by Beatrice Jeschek
|Photo: Peter Thiel, Naveen Jain, Hubert Burda, Tony Hsieh, Ian Osborne (fltr) by David Michael Barnwell|
"There is a new class of young, rich billionaires in philanthropy," said DLD Co-Chairman Hubert Burda, pointing towards his co-panelists. The digital revolution actually sheds light on "patterns to success", he said. "This new generation of digital entrepreneurs with incredible ideas are changing the way we live and think."
One of these new projects is taking place in Downtown Vegas, a non-stereotypical "secret" area of Fremont East. Taking 350 million US Dollars into his hands, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, intends to change the face of the community. Co-learning and collision are the buzz words. His strategy is to turn on short-term ROI (Return On Investment) and rather implement a long-term strategy of ROC (Return on Community). It's all about running into people, random conversations over a coffee and sharing some ideas. This way, one of his clients who got tired of the casino environment opened up a breakfast and lunch restaurant, a live-long dream coming true. 50 million dollars are put into small businesses like these, shaping the future of Downtown Vegas. For him, it's just a great business strategy, not social entrepreneurship or philanthropy as such, Tony Hsieh said. His future vision is that someday "Downtown Vegas will make you smarter."
As 50% of humans now live in cities, and within our lifetime it will hit 75%, community-based projects can become places for inspiration.
This article was written for DLD Media and first published 22/01/13 on dld-conference.com. Click here for the link. The #DLD13 conference live coverage also included sending out Tweets about every session, interacting with the audience, interviewing speakers and posting highlights on Facebook.