Major Opportunities for Young Founders with Jon Levin, Dean of Stanford GSB
In a thought-provoking discussion, Jon Levin, Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business, shares his perspective on the opportunities for new founders, the role of technology in solving real-world problems, and the evolving dynamics of capitalism.
He also explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and the future of higher education.
I think in many ways this is a great time to be coming out of school because the world has been so disrupted and there’s so much change going on in technology society business. It’s exactly the time that you want to be setting out and looking for opportunities because it is a time of rapid change in a time of disruption. – Jon Levin, Dean of Stanford GSB
Capitalism and Macroeconomy: A New Perspective
The state of capitalism and the government’s role in the macro economy are being reevaluated, especially in light of the increased government spending and deficits during the pandemic.
This period is fostering discussions about the future role of government and the sustainability of running deficits indefinitely.
COVID-19’s Impact on Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted educational institutions, leading to the loss of spontaneous interactions that often ignite ideas and innovation.
However, it has also spurred innovations and experimentation that could lead to a significant transformation in higher education.
Interdisciplinary Teams: A Necessity
Interdisciplinary teams are becoming increasingly crucial in addressing today’s complex problems.
Successful founding teams often consist of individuals with diverse expertise, including technology, regulation, and deep domain knowledge.
However, building such teams and ensuring effective collaboration can be challenging.
The Power of Disagreement and Debate
Disagreement and debate can be instrumental in sparking innovation.
Structuring discussions to draw out differences of opinion, without taking things personally, is a valuable skill.
Curiosity is also important in these discussions, treating disagreements as opportunities to learn.
The Evolving Role of Business Schools
Business schools are not just about training people for corporate roles.
They are about fostering entrepreneurial thinking and innovation, encouraging students to think broadly and creatively about solving real-world problems.
Today somewhere around 15 to 20 percent of our class ends up founding a company right out of the business school which is really quite a robust number in the class and it makes for a very strong community… What is really special about Stanford is whether people decide to become entrepreneurs or not you just can’t help it everyone walks away from the campus with that sort of spark of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking that they take wherever they go. – Jon Levin, Dean of Stanford GSB
Healthcare and Fintech: The New Frontiers
There is an increasing interest among students in healthcare and fintech, sectors that have seen significant changes and advancements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These areas present great opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded students.
Optimism: A Key Leadership Trait
Optimism is a crucial characteristic in leadership.
Staying positive and focused, even in the face of adversity, is essential for success.
This is particularly relevant given the challenges posed by the pandemic and the subsequent opportunities that have arisen as the world begins to emerge from it.
The Future of Higher Education
The future of higher education is expected to see significant transformation, driven by the innovations and experimentation prompted by the pandemic.
More opportunities for online and virtual education are anticipated, along with new ways of engaging with students across their lifespans, rather than just during short periods on campus.