Elon Musk: Merging the Technical and Interpersonal for a Sustainable Tomorrow


Elon Musk is the founder and CEO of Telsa motors, CEO of Paypal, Stanford graduate, and an acclaimed entrepreneur. He hails from South Africa, but has lived and worked in the United States and Canada for most of his adult life. He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school, and attended Stanford for two days pursuing a physics degree before dropping out to focus on entrepreneurial endeavors. Additionally, after selling Paypal, Musk cofounded SpaceX, a company dedicated to revolutionizing rocket propulsion and accessible space travel. He has a unique ability to create successful technological ventures because of his wide array of talents. He has the technical knowledge to understand complex rocket schematics, but also the business savvy and interpersonal skills to grow a startup into a thriving corporation.

elon musk


This session would take place in the parking lot behind Scott Stadium. Mr. Musk would drive to the meeting in one of the Tesla model S cars that his company designed.  The Model S is a luxury grade all-electric sedan that performs like a sports car, yet requires no gasoline. Innovations include a country-wide network of electric supercharger stations, a digital interior interface that can be updated and serviced wirelessly, and direct to consumer distribution techniques. The session would be a mobile hands-on adventure in and around both the car and Mr. Musk’s mind. I believe that Mr. Musk’s greatest talent is transduction, and would in fact go as far as to deem him the greatest transducer of our time. He would tell us how he is able to harness previously available technology from a variety of sectors and combine it to create the Model S car. He will talk about his knowledge of physics, engineering, automobiles, fundraising, and corporate management, and how he combined it all to create the Model S. Additionally, since transduction does not end at the conclusion of the original project, Mr. Musk will talk about how he now intends to use battery technology developed for the car to start a lithium revolution in the United States of America. The session will conclude with a question and answer session. If students wish to stay after the session, they will get the opportunity to test drive the car.

Basic CMYK

Transduction Themes

The signal here consists of the unsustainable rise in the price of oil, visible environmental degradation, and consumer demand for alternate forms of transportation. The interface is the physical car itself, the automated electronic interior, and the plans that Musk has open sourced for other forms of transportation. The media is Musk’s mind, his background, his relationships with other talented professionals, and the systems through which the product is produced.

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Proposed by Joseph Woodlief.