Daniel Pink at Leadership Event in New Jersey

[Live blogged — so please forgive typos and awkward wording]

Daniel PinkPink is describing how he was an extremely, unextraordinary student. His position in law school made the upper 90% possible. He went to law school because it was believed that you would be fine. It made sense in the 20th century. Those skills still matter, but they do not matter as much now.

You’ve got your left hemisphere and your right hemisphere. This is garbage. But it serves as a very useful metaphor. Our brains are unfathmably complex and extreme elegant. Left brain/right brain. He just explained it. You know it.

Use to be that the left brain skills were what were valued and needed for the work place in the last century. They are still necessary. He emphasized — they are still absolutely necessary. But now we also need the other side, the more artistic, intuitive, …

He says, “The purpose of education is not to deliver employees to employers.”

The factors

  1. Abundance
  2. Asia
  3. Automation


The U.S. is doing very well. We are so very well off materially. We have 12% in poverty, and it is a disgrace — a historically damning disgrace. More cars in America than drivers. Think of storage units — we have so much “stuff.”

abundance gapSo with abundance, there is competition. I want you to buy my stuff. But I don’t want to lower prices. It’s a death spiral. Instead, I want to concentrate on asthetics — layoff the engineers and hire designers.

The U.S. has become increasingly prosperous, but our satisfaction index has unchanged. He calls this the Abundance Gap. We’ve democratized the search for meaning.


Off shoring has been massively over hyped. Statistically, it has not been very large, not impact. Over hyped in the short time — but under hyped in the long term. There are a billion people in India. 15% of that is 150,000,000. That’s larger than the population of Japan, the second largest economy. 150,000,000 than workers in the U.S., the worlds largest economy.

2010, India will be the world largest English speaking nation — and they can speak to America for free (he just pointed out someone in the audience with a MacBook). Any work that is routine is disappearing from the U.S. and going to… That’s left brain stuff.

“Yet, there is a mania that our eucation system want to prepare children for routine work, when there won’t be any routine jobs in Ameria in our future.” (nearly a quote)


No longer computer skills that we need. It’s skills that can’t be outsourced. Robert Sternberg has developed an alternative SAT — the Rainbow Project. You get a blank New Yorker cartoon, you have to write your own caption. It is a better predictor of college success than the traditional SAT.

Two-thirds of Georgia Techs attendees play a musical instrument. Employers are saying, don’t send us bubble sheet wienies. (his words).

Six abilities that matter the most:

  1. Design
  2. Story
  3. Symphony — the ability to see the big picture, recognize patterns, see what’s not there.
  4. Empathy
  5. Play
  6. Meaning

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.