTEN: I believe that jobs will change. In all of the revolutions, all of the skillsets changed morphs into different jobs. There're going to be jobs, that we don't know about yet, that will, you know, be created by technology, by AR, by the next revolution.
And I believe we fundamentally have to ensure that we're building skillsets, you know, early on, from grade school on, to fuel that next revolution and have what we need in the new jobs that are yet to be created.

MICHAEL: Somewhat like the first Industrial Revolution, there'll be new jobs, more jobs, but they'll be different.

KIRSTEN: They'll be different, yes.

MICHAEL: Thank you for being here, Kirsten. This was awesome.

KIRSTEN: Thank you so much.


When people think of innovation, they are likely to imagine some new product or gadget. But innovation can take many forms. They can be a new approach to an old problem or timely response to an emerging concern. Kirsten Helvey's Cornerstone-on-Demand is a perfect example of this.
They not only make it possible for today's decentralized companies to communicate, collaborate and operate effectively within a highly volatile business environment, but they help build more productive, more engaged and yes, even happier workforces. It is yet another example of how technology can be used to help interconnect our world and create a better, smarter future for us all.

Jeannine Sargent

Intro: From inside the tiniest particles to the expanse of outer space, our innovative spirit has taken us to places we've only dreamed of. What disruptive technologies are on the horizon and where will they take us next? Revolutionary ideas change the course of history and pave the road to the future.
They have brought us here to the age of intelligence, where now, more than ever before, our imagination has the power to change the world.


MICHAEL: Hi! I'm Michael Mendenhall. Today I'll be speaking with Jeannine Sargent, the President of Innovation and New Ventures at Flex. Join us as we talk about how innovation drives us forward into a new era and what Jeannine sees for that future.
So, Jeannine, you've moved from startups into venture funds to now Flex, this global leader in technology and supply chain and manufacturing. How do you approach innovation? How do you screen for what's appropriate, what isn't, and where do you place your bets?

JEANNINE: I think the first thing to think about with innovation is, what does innovation mean? And when I think about innovation, I think about thinking about a new way to solve a problem and be able to bring something to a solution or desired outcome in a faster or a better way.
And so we step back and look across these industries and across the technologies and identify where are the gaps and where are the opportunities that really need to have a new way of thinking.
So it's about that prioritization in really looking and having that breadth of experience that allows us to be able to make the choices and decide where to make those bets in innovation.

MICHAEL: Has innovation changed the whole process of how you approach it?

JEANNINE: When we think about innovation and what we need to be able to accomplish, it's about prioritizing and thinking and filtering through the needs versus the wants. And I think that's really the focus. To do innovation with purpose and to have purpose and intent versus innovation for innovation's sake. In any of these early stages of technologies, like we're seeing with real-time connectivity in wearable solutions, it's an early stage adopter that you start to see. We see a lot of that in Silicon Valley.
We tend to be the hotbed of early-stage adopters for a lot of technologies. But what you also need to see is that you need to work through that initial whizz of the feature and really understand what's the usability, what's the sustainability of that?
Is it a nice-to-have or is it need-to-have? And I think the real value to innovation is when you work through that need-to-have and you actually address a real problem or make something a lot better and easier for someone from a consumer perspective.

MICHAEL: I want to jump a little bit to the autonomous vehicle because this is certainly something that's in the news. A lot of lot of people, again like Elon Musk, are certainly making bold statements.
You have Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, saying you know, you could contract manufacturer car. And you have Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford, saying I'm not just an automotive company, I'm a mobility company now.
People may not own cars. In fact, it will be an autonomous car that's a service that comes and picks you up when you request it and takes you to where you want to go. How real is all of that?

JEANNINE: We're in the core of a massive transformation in terms of transportation. Both traditional automobile transportation and just movement of people. Whether it's the Google car or Elon Musk's, you know, self-driving Tesla. And you're going to see more of that come out. I think an interesting thing is, it won't be the technology that will stage the growth.
It'll be regulations. And as we talked about also societal acceptance of change. I think that a lot of what we're seeing with autonomous cars and autonomous vehicles, is the beginning of us thinking differently as a population of how to societally survive and live and thrive in this type of environment.
Maybe much the same way people thought about moving from horse-drawn buggies to cars.

MICHAEL: Why do we need an autonomous car?

JEANNINE: I think one of the biggest reasons that people will say and will start to see the statistics on is saving lives. You know, the statistics are clear that the majority of deaths or injuries that are caused in automobiles are human error.
And so the ability for us to add more intelligence in a smart and predictive way will significantly reduce that risk and save lives.

MICHAEL: And does that change another whole cost structure as well?

JEANNINE: Actually, you know, when you look at even a good thing that happens, you totally disrupt an ecosystem and a supply chain. So while it's not a good thing when you have a car accident, there's an entire ecosystem of the mechanics and auto repair and the paint shops that participate in the result that we have so many accidents with cars.
So when you change that, you create other capabilities. I'm sure there's going to be services and new types of businesses that we're all going to experience and essentially what will become a third living room for us in our autonomous vehicle.

MICHAEL: So to close, I want to ask you two things.
One, if you're a company and you're looking to innovate, what advice would you give them? And if I'm a person in my home and I'm consuming this, what would you say to me?

JEANNINE: From the personal side, I think that you need to open your eyes and think differently about what really would make your life better, and start to think about doing some things differently that allow yourself to have more time to spend with your family or friends. Because there's a good chance that most of the tasks, some of the things that you think are not so fun, there's a good chance that you'll be able to change that and use technology to make your life easier and better.
I think from the first question of the corporation and what should they think about in terms of innovation, you need to snap to attention and wake up and really get focused on challenging the norm.
And I think strategic partnerships really encompass a lot, not just the traditional corporate-to-corporate, university-to-corporate startups to large companies.
The world is going to cause a significant amount of disruption over the next few years and in the time period that you're going to be relevant.
And the status quo is going to be completely challenged, so I would just say, snap to it and get on with change.

MICHAEL: Jeannine, thank you for joining us. It's been a pleasure.

JEANNINE: Thanks, Michael.


Innovation is the lifeblood of technology. And as innovators drive technology forward, new ideations create further momentum. With today's intelligent devices, the potential for exponential growth is unlimited.

Ron Gutman

Davos Cold Open:
We live in an interesting time. A time defined by a new Age of Intelligence. As the frontiers of technology expand, and the pace of innovation accelerates, the world is becoming smarter, more interconnected and richer in possibility. It’s transforming the way we work, play, and live.

Intro: The theme of this year’s World Economics Forum is “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” – a global transformation powered by billions of connections that will fuse the physical, digital, and biological worlds. Hi, I’m Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex. I’m here in Davos to speak with a man behind one of these big ideas, inventor and entrepreneur Ron Gutman. Ron is the founder and CEO of HealthTap, a revolutionary new health application that allows users to access real-time medical information 24/7 from top doctors around the world. Please join me as we learn how Ron Gutman is not only transforming the way we take care of ourselves but also fulfilling the forum’s mission of improving the state of the world.


MICHAEL: Ron, thank you for being with us.

RON: Yeah, I think it was a dream, more than anything else. I like building stuff. I love inventing new things. I-I saw coming to the United States as an opportunity. Since I started at Stanford, I-I-I realized that my passion is in healthcare. In health care you can invent and build because it’s so broken, and it’s so dysfunctional in so many ways, which is a dream for an entrepreneur, for a builder, for an inventor because you have a lot of opportunities. Some people look at them as challenges or difficulties, I see them as opportunities. When you go to healthcare, you also make an impact, that’s the flipside of the coin. When you are successful it makes a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

MICHAEL: So now you-you’re at HealthTap, you’re democratizing healthcare and-and you do that now, from what I understand, with just a tap.

RON: So, HealthTap is a global health practice. We have more than 85-thousand physicians, that they’re available to anyone anywhere to access from any mobile device or web connection. We provide access to care but also a way to manage your health from query to cure, from end to end. In healthcare, it’s not easy to do because everything in healthcare starts with the need for information, for understanding what’s going on with us, but then requires a consultation, requires an expert. So we builded this amazing library, right, we answered more than 4 billion doctor answers today - by doctors, to people. And now we have this amazing repository that is available to people to learn about their health, but that’s not enough, because now you need to actually connect with a doctor to get advice, to get the right prescription, to understand what you need to do. So we also built the right kind of apps for both doctors and patients to bring them together to provide and receive care. So, patients can see doctors via text, video, or voice, 24/7.

MICHAEL: Healthcare used to be physician-centric, it sounds like what you’re doing is, making it patient-centric.

RON: Absolutely. So, it is patient-centric, physician led. So this whole notion of empowered patients, a patient that understands their health, that actually deals with their health proactively is very, very powerful. Right? We don’t it today. Today it’s system centric here. Right? We’re all about payment, about the system, about the hospital, about clinics. We want to make it about the patient. To do that, we need to have a personal health record, where all the data about patients come into one place. When you get a medication, a prescription, the data goes to the personal health record. When you have a consultation with a doctor in the real world, the data goes there. You know, things in technology that are connected are smarter. Now we understand the patient really, really well.

MICHAEL: If we go back, uhm, you had a vivid imagination because I believe you wanted to be a superhero at some point. Here you are, saving lives. You must feel great that in some way people see you, your customers, as that superhero.

RON: I think it’s amazing. I mean, it’s not just me it’s the entire team, to be honest with you. A team of superheroes. You know, I’m just facilitating it maybe but we-we have an amazing team of people that are dedicated and devoted to saving people’s lives. You know, we-we we’re helping people every day, we’re getting notes from people everyday, thanking us for saving lives, and we just launched you know, a disaster relief product that can deploy thousands of physicians in minutes. We are able now, you know, with a special product that’s called HealthTap SOS to get into a disaster area within minutes after it happens and deploy thousands of doctors that are available to people on any mobile device in seconds for consultations, for questions by text, and for getting the relief they need. By the way, not only doctors but psychiatrists as well because it’s very, very stressful. But even beyond that, think about the data that comes out of there because we have people’s location, right, because we have their mobile device, we know where they are, but we also have the operating system that actually synthesizes the kind of things they’re dealing with. This is data that we can provide to the relief courses to bring with them their right kind of medication, the right kind of supplies, and direct their efforts into the places where people are because a lot of times people are displaced from their normal places. I think it’s technology on the one hand but the human spirit on the other hand. It’s bringing the doctors that are there already but they are not empowered to do what they can do otherwise. Technology gives them the ability to be everywhere in the world, in seconds, and provide their knowledge at scale and that’s amazing.


Everyday there are millions of medical questions from people concerned about their health. And also from those who need immediate care in the wake of a disaster. Through the innovative HealthTap and HealthTap SOS platforms, patients now have an immediate access to medical advice that they can trust. And doctors can raise their awareness by learning from other doctors. The reward is more efficient and less costly healthcare for all of us.

Tina Brown

Davos Cold Open:
We live in an interesting time. A time defined by a new Age of Intelligence. As the frontiers of technology expand, and the pace of innovation accelerates, the world is becoming smarter, more interconnected and richer in possibility. It’s transforming the way we work, play, and live.

Intro: Technology and the increasing prevalence of the Internet has a profound effect on modern journalism. Not only is the world better connected, and perceivably smaller than it’s ever been in the history of mankind, but the way we receive news information is no longer just limited to printed newspapers and magazines. Today’s modern news sources have evolved into multimedia platforms. Hi, I’m Michael Mendelhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex. No one has been more of a pioneer in today’s news magazine industries than my next guest, Tina Brown. Legendary editor of Tattler, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, as well as the founder and Editor in Chief of the digital news platform, the Daily Beast. I’m here at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to talk with her about the modern evolution of media and technology that drives it, and where it’s heading in our not so distant future.


MICHAEL:Tina Brown, thank you for coming. You had a father who was in film and a mother who was also in film. So my first question to you is, did you ever want to go into film?

TINA:Well, I think when you’re raised in a sort of show business family you kind of understand how tough it is actually. Uh, it’s such an unpredictable world and actually, in fact, it makes you crave a bit more predictability. It did make me though, understand, that everything is about uh, stories. You know, my father used to see everything as stories, it was always about looking for things to make movies out of and I think that’s really what fueled my story love, which turned me into a journalist. I passionately look for the story, I want the narrative, I always see things in terms of stories. And so I was kind of on a more bookish path. I-I wanted to go to Oxford and become a-a writer, a journalist.

MICHAEL: What then brought you from the United Kingdom to the United States?

TINA: Well, when I was 25 I was asked to edit this kind of shiny sheet magazine called the Tattler and as soon as I started doing it I realized the affinity was much like producing and my father had always been a producer which is about pulling elements together, persuading people to do things, looking for talent. And I found, very quickly, how much I love doing that. I loved putting it all together, producing the show.

MICHAEL:You were highly successful moving from traditional media to the Daily Beast, which was clearly very digital. Did you bring something along with you that said, ‘my next move in my career will be this based on not only my experience by something that I learned within that experience’?

TINA:Barry Diller called me in and he said, you know, ‘I want to start a news- a digital news site and I’d like you to come and make the same kind of, uh, mix and energy that you had at Vanity Fair why don’t you come and do it with me?’ And I thought, well really, then I-I guess I should, because I should learn about this- you know, what it’s like to do this digital journalism. So I started working with, uhm, uh-uh, a brilliant design firm uh, digital design firm, Code and Theory who were just this sort of new, young, sharp that had just begun at that time and as soon as I began working I-I created a great rapport, actually, with the- with Brandon Routh, who was one of the creative- the creative founders of it. And I said to him, ‘I’m going to come over and work with you’ and he said ‘what do you mean you’re going to come over?’ he said, you know, ‘that’s not how it works in our world, you know, you give them a spec and they do it.’ I said, ‘No, no I-I have to be with you, you know, while you’re doing it. I have to sort of sit with you’ I think and he- he was very- he thought, ‘oh God, I’ve got a horrible crazy client. Uhm, but actually that’s how I-I worked with him as I do my art directors and actually we had a ball. Uhm. I learned so much from him and as soon as I started working with him, creating, you know, wireframes and such, I realized that actually, it was incredible fun. It was as fun as-as print, and I wanted to call it the Daily Beast. We were just before the 2008 election and I said, ‘we’ve got to get it out for the election. We’ve got to get it out, I don’t care if it’s like a beta version, we’ve just got to get it out. Three weeks before the election we managed to get it up and one of the first things that I got was one of my friends, Chris Buckley who used to write for me at the New Yorker, who was the scion of the, you know, the famous republican, Buckley Family to decide to endorse Barak Obama uh, in the Daily Beast, so he wrote a piece endorsing Barak Obama and it just went totally viral. And that was the first experience, I suddenly realized, oh my God we have this living breathing, you know, thing, that can just become hot as hell within 10 minutes.

MICHAEL: It’s so interesting because you’ve touched millions and millions of people, you’ve influenced them with your stories in all of these publications that you’ve run. And from there you developed a brand around this idea of women in the world. What-what was your inspiration?

TINA:I started women in the world really because I had become involved with the NGO, Vital Voices just, you know, as uh, as an interested sort of participant. Uh, Vital Voices mentors women in emerging countries and I used to go to those meetings and they would bring some of these incredible women from Nigeria, from Egypt, from all over the world who-who were doing incredibly brave things in countr-, you know, in places where there were repressed, where they were very often prohibited politically, where they have no economic inclusion, where they couldn’t even choose who they could marry and they were so fiery and so impressive. I kept thinking, these people are rockstars, you know, why are they not famous? Why don’t we hear-why don’t we know about them? And I realized that they just-there was no platform for them, in a sense. So I decided that I wanted to start a women’s convening that would be uh, really about exposing the narratives of these women. And it took off like a-like a rocket, it became a sort of social media phenomenon. At our India summit we were number four trending on Twitter uh, and again, we started out really quite small, it was like 400 people in a ballroom and when you consider how big India is the fact that we were number four trending on Twitter was pretty incredible.

MICHAEL: And that wouldn’t have been possible 15 years ago.

TINA: No, absolutely not. But that’s how, you obviously, you grow this much better community. Which is where the great power of digital is obviously, to be able to create that instant community and to be able to you know, have people as involved with us in Bangladesh as they are in LA.


In this Age of Intelligence in which we are better connected to each other, our communities are bigger than ever before and, in fact, now encompass the entire world. Tina Brown’s work with Women in the World’s Annual Summit exemplifies our ability to learn about and help one another in ways that we couldn’t imagine even several years ago.

James Manyika

Davos Cold Open:
We live in an interesting time. A time defined by a new Age of Intelligence. As the frontiers of technology expands and the pace of innovation accelerates, the world is becoming smarter, more interconnected, and richer in possibility. It’s transforming the way we work, play, and live.

Intro: The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland brings together international business and political leaders to address the pressing issues facing our world and formulate the big ideas that can change it.

Hi. I’m Michael Mendenhall Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex. For centuries, visionaries and thinkers have come here seeking rejuvenation and inspiration calling it, the knowledge city. Join me as I visit with one of these leaders, James Manyika, director of the McKinsey global institute who serves on the U.S. Presidents Global Development Council and the US Department of Commerce’s Innovation Advisory Board.


MICHAEL: James Manyika thank you for joining us.

JAMES: I’m delighted to be here.

MICHAEL: You were born and raised in Zimbabwe, and you’ve come now a long way from there to being on President Obama’s, one of his advisory boards, uh talk to me about that journey uhm from Zimbabwe to where you are today.

JAMES: Well I’m delighted to be here Michael it’s interesting I grew up in Zimbabwe when it was still Rhodesia and if you know the history of that, Rhodesia has apartheid just like South Africa so I grew up in a township. And, but I was lucky in the sense that my father, uh, had been one of the first people to get a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States. So he’d actually come to the states and study in the states so he always instilled in me this idea that most things were possible, uh, and that education actually made a big difference so I was lucky enough to do well in school uh, and then in various stages in my life ended up going to Oxford. Because I got a Rhodes Scholarship I went to Oxford. Then I got side-tracked and got fascinated with solving real world practical problems on a very large scale so one of the things that actually inspires me now about what I do now is whether it’s working with companies or working on very large scale issues or working on really global issues, so the work that I’ve done on the President’s Council is on glo-it’s a council on global development, uh, which we look at all the big questions related to economics growth and development around the world which as you can imagine these are big questions, so I like the fact I get the chance to influence, at least play a part in solving big problems.

MICHAEL: You’ve written a book that we have here, uh, No Ordinary Disruption. I would love for you to share the major disruptions you see.

JAMES: One of the things that was fascinating, the research that we did that led to the book is to look at these big global shifts. The very first one is I feel like the shifting locals of global activity. And the shift is actually occurred in three important ways. The first of those is we’ve seen a shift East and South. Uh, so this is my, in large part, driven by the rise of China for example. So just to put this in kind of, uh interesting terms that I find still astounding. If you think about the industrial revolution, uh it took the UK 154 years to double it’s GED per capital, working off a base of 9 million people. It’s taken China 12 years to double GED per capital working off a base of a billion people. So just think about it India’s done the same in about 16 years as well so the-not only is it-you know, this is economic change and growth at phenomenal scale, we’re talking billions of people, in a very short amount of time and as a result of that we’ve seen the locals of the global economy shift in a pretty significant way, East. So that’s an important shift and we’re still all grappling to deal with all that.

MICHAEL: What does that mean for companies? Like what change are we going to see relative to how companies have to think?

JAMES:A couple big changes for companies. First of all it’s important to recognize how competitions going to shift quite dramatically. So for the longest period of time if you try to construct a list of the global Fortune 500, uh companies, something like about 10% or so weren’t from outside the advanced economies for the longest time. Uh, that’s started to shift. Already now it’s about a third that come from outside the advanced economies and by 2025 it looks like at least half the global Fortune 500 will not be from advanced Western European, American companies. That’s a big shift, competitively. There’s another piece too; which is, technology has now made it possible for people and companies outside of your sector to participate in your sector. Right? So think about having the automotive industry when the biggest story of these dates for the last few years is what Tesla’s done. Tesla didn’t grow up out of the automotive industry; uh what’s interesting about what’s happened to the hotel industry is probably Airbnb. Airbnb didn’t grow up out of it so I think the fact that you got competition from different places often on a very different basis for competing, puts a lot of pressure on companies.

MICHAEL: Do you think the fact that the world is networked, mobile, and connected, is more positive or negative?

JAMES: I think as the world has got more connected, the net result is actually positive. Now there’s certainly lots of negative things but let me talk a little about the positive things. I think in a much more globally connected world there’s a lot more transparency. People have access to parts, goods and services that they wouldn’t otherwise have. We talked about the kid in Bangladesh who’s accessing educational content. Uh, so the access that’s now made possible for both individuals as well as small to medium sized businesses especially is extraordinary. So I think that’s a good thing but at the same time I think it’s fair to say it’s also is-is elevated or made it easy for people to do terrible things because it’s easier to build communities around whatever crazy cause or issue you might have. So I think that comes with it too. But I think even when you look at the puzzle; I think the overwhelming things are actually all positive. So I wouldn’t trade the global connectedness by any means for, any, for not having. And I think the worlds a much better place.


We are leaving a period of relative stability and entering a brave new world of great possibility, but also considerable risk. As the pace of innovation accelerates, and the world becomes more interconnected, it also becomes more complex and volatile. Which is why people like James Manyika are more vital then ever. Global thinkers with knowledge and perspective to help us see the bigger picture and truly unlock the potential of our future.

Mike McNamara

Davos Cold Open:

We live in an interesting time. A time defined by a new Age of Intelligence. As the frontiers of technology expand and the pace of innovation accelerates the world is becoming smarter, more interconnected, and richer in possibility. It’s transforming the way we work, play, and live.


We’re experiencing an economic acceleration ten times faster than the Industrial Revolution and 300 times the scale. In this new age, the efficiency, the speed and agility at which businesses and entrepreneurs can design, manufacture, and adapt to are fundamental to success. Hi, I’m Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex. Today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland I have the pleasure of speaking with my friend and colleague, Mike McNamara, CEO of Flex, a global leader in sketch to scale solutions, designing, manufacturing, and engineering smart products for a connected world.


MICHAEL: Mike McNamara, thank you for joining us.

MIKE: Thank you, Michael.

MICHAEL: I want to go back, what got you to where you are today?

MIKE: You know, if I go back to my life, I’m from Cleveland. Uhm, you know, very middle class family maybe lower than middle class. You see my dad was a mailman. You know and putting myself through college, junior year I went to work at uh, Ford Motor Company, and that’s where I learned manufacturing more than ever before. My general foreman used to beat into me how important inventory was and hitting your numbers and knowing what your numbers were every hour and it was a great leap forward. So, uh, I ended up going into consulting. It was a real hands-on operations consulting firm where I laid work to do factory turnarounds. And that was the purpose so, the consulting wasn’t to be a consultant, the issue was, is to get exposure into all different industries, all different manufacturing technologies. So I went into plastics factories and machine shops. And the other very interesting thing was that when you go into like, 15 or 18, or 20 different companies you actually see cultures at work. And this became a foundation for my passion, for culture, in a company.

MICHAEL: Leap us forward to Flex. You’ve been there for over 20 years. And that-this was a journey for you as well.

MIKE: The Flex journey has been, you know, a brilliant experience for me and uh, I’m just, you know, unbelievably passionate about the company as you can imagine. You know, I had all these experience-cultural experience of all these different kind of companies and about how they made decisions and you could actually see those decisions, how they would impact the success of the company and I recognized that culture was actually, the most important determinate of the ability of a company to be sustainable. And uhm, you know, when I started Flex I actually began running culture classes and started, uhm, you know, really developing, uh, and kept nurturing within my organization uhm, the importance of culture and the importance of-of having oneness about how we approach the marketplace. So, I think that was the-that was a uh, cornerstone of what we needed to do going forward. The world is more complex. Flex now has to be more complex to create value in this world today. You know, I-I think back pre-recession uh, I think companies produce products and if you had a better product than the other guy you would sell a lot. You can’t sell just a product today and you have to sell a system, so now Flex is a different company for the third time. It’s moved from contract manufacturing to electronic manufacturing services now we think about being this-more of a sketch-to-scale company and our role now is to uh, allow these innovators and these new business models to flourish by providing uh, a quicker access into hardware and into the ability to bring uh, products to the marketplace faster. It’s a world market you have to take these products that you have to distribute them around the world. Consumption is more distributed around the world you’re going to get a lot more uh, customization that’s going to be required and the speed to market is going to be more complex.

MICHAEL: So as the CEO of one of these major companies that’s changing the world, do you feel a responsibility uhm, 25 years from now to have had a major impact when you look back?

MIKE: If I think about what we want to accomplish at Flex, you know, going forward and I think about the values and what our employees can accomplish, our company’ll move increasingly to be a more purposeful company because, you know, you know our tagline: live smarter. If we enable people to live smarter if we bring people into the digitized economy, not only is there GDP growth which then drives into productivity and technology creating an opportunity for people to participate in the labor force and, you know, move themselves up out of poverty, there is no doubt in my mind that we enable the digitized economy and there’s no doubt in my mind that we can help move mankind forward on the back of this connectivity.


As innovation grows so does the opportunity for brave ideas and new businesses. 55% of the Fortune 500 companies today were not on the list 20 years ago. The digital revolution has created a new environment of competition where anyone can disrupt industries because they’re now connected to the global marketplace. We now have the opportunity to build a smarter, and better life, in the new Age of Intelligence.

Evan Luthra

Munich Cold Open:
We live in an interesting time, where innovation grows exponentially. And as people, industries, and ideas become more interconnected we are inspired by a new sense of what is possible. Each transformation builds to the next. Discoveries in one field create breakthroughs in another - all working together to create a smarter and better future.

Intro: Munich remains a compelling mixture of old and new. A 900-year-old city in the heart of Bavaria, has reimagined itself, to become a world leader in technology and innovation. Hi, I’m Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex.

No person is a better example of the entrepreneurial opportunities that the Age of Intelligence allows us than my next guest, Evan Luthra. A 20 year old self-made millionaire from India, who at the age of 13 taught himself how to build computers and develop mobile apps and is now a founder of numerous tech companies.


MICHAEL: Many people who are entrepreneurs, you being an entrepreneur and an investor at a very young age, were influenced by an event, a person, that shaped who they have become - who would that be or what event would that be for you?

EVAN: The first event that really got me into technology was, uh, my dad. He’s an entrepreneur too, he’s literally one of the most peo– people most responsible for me being today what I am. Because he’s on the entrepreneurial side of business for outsourcing call center - BPO outsourcing service – where he bought 200 computers. After three months the business failed so, I- he still had the 200 computers. Even though the employees were not working so, I was 13 years old at that time, used to go to his office and, uh, play with his computers. Uh, that opportunity that I had literally gave me access to 200 computers. As a 12 year old I had nothing else to do other than opening them up, making master computers, connecting them together, making mini computers, opening up – I probably destroyed 50 computers. But during that process I understood so much about how computers work and how technology works that I- I got absorbed in the industry and literally went on from there – started writing a blog and the blog ended up getting hundreds of thousands of followers and that was a big shift for me.

MICHAEL: So you also have on your website as saying that, uh, if you want to predict the future, the best way to do that is to create it.

EVAN: Yeah.

MICHAEL: And you’ve made, at a very young age, eh, incredible investments uh, as you said, some successful, probably some not as successful. Talk to us about some of the more successful ones uh, that you’ve invested in, uh, as startups and what you look for.

EVAN: The most exciting, the most proud investment I’ll offer is called Givvr. This is an investment that I started- I made an investment – that I got involved with a company as a major role. Uh, Givvr is a product that we want to raise money for charity by showing sponsored videos. If you can get 15 seconds a day from every millennial in the United States we could raise billions of dollars for charity in one year. The idea is very simple, you see an advertisement for a corporate sponsor and the sponsor money to charity in your name.

MICHAEL: So when you look at these investments you make, and these companies, you know the company certainly has a product and a service and then you have the entrepreneur. What do you look for in that entrepreneur uh, before you make the investment?

EVAN: I really look for someone who I can help out a better- as a better person – someone who is really interested in seeing their vision come true. And someone who’s not scared of failure because, you know, it may happen that the company he’s trying to build fails but if the entrepreneur is persistent he would be successful. My first lab was not a success, I built 30 before I got the first successful lab. So I really wanna see someone who’s not scared of failing I would be happy investing a second product too if the first one fails, but if he is really persistent and he’s knows that this is what he wants to do.

MICHAEL: So you’re a very creative person, and you’re an innovative person. You’ve innovated your business card. And Business Insider has covered this.

EVAN: Yeah.

MICHAEL: The press has covered this, tell us uh, what is unique about this card.

EVAN: So, I’ll tell you the story behind the card. I came up- so, I got invited to the World Economic Forum last year. I read up on the World Economic Forum if, I mean, it’s attended by the heads of the world, the CEOs of the biggest companies, I feel like I’m going to feel like the dumbest person in the room, like, so I thought I’d definitely want to leave an impression when I go there and meet all these smart people. So, the first thing that you see at conferences is that people give you their business card, so I designed this. I made it aluminum because I wanted a little bit more high quality than just plastic because the caliber of people I’m usually meeting need-need, are used to the best. So, I made it a USB. I put some stuff about it-it about my company about myself and starting handing this out to people. Luckily, someone picked it up, I don’t know who the author was, picked it up and put a blog post about it and got, got all over the media.

MICHAEL: So you’re 20 years old, and you’re a visionary. If I said there’s one thing that you could accomplish, with the use of technology, in solving for and making humankind and society a better place, what would that one thing be that you would solve for?

EVAN: I’m very, I’m very happy you asked this question just because I feel like seven, eight years ago we didn’t have the iPhone in our hand. Today the iPhone- I’m literally joint with my iPhone I never leave- keep it in my pocket, it’s always in my hand. We have these Apple Watches, we have all these bands coming out. I see the future as being smarter human beings through smarter internal things. I like, I wanna make sure there’s a future where the humans are smarter, where technology is inside you and doesn’t disconnect you from the world. So that’s the kind of future where I see, where you can implant chips inside you, screens inside you maybe in holograms that would literally be amazing. The potential could be unimaginable right now.

MICHAEL: So you’re an inspiration for probably an awful lot of young people. What would you say to encourage them to sort of follow a path like yours?

EVAN: I started my path because I love doing what I do. And that’s still what I tell everyone, do not do something and not- you don’t like doing because that’s not going to help you at all. Most people go to college because they don’t know what they want to do in life. I didn’t go to college because I already knew what I was doing. And I still like to believe that if you know what you’re doing you should just focus on that. There’s- whatever the society says, you can ignore that. You will achieve success if you would just keep doing what you’re doing and what you love doing.


Whether you’re an entrepreneur an innovator or both, it’s all about ideas. If you can find an idea you’re passionate about let go of the fear to fail and give it everything, you can succeed. The new age of connected intelligence continues to create unlimited opportunities to anyone, no matter your walk of life.

Dr. Burda

Munich Cold Open:

We live in an interesting time, where innovation grows exponentially. And as people, industries, and ideas become more interconnected, we are inspired by a new sense of what is possible. Each transformation builds to the next. Discoveries in one field create breakthroughs in another - all working together to create a smarter and better future.


Munich is rich with cultural history but it’s also a modern, progressive city of advanced technologies. Hi, I’m Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex. I’m here are the Digital Life Design Conference where I have the privilege of talking with Dr. Hubert Burda, a publishing icon who is very familiar with the power of the digital revolution and the disruption it’s having on media. With close to 300 magazine publications his company, Hurbert Burda Media, is one of the most influential publishers in the world and also the force behind this event that brings opinion makers and industry leaders into a global network on innovation, science, and culture.


MICHAEL: “You’re one of the largest media companies in the world. Tell us a little bit about how that got started.”

HUBURT: “Well, it was started by my grandfather at the beginning of the 20th century and he was probably the first in Germany who came up with the radio newspaper, a radio magazine, in 1924. And in about 1978 we were probably the biggest rotogravure printer in the world. And then, you know, I started the magazine publishing but at the end of the 80s I-I felt that something new was coming. And, this new was, uh, the digital revolution.”

MICHAEL: “That’s interesting because you hear a lot about the fourth industrial revolution, you were recently speaking with the author of a book, Luciano Floridi, uh, The Fourth Revolution and something called the infosphere. What is the infosphere?

HUBURT: “The infosphere means that devices are being connected with each other and that your personality it’s on data, it’s on Facebook, it’s on Instagram and sometimes if you open Wikipedia and you read something about yourself you’re astonished. What you are seen by others, and so, around you – you give so many datas everyday, every moment, which are forming something around you which is called the infosphere.

MICHAEL: In this sort of infosphere world of smart and connected devices you’re certainly going to see a smarter more connected body because the most important system in the world is our own body and we don’t manage and monitor it the way we do other systems.

HUBURT: No, when I-when I was in Israel probably ten years ago, they showed me, from their problems with terrorism all the streets of Israel, empty, and the cameras are going through and they say, ‘look, now we show you the Israelian cities and when we have a terrorist attack we know exactly where it is, we know exactly what we have to do.’ So the streets of Israel these-that’s your body, is-is your-your blood and all, you know, all the metabolism in your body. And cancer is the terrorist. And so, you came from a very outside uh, images-imaging towards uh, probably a new metaphor for the creation of-of this disease. So, there you see it’s-it’s on imaging and of course you see these new possibilities. Give you so much chance to live longer.


Everyday as our lives online and our lives offline blend into one, we’re becoming more integrated into an infosphere of connected intelligence. Dr. Hurbert Burda has embraced this change and through his visionary leadership, been able to grow the family publishing house into one of the world’s premier media giants. Much like Munich has grown from a medieval home to kings in castles into a modern hub of commerce, education, and finance. German philosopher, Walter Benjamin once said, “When the media is changing society itself is changing.” That sentiment especially rings true today as the next revolution of information technology shapes our society for generations to come.

Tony Canova

Vegas Cold Open:

We live in an interesting time. A time where there’s great change going on around the world and a new sense of infinite possibility. And when you envision what’s possible, you begin by suspending disbelief. To transform the world in a positive way, there’s one quality you must possess that all pioneers of technology have. And that is a vivid imagination.


For many people, Las Vegas is the perfect road trip destination. Now with the emergence of electric vehicles and a growing network of charging stations, we have the range and efficiency to make that journey without the environmental impact our gas powered travels have created in the past. And once you arrive to the barrage of nightlights, you might be surprised to discover that the city isn’t consuming as much energy as you thought, thanks to the renewable energy and the LED technologies that are transforming the lights on the strip.

Hi. I’m Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex. Today we’ll dive into the critical energy issue with Tony Canova, COO and CFO of ChargePoint; the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network. Join me to find out how they are transforming the energy industry through the development of intelligent energy solutions, helping us shift away from fossil fuels and ultimately living smarter.


MICHAEL: So Tony, at ChargePoint it’s a disrupter, it’s an innovator. Talk to me a little bit about the passion you have as an entrepreneur in that space.

TONY: You know, I think that the roots of me as a person really stem from - I’m a car guy. I love cars. But I loathe pumping gas in my car. I just can’t stand the fact that we have reliance on fossil fuel and what I love about ChargePoint as a company is we do something that gives every individual a direct ability to impact climate change. You know in the United States, 20% of greenhouse gas comes from transportation. An individual switching to an electric vehicle has the ability to reduce their own personal greenhouse gas emission by 40 to 45% and they can do that while saving money because an electric car is 1/10 the cost to drive then a regular average internal combustion engine.

MICHAEL: The public is very cognizant of the need for sustainability you know, many corporations talk about sustainability, being green. When will we see an infrastructure where, lets take the United States, that has these stations that you can actually use a car to travel distance - an electric car.

TONY: Between now and the end of the decade. Uh, my expectation is that you’re going to see a quarter million or more uh, charging spots across the United States. The way we envision this market occurring, which is very different then the gas station model. The gas station model is where you pump your car. In the EV model it’s where you park your car. As you think about your cell phone as an example, you plug your cell phone in anywhere you can. So charging has to be ubiquitous. Charging has to be anywhere the car is.

MICHAEL:It’s exciting what your company is doing, ChargePoint, and it was recognized by the UN. Tell me what that recognition brought and what it meant to you, your company, and your employees.

TONY: It was, it was really, really an important achievement for our company. Um, our company has a couple of hundred employees who are all working and all have a passion as I do to change something; to have a significant impact on the world. And to see the United Nations recognize ChargePoint as one of two American companies to get an award for the momentum for change was really a significant…

MICHAEL: Congratulations by the way.

TONY: Thank you very much. That was a really significant thing for us and so we were, we were incredibly pleased.

MICHAEL: So it’s interesting, it brings up another, another question for me. As a legacy; as your, as your company ChargePoint’s legacy and your legacy, what does that look like?

TONY: I want to be sitting somewhere on the side of the street with my grandson or granddaughter on my lap looking at all those electric cars driving by and saying, I did something to make this happen.

MICHAEL: Thank you.

TONY: Thank you very much.


The combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel used for transportation is the worlds second largest source of carbon emissions; accounting for about 31 percent of total U.S. emissions. By accelerating the transition of electrical vehicles, through their growing network of charging stations, Tony Canova and ChargePoint are literally leading the charge to combat climate change.

Dan Eisenhardt

Vegas Cold Open:

We live in an interesting time. A time where there’s great change going on around the world and a new sense of infinite possibility. And when you envision what’s possible, you begin by suspending disbelief. To transform the world in a positive way, there’s one quality you must possess that all pioneers of technology have, and that is a vivid imagination.


In Vegas, as in life, much of success depends on understanding the numbers in play. What if there was a device, glasses, lets say, that allowed the wearer to get real time information on the situation, maximizing their competitive advantage and improving their odds. Take running for example, imagine knowing speed, distance, routes, weather, you name it. And all of this data shows up hands free thanks to the heads up display technology built into the glasses.

Hi. I’m Michael Mendenhall Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex and please join me as I talk with visionary, Dan Eisenhardt; co-founder of Recon Instruments whose new game changing product is revolutionizing technology’s connection with sports and fashion.


MICHAEL: Sports. Your background in sports athletics, engineering, and dreaming big. Tell me about what drove you from being an engineer into creating this company and what is it solving for?

DAN: So back in the 80s when I was training, you know, many hours a day, I was always frustrated because I couldn’t get that data that I needed while I was swimming. I had to wait until the end of the set and I had to look up and hopefully my glasses weren’t fogged up and then I could see the clock on the pool deck. But I only had five seconds and the-the coach was yelling something in my ear. So for me I was frustrated and I couldn’t really articulate why I was frustrated or what the solution was I just knew it was frustrating and it wasn’t until I actually was doing my MBA that I was forced to basically articulate this in an entrepreneurship class. And we were told to pitch an idea in class and then the best ideas were formed into business plans. And I stood up and pitched the idea of my problem swimming and then what if you had a display that could actually tell you split times and your pulse and all that stuff automatically? And it was just right there, under your eye.

MICHAEL: The-the glasses you have for running cycling and-and other sports that don’t involve water, you solved for. Being a fellow swimmer, is there a goggle that has this?

DAN: Great question. As you know as swimmers, you know, we’re notoriously broke. We don’t spend money on equipment, there no, there are very few people that can earn a living off swimming. Uh, so we looked at the business case and it really wasn’t that compelling. So we looked at other so called verticals where we could launch a product that had it, a heads up display that delivered that instant, that information instantly, and effortlessly. And skiing and snowboarding came up. This is a great market.

MICHAEL:So you’re an innovator. There’s always this raging debate is it science or is it art? What’s more important? Talk to me about science art and imagination.

DAN: Well something that isn’t there yet is abstract. It’s intangible and it’s very difficult for us to imagine things that aren’t there. So in order to actually dream up these things you have to be able to visualize what isn’t there and you have to be able to look into the future and most of the time you’re not right. You’ll dream of things that just aren’t relevant. They just don’t solve a problem or they’re just not enticing enough for anybody to want to pay for them. But then some of those ideas end up morphing into something that-it that becomes valuable; that actually solves a problem.

MICHAEL: You know, we know wearables today; they’re on your wrist, you’re wearing them on your face, whether it’s a helmet, glasses, watches, where does, where does this go?

DAN: I think its- the imagination really sets a limit to it. We’re even talking about wearables, things can wear wearables, you know, it’s not just humans. Animals can wear wearables, you know. Your dog’s collar’s going to be transcoding data at some point. In the world of wearables, it’s really almost infinite because you can wear 20 different wearables at the same time. And that’s why its so compelling. And it can be jewelry, in your shoes, it can be your underwear or it can be, you know everywhere.

MICHAEL:You know I think of your company, Recon, design comes to mind. Uh, the glasses. The design of the glasses. I mean for an athlete, they’re sick. Right? How important is design?

DAN:If wearables don’t make you feel good, then you’re not going to wear them. So-so automatically you have to think about design. You put something on your face everybody is seeing that and you identify with that and-and it’s a very difficult compromise on the vanity aspect.

MICHAEL:You’re certainly a pioneer; your company is completely disruptive and innovative so thank you for being with us.

DAN:Thanks for having me.


As we leave the information age and enter an era where information becomes smart, and dynamic, we are no longer receiving that data passively. But we interactively are engaging with it. Receiving feedback, tracking changes, providing us with real time streams of information to help us make better decisions and exercise more control of the world around us. Dan Eisenhardts jet glasses are the perfect example you can access data while keeping your eyes on the road ahead; literally connecting you to the digital world without losing your connection to the real world. That is the essence of living smarter.

Roland Lamb

Vegas Cold Open:

We live in an interesting time. A time where there’s great change going on around the world and a new sense of infinite possibility. And when you envision what’s possible, you begin by suspending disbelief. To transform the world in a positive way, there’s one quality you must possess that all pioneers of technology have, and that is a vivid imagination.


Built by dreamers and iconoclasts, Las Vegas is a global meeting place and an entertainment capital, attracting over 40 million people a year. Whether it’s for gambling or going to a show, visitors from all over come here to be entertained. So what better place than Vegas to talk about music, one of our most beloved forms of entertainment.

Hi. I’m Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer for Flex. Today I couldn’t be more excited to sit down with Roland Lamb, the Harvard educated founder and CEO of Roli and inventor of SeaBoard, a revolutionary new musical instrument that has reimagined the possibilities of music. Join our compelling discussion as we discover how Roland’s fascinating life story has contributed to his work and how he’s connecting technology to humanity like never before.


MICHAEL:Roland, thank you for coming in and being with us today.

ROLAND: Thanks so much for having me.

MICHAEL: So you know as we look at the careers of entrepreneurs and leaders of the world that are creating disruption and doing amazing things, we like to go back and understand if you can and share with us who are those people places and things that influenced you?

ROLAND:That’s a great question to give a little bit of context. In my case I was homeschooled by my parents. I grew up in rural New Hampshire and both of my parents really believed that uhm, children should uh, be able to find their own inspiration and uhm, I spent a lot of my time playing the piano. And I was really attracted by uhm, the depth, like emotional possibilities of-of the notes and the sounds and like the voices that came out of that and when I was ten years old I moved to England and I went to the same school that my parents had been to called Summerhill. It was an amazing experience because there’s no like regulated or mandatory classes. You just go to the classes you want to go to and you do the things that you want to do. That gave me a taste actually of both the um, energy that could come form working with other people and creating something and also it only increased my passion for music.

MICHAEL:So you’re in a very conventional industry, music. Some of these instruments date back centuries. And you say lets reinvent. So did you have some naysayers who said, oh there’s no way you can recreate sound that way.

ROLAND: Absolutely we’ve had, I mean I’ve had a lot of people who just said, this can’t be done or shouldn’t be done or, you know that this uh, to try to reinvent a new musical instrument is a project doomed for failure. And I, um, you know but in my case I had both, I think a pretty vivid imagination and a strong sense of dissatisfaction. A strong sense, like the world could be better and that things could be better and we could change things and I felt like we were living in a moment in which new technologies were going to define our experience in really powerful ways. In a way, a period where science could define the new art. So I went to, I moved to England and I went to the World College of Art to do a degree in design and I really wanted to do something more technological and something that, like, that touched my heart. And so I started thinking about music and about how I had always, uhm, sitting at the piano, wanted more expression, wanted more layers of control; more possibilities. But I wanted something more sensual, and I wanted something that would really use my own muscle memory and I had this idea that instead of having keys, you could have a wave, you could have like a wave-like surface and you can play on the tops of those waves. Once I had that idea, I became so passionate about it and I wanted to play this instrument so much myself, it’s like I didn’t hear any of the, the naysayers.

MICHAEL: So Roland we’ve talked a lot about reinventing the music industry uh, and certainly reinventing how it’s composed. Your product the SeaBoard, you have here with you today, is that product that’s done just that globally. Can anyone who plays the sax or piano or guitar play this instrument?

ROLAND: Absolutely so, the SeaBoard Rise that I have on my lap here it’s a reinvention and a re-imagination of the piano keyboard. We’ve taken the separate black and white keys and replaced them with these, what we call key waves. So they are like keys but they’re also like, it’s a wave like surface you can see as I touch them. And we’ve made the key waves out this very soft silicone material so where the piano brought one dimension of touch the SeaBoard brings five dimensions of touch. So just to show a little it of that, if I just strike the key, you can hear it, it’s like playing on an electric piano or something. But then if I, um, strike a key and then glide left to right, you can hear the note as I glide. And I can also glide up.


ROLAND:So, and every single musical instrument has a, a different dynamic language. Like, some of the dynamics focus are more percussive, some are more uhm, about bend, some are more about the breath, you know, about swells. Um but the Seaboard is the only instrument that has the capabilities of matching all of those dynamic languages because it’s so open from an interactive point of view.

MICHAEL:Is there somebody that we would know, who is actually now incorporating this and using this instrument to compose?

ROLAND:Uhm, I got a phone call and uh, I picked it up and ‘Oh it’s Hans Zimmer’.


ROLAND:And uh, and-and he was like, ‘well, I’ve got to see the seaboard.’ And then, you know, we met up and he uh, gave a lot of feedback and has been a great supporter.

MICHAEL:So, we’re in a modern day renaissance, so to speak, and you’re creating a piece of that. You’re redefining music, instruments, and sound and composition in a very unique way. Uhm, what is your hope, if I look ten years from now?

ROLAND:We, uhm, you know, want in the next ten years to make music fundamentally more accessible. We want to uhm, extend this journey for everyone so that even great musicians uh, can get something new and find new possibilities but we also want to extend it to everyone. And uhm, the reason why music is so important, for me, is all about joy. It’s all about the experience of joy. And so, like the bottom line of what we want to do in the long term is to create joy and to create joyful human uhm, experiences and interactions and connections. And so, when we think about a connected world, we’re not just thinking about you know, the connection between hardware and software, we’re thinking about the connection that really exists between people uhm, and music is one of the powerful drivers of that connection.

MICHAEL:It would be wonderful to hear how an instrument like this can actually build a composition and I think you have someone here with you who’s going to showcase a piece of that where we actually hear a composed piece from the Seaboard.

ROLAND:Absolutely, we have Marco Parisi here, and he’s a wonderful artist and composer who’s a real maestro at the SeaBoard. So, Marco could you uhm, come on over?


MARCO:My pleasure.

MICHAEL:Thank you for being here.


Music has always been a fundamental way for people to connect and Roland Lamb’s stunning musical innovations are making these connections more intimate, expressive, and meaningful. As we advance through mankind’s second renaissance our experience will increasingly be shaped and enhanced by technologies that are not nearly tools but extensions of our humanity.

Mike Dennison

Vegas Cold Open:

We live in an interesting time. A time where there’s great change going on around the world and a new sense of infinite possibility. And when you envision what’s possible, you begin by suspending disbelief. To transform the world in a positive way, there’s one quality you must possess that all pioneers of technology have, and that is a vivid imagination.


In a city known for big shows, none is bigger than the Consumer Electronics Show - the world’s largest trade-show where groundbreaking consumer technology is unveiled to the world for the first time.

Hi. I’m Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer and Communications Officer for Flex. Like everyone here, I’m eager to discover the next big thing that’s going to change your lives. But I’m even more excited to talk with someone who’s taken a leading role of the creation of this new technology, my friend and colleague Mike Dennison, president of the Consumer Technology Group at Flex. Under Mike’s leadership Flex is redefining and transforming the consumer space and, in the process, helping us build a more intelligent world.


MICHAEL:So Mike, most people somewhere in their early childhood or formulative years actually are influenced by an event, a person, uh, something that happened to them that actually drives them and sort of makes them who they are. Was there any one person, a professor, a teacher who pushed you and gave you a different perspective on the world?

MIKE:Yeah my Junior High football coach was a jerk. And he literally just forced you to like think differently and do things differently and-and I-I you know I hate the guy but actually I loved him from the standpoint that he literally said, that isn’t acceptable you have to go a little further than that. You have to do more you have to break through those things. And-and as a person, that’s what kind of created the notion that you can’t just say ‘this is good enough’ because that was it. This was not good enough, you have to do this. And it’s an interesting story because it actually leads to how I kind of became who I was. My dad had nothing. There was like a one room house built by his dad and from there he went on to become a very important banker, on many boards in many colleges, in many hospitals. And really changed the dynamic of our family. And he did that from ground zero, from nothing.

MICHAEL:So what parts of that do you bring into being a great leader because with true innovation, failure comes.

MIKE: Exactly

MICHAEL:And it’s the fear of failure that blocks innovation.

MIKE:That’s absolutely right. If you’re afraid to fail, and in fact if you don’t fail, innovations going to be very hard. Because you look at all the great people in technology or in any industry that have been successful, it was after, you know, tons and tons of failures. And through those failures they learned. And through those learnings they created new ideas, new technologies, new ways of doing things.

MICHAEL:So here we are in Las Vegas and we’re at the big Consumer Electronics Show. Let’s talk about wearable technology. What does that connected world look like home and person, and what is novel and gimmickry versus what’s real that’s going to help make life simpler, easier, uh, and provide an actual service that’s meaningful?

MIKE: I actually think, you know when you start to think about how we live, it’s not just about simpler/easier, it’s about healthier, less energy, more connected, more engaged in your environment. So you start to think about, take wearable’s, think about a mesh network where your whole body is connected. It becomes woven into the fibers. It becomes part of your clothing, part of your shoes, in your hat, in your watch. It can measure everything that you’re doing anytime you’re doing it, it knows where you are, it’s present, it’s giving you data. Think about your mesh network on your body, also in your car. Your car becomes a mesh network. Your house becomes fully connected. When you go from place to place, whether it be business, car, home, you’re always connected; you’re always in; you’re always in that ecosystem.

MICHAEL:So it certainly sounds like there’s going to be a lot of convergence in industries and these industries are going to somewhat be redefined and I wanted to come to this point of interoperability because today we all have phones and we have multiple apps and multiple devices whether it’s a connected Nest thermostat or it’s a connected refrigerator, when do you think we’re going to see some kind of device that has interoperability?

MIKE:Everybody’s interested in and thinking about the notion that it has to be interoperable - that it has to speak the same language, that it has to communicate the more seamless way. Um, there’s some great examples. One of them is now actually a part of Flex. It’s Wink. And Wink is-is what we call an open source platform. It allows everything to connect into it from your car, in this case Tesla, to your home nodes in terms of thermostats and locks and a lot of other devices. But you can actually take that further and you can think about agriculture and how you run a farm and how you think about how you’re producing, uh, crops. There’s sensors now going into the ground in farms. Telling you what the hydration levels is of that ground; how much water you need to put on that plant; knowing the health of the plant through sensor technology. Through literally the thing we’re creating at Flex. It allows you to start to think about how you run that farm more efficiently, higher productivity, less pesticides…very interesting things for the consumer out there.

MICHAEL:So it’s solving for, one of the biggest issues or barriers for what we call the intelligence of things or the smart connected devices as the interoperability.

MIKE:There’s the intelligence of things, but it’s not intelligent if it doesn’t-if it can’t communicate. Now think of a mesh network where all that talks, communicates in the same language. As that happens, your life becomes easier and simpler and much more efficient. I think we’re at the forefront of sustainable future. I think we’re really opening that door today. And all the things that we do, it’s about solving real issues. And as you solve real issues, you create great impact and as we do that, we’ll have a better world.


In five years it’s estimated that fifty billion devices will be connected. With all of them working together, connecting everything and everyone. It’s important that the next evolution of technology not only impacts our lives, but actually improves our lives. Because that’s the goal. Finding solutions to our biggest problems. Building a sustainable future and ultimately, living smarter.