Former CEO and Author
In his instant Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Loonshots, Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about innovation and group dynamics, challenging everything we thought we knew about radical breakthroughs. As a consultant at McKinsey & Company, and co-founder and CEO of Synta Pharmaceuticals, Safi Bahcall spent nearly two decades of his life bringing big, innovative ideas to fruition. Frequently, this meant assessing and developing loonshots—the widely dismissed ideas whose champions are often written off as crazy. Along the way, he noticed the obstacles that innovators came up against, which seemed to stem from “the mysteries of group behavior.” As he dynamically explains in his book Loonshots, small changes in the structure of a company, rather than in its culture, can transform the behavior of the distinct groups involved, allowing innovation to flourish.
Bahcall is a physicist, entrepreneur, and biotech speaker who once worked with President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. After spending three years as a consultant for McKinsey, Bahcall co-founded the biotechnology company Synta Pharmaceuticals, where he helped develop new drugs for cancer treatment. He led Synta’s IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years, during which he was named the Ernst & Young New England Biotechnology/ Pharmaceutical Entrepreneur of the Year. Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, and The Washington Post all included Loonshots, his first book, in their Top 10 and Must-Read book lists of 2019.
Thursday, May 13
US/Eastern from 11 :00 AM to 11 :40 AM ( 40 mins )
[Keynote] Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars and Transform Industries
Why do good teams kill great ideas? Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs. Drawing on the science of phase transitions, and using stories that range from James Bond to Steve Jobs, Safi shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them.
Meticulously researched and undoubtedly fascinating, this talk offers fresh insights from a new kind of science—showing the three techniques that creatives, leaders, and visionaries can use to liberate the ideas trapped inside small and large companies everywhere.