From Davos: This Idea Could Transform Global Food Systems

Mark R. Tercek is the president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy and author of Nature’s Fortune. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkTercek. Global food security is a hot topic here at the World Economic Forum (WEF). Will we hit on an easy solution to this enormous challenge in five days in Davos? Of course not. But where else will you find all the big players—government leaders, representatives of community groups, farmers, scientists, the heads of major food/beverage/commodity companies, along... Read more →

Recession Fears Escalate

The recent turmoil in global markets has wiped out about $4 trillion in value this year. It has also spurred a new round of recession calls. It’s been nearly seven years since the last recession and while there is a case to be that we might be due for one, the folks at Capital Economics note “Since 1960, the average period between recessions has been eight years in the U.S…so the current expansion is not particularly long in the tooth.” It’s also worth remembering the old joke line, “Markets... Read more →

Software Development’s Macro-Trend Towards Micro-Services

Last week, we crammed 60 people into our offices at Sequoia to discuss a trend that most people have never heard of: microservices. Even those familiar with the term (usually developers) debate its significance, pointing out that the idea is not new (remember “service oriented architectures”?).  But to us, it’s one of a handful of major trends re-shaping software development, on par with the public cloud or open source in its likely impact. The idea behind microservices is that, rather than building... Read more →

Navigating Through Massive Challenges

During this week’s roundtable, we had Jana Francis, Founder and President of, as our guest. Jana has experienced significant challenges in building her bootstrapped company from Utah. She candidly discussed these challenges, and her experiences were eye-opening and inspiring for our audience. Quimojo As for the pitches, first up, Dean Owen from Shanghai, China, pitched Quimojo, a candidate database of recent graduates for hiring managers to tap into. Dean is trying to pilot a somewhat... Read more →

Leaders: Learn the Art and Science of Rapport

What’s Rapport and Why Does It Matter? Ask someone what rapport is and you’re likely to hear “a close connection” or “I can’t explain it, but I know it when I feel it.” Beyond social ease, rapport describes a sense of harmonious connection with someone. Both are tuned into the other person’s feelings. Each person feels truly in synch, fully seen and heard. Most people recognize rapport, and they also know when they lack it. You’ve probably been there: The team meeting with people... Read more →

Notes from Davos

Coming to Davos for the 10th year, I am drawn to discussions – and they are everywhere – about all the issues facing the world today: the Chinese economy, doubts over growth rates in the developed world, the U.S. elections, volatility in stock markets over the last six months, a potential directional change for global interest rates, and technology- and digitization-related employment challenges. What I’ve learned is that, every time I come here, whether the economy is good or difficult (as... Read more →

Dispatch from Davos: Manufacturing 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The central theme of this week’s World Economic Forum is the Fourth Industrial Revolution: a time in which technological innovations are rapidly interacting with every aspect of our lives. When we think of innovation, we sometimes think of Silicon Valley and emerging companies–which are important. I want to take us back for a moment to our roots–manufacturing–because the Fourth Industrial Revolution is as prevalent there as it is anywhere. Indeed, in three distinct ways, we’re... Read more →

From WEF Davos 2016: Man versus machine?

There should be no generalized fear that we should be running out of meaningful work for human beings in the coming 10 years.  The way we are programming robots today will have an incredibly strong impact on how society will evolve over the next 25 to 50 years. Urgent need for an intellectual framework for how humankind will use those robots. The WEF Davos Annual Meeting 2016 is about the fourth industrial revolution. On its first day, I served on a panel together with Tim Brown, a leader... Read more →
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