• Isaacson Event

Walter Isaacson

President and CEO, The Aspen Institute | January 19, 2012
Walter Isaacson reflects on the life of creativity of Steve Jobs.

The first event, scheduled for Thursday, January 19, will feature Walter Isaacson, author of the biography Steve Jobs.  This celebrated intimate look at the personal and professional life of the man who transformed so much of daily life for everyone is ranked by Amazon as its best-selling book of 2011.  Steve Jobs sold 379,000 copies in the first week of its availability after its release on October 24.  Both hard copy and e-book sales are continuing to be strong during the holiday shopping period.

Mr. Isaacson, who is President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, also is the author of several other well received biographies.  His books include Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, and Kissinger: A Biography.  Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, he served as the Chairman and CEO of CNN and editor of Time magazine.

Excerpts from Event

“. . .this room is filled with smart people. And you realize that smart people are a dime a dozen, and they don’t usually amount to much. What really matters is whether you’re imaginative – or creative. Steve Jobs in some ways was the least conventionally smart. When he came back from India and was19 or 20 years old – he kind of dropped out, sought personal enlightenment in India – he said, I learned the limits of rational Western thinking and took up what I learned in the villages of India, which was intuition and intuitive thinking.  . . . He just transformed multiple industries repeatedly – the phone industry. Secondly, he did it by leaps of the imagination and genius, or ingeniousness, I think. I began to totally respect his focus, his passion for perfection. I also came to see that the passion for perfection and passion for product is related to a sort of petulance and impatience and toughness.  . . . The theme of the book is how to be at the intersection of creativity and technology, art and sciences.” ~ Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, Aspen Institute; biographer of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

“. . .I suspect – this is me talking, not him [Steve Jobs] – that the iPad will do more to reform education than all of, say, the Packard Foundation and Gates Foundation education programs. Even today, when you go home tonight, you’ll read that they released a textbook maker for iBooks, as well as iTunes University, which will totally disrupt the textbook industry. It was one of the last things he talked to me about in the book, and I have it in the book – his desire that textbooks will be interactive and online.” ~ Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, Aspen Institute; author of the bestselling biography Steve Jobs

“. . .this room is filled with smart people. And you realize that smart people are a dime a dozen, and they don’t usually amount to much. What really matters is whether you’re imaginative – or creative. Steve Jobs in some ways was the least conventionally smart. When he came back from India and was19 or 20 years old – he kind of dropped out, sought personal enlightenment in India – he said, I learned the limits of rational Western thinking and took up what I learned in the villages of India, which was intuition and intuitive thinking.  . . .He just transformed multiple industries repeatedly – the phone industry. Secondly, he did it by leaps of the imagination and genius, or ingeniousness, I think. I began to totally respect his focus, his passion for perfection. I also came to see that the passion for perfection and passion for product is related to a sort of petulance and impatience and toughness.  . . .The theme of the book is how to be at the intersection of creativity and technology, art and sciences.” ~ Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, Aspen Institute; biographer of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

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