CPS Lecture #125: Safi Bahcall on Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas...

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Haight-Ashbury

San Francisco, CA 94117

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Why do traffic jams appear out of nowhere on highways?

What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water?


In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice.

Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere.

JOIN US on Thursday, May 30th, at 7:30 PM for a CPS Lecture with Safi Bahcall, he will discuss Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries.


About Safi:

Safi is a second-generation physicist (the son of two astrophysicists) and a biotech entrepreneur.

He received his BA summa cum laude from Harvard and his PhD in physics from Stanford, where he worked with Lenny Susskind in particle physics (the science of the small) and the Nobel laureate Bob Laughlin in condensed matter physics (the science of the many). He was a Miller Fellow in physics at UC Berkeley (the school of the many). After working for three years as a consultant for McKinsey, Safi co-founded a biotechnology company developing new drugs for cancer. He led its IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years.

Safi has presented at approximately 130 banking conferences, investor events, and medical meetings around the world, as well as at leading academic institutions including physics, mathematics, or medical departments at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Caltech, Cornell, Bell Labs, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rockefeller, and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.


About CPS Lectures:

CPS Lectures is a free discussion series that takes place in San Francisco. It is a program of the nonprofit The diaTribe Foundation. The series honors the memory of Cyril Patrick Shaughnessy, Jr., Kelly Close's father, who loved discussions and learning.

- RSVP required for this free event. You will be given a chance to donate to The diaTribe Foundation when you register - this is optional. Thank you to all those who have given to date. If you have anything to donate for the silent auction - please email Katie Brauer at cps@diatribe.org.

- Please share our series with others – you can forward this invite or invite people to sign up at www.cpslectures.org. If you RSVP yes and have to cancel, please do so within 24 hours of our event. Address with be given to those who RSVP.

- Wine, beer and light snacks will be provided. There are amazing restaurants within walking distance, including: Nopa, Souvla, Nopalito, Bar Crudo, barvale, Magnolia Brewery, 4505 Burgers and many more.

Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. We hope to see you on Thursday May 30th, and we look forward to what we know will be a most compelling discussion.

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Haight-Ashbury

San Francisco, CA 94117

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