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Spark

I haven’t been to Burning Man yet, but this documentary trailer really makes me want to go.  A longtime TED friend of mine, Steve Brown, has been working on this documentary for well over a year.  He sent the trailer to me earlier tonight, and it struck a nerve deep in my psyche.

My oldest son, a junior in high school, is starting to consider where he wants to go to college, and what he wants to study - so I’ve been thinking a lot about what advice I should share with him.  I’ve come to believe over the last few years that the best skills to learn in our global economy will be in engineering and design.

Watch this trailer, and you’ll see some extreme examples of both.  My favorite line in the trailer for Spark is “…I walked away from Burning Man, going, I need to learn how to weld.”  I still cannot believe what is built, and then destroyed, and then removed without a trace, during a single week in the Black Rock Desert.

These disciplines - design (not just technical design, but artistic composition and UI/UX construction) and engineering, won’t fall prey to the march of automation and robotics anytime soon.  The level of sophistication evident in the displays and buildings at Burning Man is truly spectacular.  I’m thrilled to see how Steve has brought this to life and I can’t wait to see his film.

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I've spent the last 18 years driving up and down the length of Interstate 280, which starts in San Francisco and runs the length of Silicon Valley. Also known as the Junipero Serra Highway, the road offers an amazing juxtaposition of a modern, eight-lane superhighway with some of the most awe-inspiring natural scenery on earth. Since I love to drive, I've spent a huge chunk of my life on 280 - visiting entrepreneurs, traveling to meet companies, talking on the phone, and heading to Old La Honda to climb the hills on my road bike. I love this highway and everything it represents - it's the secret connecting lifeblood of the Bay Area.

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