Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, influenced the way the world communicates, spreads news and tells stories – and he’s coming to the campus of High Point University on Jan. 20, 2016 to speak in the Hayworth Fine Arts Center. In addition to launching one of the world’s most popular social media sites, Stone has been developing large-scale systems that facilitate the open exchange of information for more than 15 years.
Stone’s entrepreneurial spirit reflects the mantra of High Point University – to prepare students not for the world as it is, but for the world as it’s going to be. Below are five ways Stone’s message resonates with college students and all future leaders:
Develop new ways of doing things.
Stone co-founded Twitter in 2006. Since then, Twitter has changed how more than 500 million users communicate and has become one of the top 10 most-visited websites on the Internet. HPU celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of innovators like Stone. For example, annual Business Plan Competitions award students thousands of dollars for their start-ups, while academic programs and experiential learning opportunities inspire new ways of thinking. Graduates are challenged to be more innovative and productive no matter where or with whom they work. HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein frequently reiterates this philosophy to students, faculty, staff, families and all who visit HPU.
“We’re focused on graduating job creators. We’re not trying to graduate job takers.”
– Dr. Qubein
Understand that without failure, there is no success.
Although Stone’s Q&A app Jelly didn’t take off as expected, it opened the door for another budding tech opportunity: Super. Failure shapes people into leaders, teaches invaluable lessons and creates opportunities to create better solutions using that new-found knowledge. When thought leaders and Fortune 500 CEOs visit the HPU campus to give presentations and instill relevant, industry knowledge in students, they echo the same sentiment.
“Winning and being perfect are futile. Failure builds character.
And sometimes there is no failure, just opportunity.”
– Pamela Brown, CNN correspondent who spoke on campus
Create a culture of positivity, no matter where you work.
Just like Stone says time and time again, “Solutions emerge if you look for the positive.” Educators at HPU also believe that when placed within inspiring, positive surroundings, students will rise to the level of their environment. Every aspect of the HPU campus is designed to teach and inspire – from the fountains that exude energy and life, to the sculptures of influential leaders and passionate innovators, to the grand lobbies and boardrooms that prepare students to work for Fortune 500 companies, to the majestic collection of 24 gardens. The HPU campus cultivates success and positivity.
“HPU always encouraged us to give back, be kind to everyone and take on life with a positive attitude. I took those lessons to heart. Not only does it feel good; it’s also helped me succeed in business.”
– Kendall Lawson, ’13, owner and CEO of Three Scooops clothing
Focus on the future.
Entrepreneurs like Stone are in the business of the future. Whether through new social media platforms, new philanthropic endeavors or new forms of communication, Stone’s drive to create a better future remains the same. Similarly, HPU has experienced explosive growth in the past 10 years since Dr. Qubein was first appointed president. But the best is still yet to come: groundbreakings for the university’s largest academic complex, health sciences and pharmacy programs that will put graduates at the helm of medical innovation, a basketball arena, library, residence halls and much more.
“High Point University is in the business of preparing students for the world as it is going to be;
not for the world as it is or as it was.”
– Dr. Qubein
Embrace holistic learning.
Having started out as an artist, Stone stresses creativity, learning from mistakes and celebrating the triumph of humanity with a little help from technology. It’s not just about knowing how to create code from scratch or about technology; it’s about knowing how the pieces connect together. In the same way, HPU’s liberal arts experience is focused on educating not only the mind, but also nurturing students’ hearts and souls through holistic education. Students work hard in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the solitude of scholarship, yet their innovative campus provides continuous inspiration and opportunity for connection. Faculty support students’ personal growth and success while staff prepare them to lead and create value in the marketplace. And experiential learning opportunities offer professional experience to bridge the chasm between classroom content and real-world context.
“The holistic approach that HPU takes to education truly prepared me for where I am today
and anywhere I go as my career continues to grow.”
– Lauren McGraw, ’10, Senior International Operations Services Specialist
at Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation