An Activist Investor on Challenging the Status Quo | Bill Ackman | TED

An Activist Investor on Challenging the Status Quo | Bill Ackman | TED


  • Investing involves predicting the future and finding businesses with durability and barriers to entry.

Harvard Governance Issues

  • Harvard faces governance issues, including increasing costs and declining education quality.
  • Unlike in the corporate world, there is no legal mechanism to force change at Harvard, so influence must be gained through public pressure and embarrassment.
  • The stakes are higher in the conversation about Harvard because it educates future leaders and shapes society.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

  • The speaker believes in DEI but sees issues with its current implementation in some institutions.
  • Diversity includes viewpoint diversity, socioeconomic background, and life experiences, not just race and gender.
  • Diversity benefits decision-making, reflects society, and promotes fairness.

Free Speech and Cancel Culture

  • The speaker expresses concern about the current state of free speech, where challenging conventional wisdom or discussing sensitive topics can lead to accusations and "cancel culture."
  • Having a voice and sharing ideas is important, but it should not be based solely on wealth or net worth.
  • The speaker welcomes criticism and debate as a means of learning and finding the truth.

Influence of Wealthy Individuals

  • The speaker acknowledges the excessive influence of wealthy people on democracy and technology, particularly in politics.
  • Unlimited spending on political campaigns is a problem.
  • The speaker's influence comes from impactful ideas, not campaign spending.
  • The speaker believes that the excessive influence of rich people in society, especially in politics, is not a good thing.
  • The speaker acknowledges the positive impact of wealthy individuals like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos on advancements in space exploration.
  • The speaker expresses concern about the political influence of wealthy individuals and the need to reverse the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

Twitter and Free Speech

  • The speaker praises Twitter as a platform for free speech and diverse perspectives, despite the presence of hate speech and vile content.

Seeking Information from Diverse Sources

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of seeking information from a variety of sources beyond traditional media outlets.

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