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Centennial Speaker Series: Derek Lidow on The Entrepreneurs: The Relentless Quest for Value

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
12 – 1 p.m.

Entrepreneurs are among the primary shapers of our culture, yet their role in driving progress and influencing society has often been overlooked. As far back as we can trace human history, there have been entrepreneurs. Almost five millennia ago, copper tool manufacturers set up a factory in what today is southwest Spain, profiting for hundreds of years from trade around the Mediterranean. Papyri document the diverse investments of an ancient Egyptian businessman, from grain-yielding land to flax for linen cloth. What do these figures have in common with renowned modern entrepreneurs, and how do their similarities help us achieve a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship, as well as the potential for a healthier, wealthier, and more equitable and sustainable future?

Derek Lidow delves into the deep history of innovation to deliver essential new insights into how entrepreneurs create value and bring about change. Telling the captivating stories of people from many different cultures over thousands of years, he shows how entrepreneurs transform the world through relentless innovation. Lidow demonstrates that far from being heroic lone individuals, they copy and then add to the inventions of others. The cumulative innovations of swarms of entrepreneurs expand the scale, scope, and range of products and services. Lidow emphasizes how entrepreneurship can harm society as well as benefit it, and he underscores ways to mitigate its harmful side and harness its positive effects. By highlighting the fundamental qualities of innovation, this book provides an indispensable new perspective on how it is shaping our present and future.

12 p.m.: Welcome Remarks: James Kelly, director, Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis

12:03 p.m.: Speaker Introduction: David Cowen, president and CEO, Museum of American Finance

12:08: p.m.: Presentation: Derek Lidow

12:45 p.m.: Audience Q&A

1 p.m.: Closing Remarks: David Cowen

About the Speaker
Derek Lidow is professor of the practice at the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education at Princeton University. He is the author of Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises (2014) and Building on Bedrock: What Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies (2018), as well as more than 100 articles on innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Lidow also has practical experience as the founder of a leading market-research firm and CEO of a global semiconductor company.

Copies of The Entrepreneurs will be distributed to attendees.

This event is co-sponsored with the CFA Society New York, the Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis, and the Museum of American Finance.


This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.