How to spark growth, innovation, and imagination in life or business
MANILA, Philippines – Making money may be the prime motive for any business, but it shouldn't be the end goal or purpose for the entrepreneur, experts said at the TEDxForbesPark on March 25 at the Manila Polo Club.
TedX, usually in the form of short talks, began in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged. Today, it covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 110 languages.
The event was divided into 3 sessions: Spark Growth, where speakers talked about their outlook to life and work; Spark Innovation, where potentials of technology were discussed, and; Spark Curiosity, where talks focused on imagination and creativity.
Speakers included celebrated entrepreneur Martin Lorenzo, Uniqlo’s Chief Operating Officer Katsumi Kubota, food writer Clinton Palanca, information technology genius and entrepreneur Winston Damarillo, Bitcoin entrepreneur and educator Lorne Lantz, Coins.ph’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Ron Hose, data scientist Reina Reyes, former Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima, professional martial artist and entrepreneur Chatri Sityodtong, businessman Martin Tan, historian and academic Nicole Cuunjieng, and film director and producer Paul Soriano.
Lorenzo’s extensive experience in the business sector has helped shaped his views on wealth. By 2012, he had 8 successful businesses, inluding Pancake House, which he later sold to Max’s Group of Companies in 2013 for more than P3 billion. But for him, thriving in business means more than generating profit.
“Leadership is not and should not be equated with wealth. Leadership is not equal to fame,” he said.
“A true leader is never really attracted to money. He knows that it’s just really a tool that he can use toward an end. Attachment to money actually works against the leader because then you become the slave rather than the master,” he added.
Kubota, whose Japanese clothing brand has also claimed a spotlight in Philippine retail clothing, shared a parallel outlook. For Kubota, knowing the boundary between life and work is important in maximizing one’s time. A large percentage of time should also be devoted to families and friends and not just to career, he said.
Sityodtong, who was tagged the Most Powerful Man in Asian MMA by Forbes, Yahoo! Sports, and International Business Times, discussed the Japanese term ikigai, which means "one’s purpose."
Palanca, meanwhile, talked about how his love for food and restaurant reviews keeps him focused on his craft.
While technology has improved several industries in terms of accessibility and efficiency, it can do more than what it does now, according to Hose.
Hose is the co-founder and CEO of Coins.ph - a mobile-first remittance and financial services platform built on Blockchain technology. According to him, his business aims to improve financial inclusion for people “through a freemium banking model that operates entirely on existing retail infrastructure."
He cited bills payment and cash delivery as common activities in the Philippines that take so much time and effort.
“(There are) quite a lot of difficulties. And I said, hey, we can use technology to make this a little better. There are still a lot of areas to use technology to do social good,” he said.
Lantz, who has built several financial startups and has been programming for over 20 years already, talked about how technology has changed many fields.
He cited as an example the recording industry, which previously needed cassette tapes to function but now depends on music apps and online stores.
“Innovations in technology forced industries to adapt. A lot of things have changed,” Lantz said.
Meanwhile, Reyes, the Filipina astrophysicist who proved Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity on a cosmic scale, gave tips on how to think like a data scientist: to see data everywhere, test hypothesis, and master intellectual humility.
Soriano tackled the importance of creativity and curiosity, building his discussion on Albert Einstein's quote “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
This perspective is the foundation of Soriano's award-winning body of work that includes A Journey Home, Thelma, Kid Kulafu, and Dukot.
The director's recent eigth-hour film, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Misery), won the Silver Bear: Alfred Bauer Prize in 2016. The award is given to a feature film that opens new perspectives in cinema.
In a world where “a lot of people talk,” he said he wants to do more than talking.
“I always like (to) show. Show it to me. And that’s kind of the hard part we can all imagine," Soriano said, noting that "showing that imagination to your audience is the real challenge.” — Rappler.com