Podcast: Grand challenges call for a new polymath

"Polymath" is the Greek word for Renaissance man — one who excels at many things. But if, centuries ago, society needed a Da Vinci or a Franklin, the grand challenges of today call for teams of experts.

Author Vinnie Mirchandani in his book by the same name describes "The New Polymath" as an organization that gathers together diverse teams of specialists and multiple strands of technology to resolve not only our daily needs — for a smart car for example — but also meet the "Grand Challenges" that face us — like assuring an ample supply of clean water.

He urges that companies as well as individuals begin to think in terms of "And not OR." But why should enterprises expand their aspirations? Mirchandani shows that by embracing the truly big picture, these enterprises are able to identify market opportunities as they are emerging.

Mirchandani was the guest of the CABIT research center at the W. P. Carey School of Business recently. Center Director and Information Systems Professor Julie Smith David talked with Mirchandani after his presentation.


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