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Susan Hockfield

President Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

It wasn't until graduate school that I just fell in love with learning. Just fell in love with learning, and I could study for hours and days and it was a glorious feeling, and -- could've, would've, should've. You know, you think about what you could've done, what you might've done. I only wish I had discovered that kind of joy in learning earlier, because there are many things that I wish I knew now that I could've learned if I had been paying a little bit more attention to my studies. I have an older sister who was an astonishing student from the very beginning, and her interests and expertise lay more in the linguistic arts. She was a terrific language student, a very great reader. I mean, she was always reading. She liked history a lot. And in contrast, my intrinsic abilities took me more toward math and science, so it was a good contrast from having a sister who was about a year-and-a-half older than I was, going through school ahead of me doing astonishingly well. So you know, I got cut a little slack because my strengths were in math and science in contrast to hers. And because of that interest, it was imagined by my parents and myself that I would go to medical school -- kind of a standard thing. And while I had a deep interest, deep curiosity about how living things work -- or frankly, how all things work; I was forever taking things apart to figure out how they work -- medicine never felt exactly right to me. And it wasn't until I was in college that one of my professors suggested a different route which led me into research, and it was really the thing I had been looking for.
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Susan Hockfield

President Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

When I got to graduate school, and you got to spend all of your time reading about this thing for which you had an infinite curiosity and infinite enthusiasm, and you could talk to people who were studying and interested in the same things, that was just glorious. And so I think it really was that I had discovered this real-life manifestation of the thing I had been curious about since I was four or five years old -- you know, that it really finally came together. And as an educator, what you want for your students -- as a mother, what you want for your child -- is to find that thing, that pursuit that is intoxicating. Because when you fall in love with something, you can bring to it a level of commitment, a level of energy, level of curiosity, a level of persistence that is absolutely required for success. You just can't have success without that.
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Reid Hoffman

Internet Entrepreneur

Reid Hoffman: Yeah, if you'd ask me -- because this is one of the things Peter and I would talk about -- the first book I ever thought I would write would be a book on friendship. Because I think there's a bunch of interesting things about friendship. In fact, the way that we go through life together is essentially the thing that most occupies my attention. Whether it's the way we go through life as friends, whether it's as colleagues, whether it's as citizens, whether it's as workers. And to some degree, I think all the theories and meaning of life that I think have some substance is: How are we going through life together? What are our obligations to each other? What are our obligations to ourselves? What are the things we can aspire to? How do we make ourselves -- when we aspire to what is the best in humanity -- how do we get there? And the way that we discover that is through conversation with each other. This is part of the public intellectual, through hearing other people's points of view, and evolving our own and evolving theirs. So that network connectivity, how we shape each other, is at the bedrock of what I pay attention to and work in.
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Elizabeth Holmes

Health Technology Revolution

Elizabeth Holmes: My passion comes from being able to make an impact in people's lives. And the way I personally feel is most fundamental, because I really believe that not a lot matters more than finding out too late that someone you love is really, really sick and not being able to do something about it. If I can live a life that helps to change that, then it's a life of purpose, and it's a life of purpose that resonates incredibly strongly with me.
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