Charles Leadbeater: “The rise of the amateur professional”

In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn’t just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can’t. He describes the rising role of serious amateurs (“Pro-Ams,” as he calls them) through the story of the mountain bike.

Charles Leadbeater’s theories on innovation have compelled some of the world’s largest organizations to rethink their strategies. A financial journalist turned innovation consultant (for clients ranging from the British government to Microsoft), Leadbeater noticed the rise of “pro-ams” — passionate amateurs who act like professionals, making breakthrough discoveries in many fields, from software to astronomy to kite-surfing. His 2004 essay “The Pro-Am Revolution” — which The New York Times called one of the year’s biggest global ideas — highlighted the rise of this new breed of amateur.

Link to his website: http://www.charlesleadbeater.net/

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