Good Disruption

”Good Disruption” is a lively discussion between UVA Darden School of Business Professors Mike Lenox and Yael Grushka-Cockayne on cutting edge technologies and practices that are challenging the status quo. They then make their personal call on whether this is a good disruption, bad disruption, or actually no disruption.

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Episodes

3 days ago

Here on the Good Disruption podcast we talk a lot about technologies, but what about the person behind the disruption?  To tackle wicked problems like climate change, not only do we need innovative technologies but also, innovators who introduce solutions that benefit society more broadly.  What makes a good disruptor?  How can we move the needle on climate change?  Mike and Yael talk with Chrissa Pagitsas (MBA ’09), Laure Katz (GEMBA ’16) and Chanceé Lundy Russell to discuss these and other questions around sustainability during UVA Darden’s 2022 Women in Leadership Summit.

Monday Sep 19, 2022

For many patients battling disease, working with their doctors to find the most effective treatment can be a painful exercise of trial and error. What if you could more precisely choose medications and customize treatment based on people’s genes, environment, and lifestyle?
Today, this type of customization is possible thanks to the Human Genome Project, which published the full sequence of the human genome in 2013. The release of this data provided clinicians the opportunity to identify genetic variations of thousands of diseases and has led to the rise of a new way to treat patients through personalized or precision medicine. Yet, creating a detailed and complete view of individual patients requires an incredible amount of computing power and there are concerns around accessibility, profiling, discrimination, and privacy with access to personal data.

Monday Sep 19, 2022

In 2018, Director Steven Spielberg released the movie Ready Player One. Set in the year 2045, the movie depicts a virtual world, Oasis, where players can escape their everyday lives to be whoever they want and do whatever they want through an avatar. Fantasy? Perhaps, but big tech players like Facebook are betting on the idea becoming a reality. Last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of the company to Meta, a move that appears to be a strategic positioning tactic for the next digital frontier.
What exactly is the metaverse? What are the challenges in building an interactive virtual world? Which technologies will get us there? How will players – particularly younger ones – be protected while engaging with others?

Monday Sep 19, 2022

Livestock farming represents more than 60% of agriculture GHG emissions. Cattle account for most of these emissions and are the primary drivers of deforestation. If we want to reduce the global impact of beef, we need to think differently about how we grow and source it.
Across the U.S., new plant-based alternatives are showing up on menus, offering customers similar taste and texture as beef, but without the carbon footprint. Chains like Burger King, Carl Jr., and Starbucks are offering Impossible and Beyond Meat products. Still, many beef lovers are hesitant to make the switch. What if you could promise real beef but without the environmental impact or even, without a herd? In steps cultivated meat, where beef is grown from cow cells in a laboratory.
Podcast image courtesy of World Economic Forum, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.

Monday Sep 19, 2022

When Ludwig van Beethoven died in 1827, he left his 10th symphony unfinished. Working off just a few musical sketches and notes by the composer, a team of computer scientists at Rutgers University-based start-up Playform AI trained an artificial intelligence to mimic his style and complete the symphony. The finished product was performed by The Beethoven Orchestra Bonn on October 9, 2021.
The use of AI for creative endeavors is not new, but more recently interest in using it for music composition has exploded. Machine learning promises to increase the pace and volume of content released by artists and makes music and composition more accessible to budding new artists. On one hand it helps to feed the seemingly insatiable desire for new content on streaming platforms but on the other, it threatens originality. There is also the question of “who owns the music that the software produces” – is it the programmer, the musician, or the AI itself?

Monday Sep 19, 2022

Ten years ago, a group of Stanford professors founded Coursera, an online education platform that allows university partners to offer courses using a subscription-based model. Known in the industry as MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, the company has provided access to more than 95 million learners. These MOOCs have allowed universities to engage a broader audience not able to be reached through traditional means. Market analysts report a year over year increase in online learning, both nationally and globally. In 2021, MOOCs had reached more than 200 million people. The COVID pandemic has only accelerated this trend with most schools forced to move all classes online. Concerns around the rising costs of higher education are increasing the pressure on many universities to consider digital offerings. It’s clear that disruption is underway, but where are the opportunities and what are the risks to top-tier universities?

Monday Sep 19, 2022

Bitcoin. Tether. Dogecoin. These are some of the most popular cryptocurrencies being traded around the world. The sheer number of crypto options available today suggests significant market disruption is underway. Building on open source blockchain technology, developers have created more than 4,500 cryptocurrencies. Yet, where there is hype there is also volatility. Just last year, the value of Bitcoin dropped by $6 billion within weeks of Tesla announcing that it would not accept it and China warning that it would block all crypto exchanges. After recovering and reaching an all-time high later in the year, the price once again dipped at the beginning of 2022. Is it merely the newness of crypto that is causing this volatility or does the concern go deeper? What are the benefits of shifting the economy toward digital currencies? What are the concerns? Who will benefit?

Monday Sep 19, 2022

The automobile industry is in the middle of a significant disruption. Initially led by Tesla, new companies like Rivian and Lucid are emerging while GM, Ford, and other incumbent manufacturers are scrambling to introduce new electric models and shift inventory away from gas-powered cars. Eighteen of the twenty largest car manufacturers representing 90% of global new vehicle sales have committed to expanding their electric offerings. Today, more than 10 million electric vehicles are on the road, with 3 million of that added just in 2020. Electric vehicles are on track to become the dominant technology over the next 10-20 years.  But do we truly understand all the implications of this shift? Are we ready for it?

Monday Sep 19, 2022

Welcome to "Good Disruption", a lively discussion between UVA Darden School of Business Professors Mike Lenox and Yael Grushka-Cockayne on cutting edge technologies and practices that are challenging the status quo. They then make their personal call on whether this is a good disruption, bad disruption, or actually no disruption. Subscribe to Darden Ideas to Action podcasts on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts!

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