He’s helmed one of the world’s most influential tech companies for a year and a half. OZY is very pleased to have Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, present the Presidential Daily Brief. The India native, married father of three and cricket fan is determined to make Microsoft a “democratizing force” in technology once more. Just this week, Nadella was in Kenya for the launch of Windows 10. Today he joins the ranks of past curators like Michelle Peluso and Gwen Ifill to share his take on today’s must-know people and trends.
The Presidential Daily Brief
As a father of children with special needs, this article about the power of the Americans With Disabilities Act, a quarter-century old this week, hits close to home. The ADA didn’t just provide physical accommodations to people with disabilities; it also gave them a sense of entitlement. The essay is a great reminder of what laws can do to empower and help people achieve their potential. We should advocate to do more on behalf of those with special needs, and ultimately work to break down stereotypes and other barriers that continue to hinder their progress.
He’s probably Kenya’s most beloved leader. I arrived in Nairobi for the launch of Windows 10 in the wake of President Obama’s visit to the country — and even after he’d left Africa, it was clear his trip had made an incredible impact, especially on young people. The president highlighted how far this country has come since his father’s era and encouraged Kenyan youth to forge ahead, while stamping out the “cancer of corruption” and gender-based discrimination. During my own visit, young, enthusiastic Kenyans convinced me of their passion for the opportunities that lie ahead.
They’re hitting the brakes on dangerous driving. Video-recording robocops in Kinshasa’s busiest traffic zones are saving lives, thanks to the vision of Thérèse Izay Kirongozi. Her company has supplied mechanical policemen that encourage drivers to behave by transmitting footage to police. It’s easy in the tech world to be afraid of failing and therefore play it too safe. But stories like this one push us all to take risks and pursue projects that matter. Kirongozi sets the bar high, reminding us of the power of technology.
PKK suicide bomber reportedly kills two Turkish soldiers, injures 31. (BBC)
More debris found on Réunion island beach. (Sky News)
Biden takes ‘second look’ at 2016 presidential bid. (NYT)
Kraft recalls 36,000 cases of cheese over possible choking hazard. (CNN)
Family bid farewell to Bobbi Kristina Brown amid drama. (NBC)
CEOs must be sources of energy for everyone, both inside and outside their organizations. And it turns out that the culinary world — where chefs manage groups in high-stress environments, encouraging individuals to work autonomously so the whole team can succeed — is strikingly similar to the corporate one. When I assess leaders, I consider whether they are creating clarity and energy, while continually trying to learn. Because if you’re not curious and open to raising your game and admitting your mistakes, then I think at some point you stop delivering.
Batter up! I was a bowler for my high school cricket team in India, so I wouldn’t lay claim to batting greatness. But Who Wants to Be a Batsman?, a book by former professional cricketer Simon Hughes, builds a great case for why batting is the pinnacle of human achievement — essentially because it requires a willingness to be put in harm’s way and a refusal to ever give in. Of course, such determination only matters until a batter gets clean-bowled (struck out).
I love seeing people set high standards with great ideas and enthusiasm. This profile of Tao, arguably the greatest mathematician of his generation, got my attention because he doesn’t just have a gift; he’s also realizing his potential in impressive ways, having won the International Mathematical Olympiad at age 10 and later the Fields Medal. Now 40, Tao’s work on various mathematical theories have colleagues clamoring for his help, and he’s breaking the stereotype of an anti-social genius by showing that collaboration and improvisation are keys to invention.
It’s opening doors to a whole new world. Tech moves at the speed of light, which is why I find the 9 1/2-year journey of NASA’s Pluto mission so amazing. Without a doubt, its flyby of the dwarf planet will go down in history as one of the most important exploratory developments of the 21st century. Lisa Hardaway, who guided technical development of the camera that gave us unprecedented glimpses of Pluto, demonstrates how technology is the ultimate enabler … and how humans can use it to magical effect.
Seems like a simple question, but economists have struggled to find a definitive answer. Physicist César Hidalgo looks at it another way in his new book Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, From Atoms to Economies. Hidalgo lays out a universal theory of information, suggesting that economies expand — and have done so since the Stone Age — as the information they contain grows, both in our brains and social networks. This is a great attempt at building a theory of growth that incorporates everything in nature.