Shah Karim — CEO, Saferock

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Shah Karim is an expert on customer engagement, improving shareholder value, Big Data, and retail. For more than 20 years, Mr. Karim has guided retailers and corporations on digital transformation, cost reduction, and business turnarounds. He is the CEO of Saferock. Mr. Karim has researched and spoken on Big Data and Customer Engagement at dmexco, […]

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Donald Trump And The Wollman Rinking of American Politics

  Excerpted from a Forbes article written by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: We best understand the world through compelling narratives. Here’s one that helps us process the phenomenon known as Trump for President: “Once upon a time there was an ice skating rink in Central Park that could no longer make ice. No one […]

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‘Scenema’ And The Truth According To Darren Wilson

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Driven by their own quest to better understand the emotions, conflict and complexities that emerged from the tragedy of Michael Brown’s death, filmmakers Sol Guy and Ezra Miller have just premiered a provocative experimental work–a standalone “scene” extruded from the larger drama of Ferguson, Missouri. […]

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Trumping Hamilton: A Tale of Two Bastards

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Last week two great American spectacles, one featuring Alexander Hamilton and the other Donald Trump, had their opening nights. Both shows made great theater, each starring quite arguably a slightly flawed, unconventional anti-hero, i.e. a character with non-traditional heroic attributes. Anti-heroes can tend to be real […]

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Is Donald Trump a Disruptive Political Innovation?

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Despite all of the hoopla about Donald Trump’s quixotic quest to become the 45th President of the United States, it remains highly improbably, in spite of leading in the Republican polls, that the Donald will ever sit in the Oval Office. It is easy […]

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Rabbis Without Borders: The Pop-up Rabbi (by Irwin Kula)


A few weeks back I wrote about how exciting and unnerving it is that, according to a new Pew Report on religion, institutional religion in America is clearly weakening. With people mixing, blending and bending their identities – and with spiritual resources increasingly accessible independent of religious institutions and authorities – there are now more Americans religiously […]

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Congratulations to our Fearless Moderator Perri Peltz on her New Film

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Here’s a piece I’d like everyone to read. And watch the video. It’s a piece Irwin did about Perri Peltz’s latest film:  “I was in Baltimore this past weekend for the bar mitzvah of my close friend’s grandson. The site of our last racial hot zone, Baltimore is still reeling from the recent unrest over Freddie […]

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Innovating Race in America (by Rabbi Irwin Kula)


Part of the #TENRABBIS blog by the rabbis at TDIA 2015. Originally posted on The Wisdom Daily.  By Rabbi Irwin Kula Do you know who Dixon White is? The proud, self-proclaimed “redneck” is a former racist – and a YouTube phenomenon. His viscerally honest, rough, intense, cuss-filled (NSFW), incredibly discomforting video “I’m a Redneck and I […]

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Our TDIA 2015 Opening Video

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Proud to present the Opening Video shown at the live 2015 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, April 24th. Our opener features clips of extreme athlete Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, one of this year’s Honorees and also a Disruptor Foundation Fellow, from an original video by Devin Supertramp — truly capturing both Aaron’s spirit and the spirit of the Awards.    

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Sacred Community and Disruptive Innovation (by Rabbi Joshua Stanton)

By Rabbi Joshua Stanton There was an unlikely group present for the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards: ten rabbis. This cohort, of which I was fortunate to be a part, was present through the Rabbis Without Borders program of CLAL. There was an unspoken but invaluable question for me as one of the few clergy among […]

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From Standing By to Understanding Black Lives Matter by Rabbi Matt Gewirtz

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Part of the #TENRABBIS blog series by the rabbis at TDIA 2015. Originally posted on The Wisdom Daily. By Rabbi Matt Gewirtz I have been in and out of sleep all night. I wake automatically reaching for the remote to see if it has gotten any worse. I hold my blanket up so that only my […]

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By Craig Hatkoff Two years ago at the Awards, Clay Christensen issued a call to action for everyone in attendance; Clay in his remarks exhorted that “we desperately need to disrupt religion, parenting and terrorism!” We took Clay’s call to action quite seriously particularly with regard to religion. Last year Pope Francis received our Adam […]

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When You Give David Lynch A Hammer…

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Last Friday at the sixth annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, we honored filmmaker David Lynch for his work with the David Lynch Foundation, which has become a powerful force introducing Transcendental Meditation as a healing and stress-reducing program to hundreds of thousands of children and adults. We welcomed TM educator of 40 years and the Foundation’s Executive […]

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Fran Lebowitz — Writer

Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz lives in New York City where she divides her time. Video: 

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Press Release: 6th Annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards

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TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL AND DISRUPTOR FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE HONOREES FOR SIXTH ANNUAL DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION AWARDS *** Award collaboration with Harvard professor Clay Christensen to recognize leading disruptors of consequence including Airbnb, VICE Media, Rent The Runway, Girls Who Code, journalist Peter Greste, Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker, Formula E Racing and more *** Walter Isaacson’s “The Innovators” […]

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Is TDIA Honoree and Fellow, Thomas Suarez About to Change the World?

By Craig Hatkoff The ORB 3D printer is intended to print 10x faster, has full modularity, a new coding language and, oh by the way, uses an open source architecture. Those who saw Thomas at our 2012 Awards when he was 12 might not be completely surprised that he has come up with all of this just […]

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Synchronicity: Red, Blue and the Great Debate

By Craig Hatkoff Irwin Kula (“the literal rabbi”) and I are always seeking insights into and discussing polarization in America whether it be conversations with our friend Glenn Beck (Irwin has become a regular on Glenn’s show) or discussions about how population density, industrialization or agrarian geography (i.e., rice versus wheat) influence the politics of our world views. […]

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Disruptor David Keyes on The Sony Hack

This blog post is a re-post of an article written by “The Daily Beast” contributor David M. Keyes, one of our Disruptor Foundation Fellows. Originally published December 18th here. The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror By David Keyes If the noble experiment of American democracy is to mean anything, it is fidelity to the […]

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Pakistan Attack: A Note from Mosharraf Zaidi, Disruptor Foundation Fellow

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By Craig Hatkoff Earlier today, militants from the Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar, Pakistan and killed 141 innocent and unarmed children, teachers, and school officials. I sent a message to Disruptor Foundation Fellow Mosharraf Zaidi,who is working on the Alif Ailaan campaign for education in Pakistan. This is the note that Mosharraf wrote back: Thinking of friends who are thinking […]

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Google Constitute Launches in Arabic

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We are proud to promote the launch of Constitute in Arabic! Constitute was one of our 2014 Honorees this past year, and they continue to be expanding their innovative constitution digitization platform. The blog content below was originally posted on the Google Ideas Public Policy Blog by Brett Perlmutter (Special Projects Lead, Google Ideas) on Monday, December […]

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Pope Francis: CEO and Epic Innovator

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Every CEO is an evangelizer. So those struggling with how to deal with the pressures of disruption would do well to closely follow Pope Francis. His first bit of sage advice for every CEO is: “An evangelizer must never look like someone who has […]

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Pittsburgh Education Blog Part 2: STEAM Learning

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We are thrilled to have two of our 2014 disruptors from honoree city Pittsburgh, PA — Cathy Lewis Long and Gregg Behr — continue with fantastic guest blog posts in their series on the evolving nature of education!    Left and Right Sides of the Brain Reunite through STEAM Learning By Gregg Behr, Linda Hippert, and Cathy […]

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VIDEO: TDIA Profiled on HLN

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During the week leading up to this year’s Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, HLN introduced the world to four of the newest key players in disruptive innovation (above) on national television. Watch their reel featuring four of our honorees — Kevin Kelley (“The coach who never punts”), Debbie Sterling (“GoldieBlox”), Yael Cohen (“Fuck Cancer”) and Adam […]

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Why Apple Users Had An Issue With The U2 Album

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Has Apple taken us from 1984 to 2014 and back again? In what is considered one of the greatest commercials ever made, Apple Computer introduced the Mac to the world in 1984 during the Super Bowl running an ad that instantaneously changed the image of […]

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Solving the Prisoner’s Dilemma: The Death of Klinghoffer at the Met

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Game theory’s famous Prisoner’s Dilemma has many variations. Consider the case where two “rational” individuals who might not cooperate even when it’s in their best interest; “irrational” behavior, albeit riskier, can lead to a better outcome for each. Are we witnessing a solution to the […]

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How To Die In America: Welcome To La Crosse, WI

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: One of the most intractable and politically charged problems in the U.S. healthcare system is end-of-life care. Unlike other third rail issues it only took two words—death panels—to put a screeching halt to the much needed public conversation about how we address medical care during […]

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A Fearful Scimitar: ISIS and Asymmetric Warfare

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: First James Foley. And now, just moments ago, Steven Sotloff. The insanity continues. How does any one make sense of what to do about ISIS? This second beheading ups the ante for President Obama whose tan suit attracted as much attention as the substance of […]

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Jason Silva on Shots of Awe: Instagram

Originally published by Ryan Grenoble as “Profound Examination Of Instagram Will Leave You Inspired By The Power Of A Photo” on The Huffington Post If you use Instagram, then filmmaker and TV personality Jason Silva would like to congratulate you on successfully navigating two different, simultaneous realities. Don’t worry. Near as we can tell, this […]

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Pittsburgh Education Blog Part 1: Back To School

We are thrilled to have two of our 2014 disruptors from honoree city Pittsburgh, PA — Cathy Lewis Long and Gregg Behr — be a part of several of the next upcoming blog posts on the evolving nature of education! “Raising the Next Generation of Innovators through Maker Learning” By Gregg Behr, Cathy Lewis Long, […]

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If It Isn’t Disruptive Innovation Then What Is It? Try ‘Quantum Innovation’ On For Size

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Is a new lexicon in disruption emerging? Adi Ignatius, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review, recently interviewed Professor Clayton Christensen on the heels of Professor Jill Lepore’s now-famous rant about disruptive innovation in The New Yorker. The ensuing controversy put Christensen and his theory at the center of the […]

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Nine Things Clay Christensen Thinks About Thinking

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Every April for the past five years Professor Clay Christensen has travelled to New York City to co-host the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards—a collaboration between Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation (which he co-founded with us) and the Tribeca Film Festival. Two dozen or so […]

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The Lindon Leader Logo Blog – Part 2

Disruptor Foundation Fellow Lindon Leader has created some of the most iconic and memorable logos in the history of marketing. We are honored to run his “situation-challenge-solution” brief for some of his favorites.   NCAA Indianapolis, IN The Situation: Redefining a proud American institution In 1998 the NCAA faced a number of issues, among them: […]

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The Lindon Leader Logo Blog – Part 1

Disruptor Foundation Fellow Lindon Leader has created some of the most iconic and memorable logos in the history of marketing. We are honored to run his “situation-challenge-solution” brief for some of his favorites.   Technicolor North Hollywood, CA The Situation: Re-branding a Hollywood icon Technicolor’s enviable heritage traces back to 1915 when the company pioneered […]

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Deep Throat: What Maimonides Teaches Us About Our Obsession With Jamie Dimon’s Cancer

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Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: Can the upsurge in and nature of the media coverage regarding Jamie Dimon’s throat cancer provide a lens into the economic, political, social and cultural zeitgeist? The market cap of the company did drop 1%, (roughly $2 billion) before slightly bouncing back the day after the […]

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Awards Ceremony Video


Video of the 2014 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards can now be found on YouTube! Enjoy the full ceremony (below) or click here to see the entire playlist of individual honorees’ speeches and segments.

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Clay Christensen Responds, and Reflects, on all the Hoopla


By Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula, co-founders, Disruptor Foundation As co-founders with Clay of the Disruptor Foundation, our mission is to raise awareness of and encourage the advancement of disruptive innovation theory and its’ application. Jill Lepore’s New Yorker article, and the river of commentary in its wake has certainly achieved a heightened level of awareness […]

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Lepore vs. Christensen: Has Disruptive Innovation Been Mortally Wounded?

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  Excerpted from a article by Craig Hatkoff and Irwin Kula: We believe the rumors of the death of disruptive innovation have been greatly exaggerated by Harvard Professor Jill Lepore. But many have begun to question what hidden motives might underly Lepore’s frontal assault in the The New Yorker on disruptive innovation theory and it’s creator, fellow […]

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Irwin Kula: Encountering Glenn Beck

Encountering Glenn Beck By: Irwin Kula This past Thursday I spent an extraordinary day in Dallas with Glenn Beck… yes that Glenn Beck. I did a radio segment and a TV segment, had a two-hour conversation with Glenn and then had an intimate dinner with him and some remarkable innovators and writers. Our experience was […]

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2014 TDIA Breakout Sessions Recap

After our awards ceremony on Friday, guests from the audience attended one of seven thought-provoking breakout sessions hosted in classrooms at NYU Stern School of Business: panels which included many of our honorees, fellows, and other disruptors from a range of industries. Thank you to NYU, all moderators, panelists and guests for making such great […]

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IX Innovation Cities Tour NYC Panel 4/21/14

This past Monday night, Craig Hatkoff and Rabbi Irwin Kula spoke with Hutch Carpenter, Judith E. Glaser, Mark Payne, Tarah Feinberg, Jeff Meleski, Peter Thum and Bre Pettis in a panel moderated by Julie Anixter. The panel was a part of the NYC edition of the Innovation Excellence Innovation Cities Tour, hosted in part by the Disruptor […]

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Irwin Kula: Mourning Online – What Does This Mean for Traditional Religion?

Mourning Online – What Does This Mean for Traditional Religion? By Irwin Kula If there is one thing religion has historically been good at and its clergy and institutions used for it is death management. Well, these days with “None” the fastest growing religious identification – more than 20% of all Americans and more than […]

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Craig Hatkoff: Letter from David Hoffman

By Craig Hatkoff   Honoree David Hoffman sent me the following letter today and I asked him if I could share here on our website: “Dear Craig, Today I sent a group of select colleagues the letter (via e-mail) that you see below. I thought you might enjoy reading it. On April 25 in NYC […]

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Dr. Marni Sommer: Community Response to Female Circumcision in Eritrea

By Dr. Marni Sommer, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health Tackling female circumcision (otherwise known as FGM or FGC) is challenging in countries around the world.  In 2009, on the international day symbolizing the global effort to stop the practice, I attended a remarkable event in Segeneiti, Eritrea.  The National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) […]

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Irwin Kula: What Religions Can Learn from Microsoft

What Religions Can Learn from Microsoft By Irwin Kula, Disruptor Foundation co-founder Big news from Microsoft – it has finally decided to make its Office software, specifically its suite of applications including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, work on all computing devices including those made by its competitors, Apple’s Ipads and Google’s Android operating system. I […]

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Irwin Kula: Water Wisdom

By Irwin Kula Here is innovation at its best – a billboard that generates water from nothing but thin air in a place where water shortage is one of the biggest problems. Innovation arises when passion and purpose come together, when people collaborate across different domains and expertise,  when different technologies are combined and […]

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Disruptive Innovation Revisited: Toward Quantum Innovation

On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 Accenture and Tribeca hosted a private event entitled “Disruptive Innovation Revisited: Toward Quantum Innovation”. The event featured a lively conversation from select Disruptive Foundation Fellows and past Tribeca Disruptive Innovation award winners. They discussed how their applications of disruptive innovation have created value in unexpected ways, not only as applied to […]

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Can American Capitalism Save Itself?


During a breakout session at 2013 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, an esteemed panel assembled by The Henry Jackson Initiative (2013 Honorees) engaged in a lively discussion and exchange of ideas on the subject. Discussion Framework: It has been over four and half years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the beginning of the worst […]

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2014 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards – Friday, April 25th

The 2014 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards will be held on Friday, April 25th at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place). Buy all-inclusive Innovation Week Passes and view more information here.

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2013 Disruptive Honorees Announced


We’re proud to honor pioneers and groundbreakers across all fields at the fourth annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards. The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), in association with the Disruptor Foundation and Harvard Business School Professor Clay Christensen, father of Disruptive Innovation Theory, is pleased to announce the innovative honorees from various disciplines and domains that will […]

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2012 Disruptive Innovation Awards Video

Watch the entire 2012 Awards Ceremony here!

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Thomas Suarez – TDIA’s Chief Technology Officer

Thomas Suarez

Thomas Suarez’  fascination with technology began at an early age.  He taught himself how to program which led him to develop apps for the App Store. He published his first app, “Earth Fortune”, and this was quickly followed by his most famous app, “Bustin Jieber”, a Justin Bieber whack-a-mole.  At 12, Thomas gave a TEDx […]

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Gentle Giants: Life Lessons of the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards

    Originally posted on April 26, 2012 in honor of the third annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, this blog has been updated to reflect new dates for the 2013 fourth annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards.  Tribeca Enterprises COO and President Jon Patricof reflects on the unique partnership between Clay Christensen and Craig Hatkoff. On […]

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Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards: Discussion Groups

  DISCUSSION GROUPS April 27, 2012 NYU Stern School of Business Tisch Hall, 40 West Fourth Street (Note: You must be registered for the Conference to attend.) Room UC.03 DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION 2.0 Adam Smith Revisited: Towards a Moral Capitalism? Craig Hatkoff – Co-Founder Tribeca Film Festival Irwin Kula – President of CLAL Matthew Bishop – […]

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2012 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards

The Tribeca Film Festival, in association with renowned Harvard Business School Professor Clay Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation, is proud to announce the recipients of the third annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, hosted by NYU Stern School of Business, on April 27. The live stream will begin at 11:00 am right here on We […]

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