Editor's note: This post was written by Chris Correa, Media Strategist at Ashoka Changemakers.
Peter Sims knows innovation, technology, and social entrepreneurship. He's a Stanford GSB alum, frequently collaborates with Stanford’s Institute of Design (the d.school), and is the consummate valley guy, having served as an advisor to Google, Eli Lilly, Pixar, ConAgra, and Cisco Systems.
His latest book is Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, which asks pointed questions about how system change occurs on a methodical level across myriad industries and sectors. For example, what do Apple CEO Steve Jobs, award-winning comedian Chris Rock, famed architect Frank Gehry, and Pixar scientist Tony Derose (watch for his upcoming interview, to be posted here) have in common?
Answer: Their outputs are the result of what Sims considers "little bets," or small, experimental steps. He posits that typically desired outcomes are often planned in advance, but are better achieved through learning critical information from lots of little failures and from small but mighty wins. Sims has written frequently about STEM education for various publications, including TechCrunch, and brings his insight and passion for the learning process to the Partnering for Excellence competition.