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Innovation, entrepreneurship and education … a Silicon Valley discussion.

It was a very interesting day at VMware today! We hosted an engaging panel discussion on innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation, organized by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

The conversation spanned a variety of topics, from Silicon Valley ‘secret sauce’ for entrepreneurship to the future of education and technology as a transformative force in the global community. It was invigorating to hear from such a variety of accomplished technology leaders … it’s not often we get to sit down for an hour and discuss the future with these folks.

Participants were Steve Case, founder of AOL, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, John Doerr, icon in venture capital, and Aneesh Chopra, CTO of the United States. Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired, moderated the discussion in an irreverent and highly informed way.

Some of my favorite comments:

“What is risk, really? Most entrepreneurs don’t know what’s not possible … what looks like risk to us may not look like risk to them.”  -John Doerr

“Technology has transformed many fields … now is the time for the transformation in education. The way that we interact with education will radically change over the next 20 years. We will experience much more personalized, web-based, integrated and self-paced learning … for schoolchildren as well as adults.” -Reed Hastings

“Small and large businesses use web technology to market themselves … in every sector, every region. These companies grow 2x as fast, hire 2x more people. This is an ecosystem benefitting from innovation around web technology, and we must continue to invest in areas of innovation that will support these job-creating ecosystems.” -Sheryl Sandberg

VMware started 13 years ago with an entrepreneurial idea, and our continued success relies on continued invention and innovation. This keeps me and other CTOs awake at night. And as a father of 3 I stay awake thinking about the future that my children will have and the way that our education system needs to evolve to prepare them for the future. I’m glad this council is focused on these and other challenges and am glad VMware can play a part in addressing them.

It was an informative and thought-provoking morning, covering additional topics such as immigration reform and expansion of U.S. nationwide capabilities around innovation.I encourage everyone to check out the full discussion here: