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Wired on How Skating Superstar Rodney Mullen Became a Tech Thought Leader, with a Little Help from our own Randy Hill

January 27, 2015

Wired writer Brendan Koerner profiles skating legend Rodeny Mullen and his unlikely rise as an influential tech thought leader. The story traces how Mullen’s first talk – at the inaugural TEDxUSC – began with an introduction by ICT Executive Director Randall W. Hill and led to Mullen’s prominence on the speaker circuit. That talk explored Mullen’s observations that  both hacker and skate culture are proudly open source, filled with innovations that improve upon the nonproprietary works of generations past.

The story explains that Hill had consulted with Mullen as part of his ICT research into human resilience and then connected him with Kriztina Holly, who was organizing TEDxUSC.

“He [Hill] had asked Mullen to contemplate what it took to excel as an elite skateboarder; the response he received was surprisingly sophisticated, with elements of philosophy and neuroscience woven throughout. One topic Mullen covered, for example, was how he had trained his brain to enter a semi-hypnotic state prior to contests, so that he wouldn’t dwell on the hundreds of minute variables that can ruin a trick. Hill felt certain that Holly would enjoy a meal with an athlete who was conversant in concepts such as tacit knowledge and executive motor function,” stated the story.

Watch Mullen’s TEDxUSC talk here.