Walter Isaacson on Elon Musk: Innovation and the Demons that Drive it

24 november 2023
| |

Join the John Adams Institute November 24th, 8 PM - 10 PM at the Dominicuskerk, Korte Korsjespoortsteeg, Amsterdam for a talk with Walter Isaacson on Elon Musk: Innovation and the Demons that Drive it.


Isaacson’s latest inside story is filled with tales of triumph and turmoil, and addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?

Walter Isaacson is the bestselling biographer of the likes of Steve Jobs, Henry Kissinger, and Jennifer Doudna. Throughout his career he has served as the director of the Aspen Institute, chairman and CEO of CNN and as editor of Time magazine. This time, Isaacson turns his editorial skill to one of today’s most complicated, reviled and revered individuals: Elon Musk.

Isaacson cuts through the noise as he examines Musk’s origins and rise to fame. His psychic scars and epic sense of mission have ensured he’s rarely out of the spotlight: from celebrity cage fighting matches with billionaire rivals to his creation of some of today’s most influential companies, Musk has developed a roguish persona that is by turns invigorating and infuriating.

But are we willing to accept Elon Musk’s brand of innovation at any cost? He wields immense power with governments and businesses alike, influencing everything from the U.S. Government’s space exploration missions with reusable SpaceX rockets, to the communications strategies of the Ukrainian armed forces as they fight off the Russian invasion with the help of Starlink satellites. The recently renamed X (previously Twitter) has been his personal playground, affecting not only free speech, but also the work of journalists around the world, and Tesla has nearly single handedly stimulated the transition to electric vehicles in the West.

All this at the hands of a man who Isaacson describes as having Jekyll and Hyde like mood swings, and a tumultuous past. Shadowing Musk for two years, Isaacson attended board meetings and visited factories, spending hours interviewing Musk, his family members, coworkers and adversaries to capture this intimate inside story.

Walter Isaacson spoke previously at the John Adams in 2012. The event footage on his talk on Steve Jobs is available in our library.

Delen op

pro-mbooks1 : athenaeum