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  • - Support all of you in other ways

  • with a daily class schedules, to kind of approximate,

  • keep the learning going on during the closers,

  • webinars for teachers and parents,

  • and also this homeroom is really

  • just a way to stay connected.

  • Talk to interesting people about interesting topics

  • and answer any questions you have.

  • And so over the course of this conversation,

  • and I have a very exciting guest today,

  • I'll give him a proper introduction in a few minutes.

  • I encourage you to put any questions you might have

  • on Facebook or on YouTube,

  • and our team is going to be looking at them,

  • and getting to as many of them as possible.

  • I will give my standard announcement,

  • Khan Academy just as a reminder is a not for profit,

  • we only exist because of philanthropic donations.

  • We were running at a deficit even before the COVID crisis,

  • and you could imagine now that our traffic,

  • our usage is almost three X of what it typically is,

  • registrations are five to 10 X of what they typically are,

  • and we're trying to accelerate a bunch of programs,

  • our costs have gone up even higher.

  • And so if you're in a position to so,

  • please think about making a donation.

  • I wanna give a special shout out to several corporations

  • that have stepped up in just the last few weeks

  • to help with this effort including Bank of America,

  • AT&T, Novartis, Fastly and Google.org.

  • So thanks all of them, and for our longtime supporters,

  • obviously, many foundations and corporations,

  • but we do need more help, so if you can,

  • please think about donating.

  • So with that, I'd like to introduce our next guest

  • who is actually been playing a huge role in Khan Academy,

  • even existing, he's been a supporter of Khan Academy

  • from really the early years, Jorge Paulo Lemann.

  • Nice to see you, Jorge Paulo.

  • - Hi, how are you Sal?

  • - I'm doing all right, and you know,

  • I thought there's a lot of interesting things for us

  • to talk about over the course of this con,

  • over the course of the next 30 minutes or so.

  • You've done very well and from a business point of view,

  • you've been a very active philanthropist.

  • I think you have some very interesting life stories.

  • We have some young, a lot of young people

  • who watch this Live stream who are really just trying

  • to figure out how to navigate their own lives,

  • so maybe that's a good place to start,

  • you know, I was reading some of your bio,

  • and obviously, we've known each other for many years now,

  • but talk a little bit about your early start,

  • you know, it sounds like you're a very good student.

  • You're an amazing tennis player,

  • and then you got to college,

  • and it sounded like you didn't have the,

  • you weren't a fish in water initially,(laughs)

  • you had some hard times.

  • - So I went to college when I was very young, 17.

  • I had never been to the United States before.

  • And I was basically a surfer and a tennis player.

  • And college was tough in the beginning,

  • I wasn't used to studying, I wasn't used to reading,

  • so it was very tough but I made it through,

  • and adapting that first year was one

  • of the many crises I sort of went through in life.

  • I was making a list of all the crises

  • I've gone through in the last 80 years.

  • And I guess it started when I was born five days

  • before the Second World War.

  • So when even when I was four or five,

  • I remember to my family, listening to bank,

  • Voice of America and finding out what was going on the war.

  • And so every sort of eight to 10 years,

  • there is some sort of a crisis that comes up,

  • and you really learn how to live with them,

  • you learn how to adapt.

  • And each one of the crises I think I've come out

  • a better informed person or better prepared person,

  • or like that.

  • This crisis we're now undergoing

  • is one of the toughest ones,

  • but you know, we'll make it out of it,

  • and I'm trying to figure out what are gonna be the learnings

  • and how can I come out of it better than I was before,

  • so this is one more crises action.

  • - Now, that's a good way to think about it.

  • And you have more experience to draw from than I do,

  • but it does seem like it feels around roughly every decade,

  • something comes up either personally,

  • or in the macro picture as a whole.

  • But I wanna double click on what you talked

  • about your early life,

  • because I think there's so many students

  • who even before the COVID crisis

  • were feeling a little bit lost.

  • They feel a hunger to make something out

  • of their life, have a purpose,

  • but sometimes don't know what it is, how to discover it.

  • And then obviously, in times of crisis,

  • like now things can get even more difficult.

  • So in those early years as you mentioned;

  • you're coming from Brazil,

  • you're a freshman in Boston,

  • you didn't like the weather,

  • you were having trouble getting used

  • to just even how things worked.

  • What were you telling inside of your head,

  • or what do you think it was the traits,

  • or the muscles that you had that allowed you

  • to persevere through that and not essentially give up?

  • - Well, my family thought it was important.

  • I actually wanted to quit Harvard,

  • but you know, my family kept saying,

  • "Ah, ah, Harvard is so important then,

  • "get it done and get it over with, et cetera,"

  • and like that.

  • So after my first year at Harvard

  • where I flunked a lot of courses

  • and almost got suspended and like that.

  • I decided, I made a very stupid decision,

  • I decided I would go back and I would finish

  • the next three years in two years.

  • So I sort of buckled down, took twice the number of courses,

  • I should normally be taking,

  • and so I got out of Harvard and I passed,

  • but (chuckles) I didn't really learn

  • as much as I could have learned,

  • or as much as I should have learned.

  • I was just there to get it over and done with et cetera.

  • Not only did it later that it became clear to me

  • how much more I could have learned if I had taken more time.

  • If I had socialized a bit more.

  • If I had met a few more of the professors

  • that were teaching the courses, and things like that.

  • And basically I was there to get it done with,

  • and get out of there.

  • And so it wasn't a good decision, but that's what happened.

  • And so I got out, and then I went to Europe to work

  • for a bank in Europe.

  • And I worked there for about seven months

  • in this bank and it was very, very boring.

  • And I always played a lot of tennis

  • and all my grandparents are Swiss, my parents are Swiss.

  • So I have a Swiss passport,

  • so I got invited to play the Swiss nationals in tennis

  • and I won the Swiss nationals,

  • which sort of surprised everybody including myself.

  • - You say that very nonchalantly?

  • "Yeah, I got invited and I won,

  • Swiss nationals." (laughs) (Jorge mumbles)

  • - And then they invited me to play tennis

  • for the Swiss national tennis team Davis Cup and all that.

  • I was then 21 and I thought that was much better

  • than working in a bank.

  • And so I did that and I played Wimbledon and Roland-Garros,

  • and all the big tournaments in Europe,

  • and Davis Cup and I like that.

  • Meanwhile, my family was sort of wondering,

  • "Is this guy just gonna play tennis,

  • "or is he gonna do something else, or?"

  • Eventually, I came back to Brazil

  • and started working, et cetera,

  • but that was sort of my early start.

  • - And then Jorge. - And then --

  • - Oh, go ahead.

  • - Yeah, and then when I came back to Brazil,

  • I joined all these Ivy Leaguers guys

  • from the Harvard Business School, Princeton, and like that,

  • and who would set up a finance company.

  • And I thought, you know, it looked very good,

  • and all of them had graduated good Ivy Leaguegy schools

  • and like that.

  • Well, the result of that was we went broke in three years,

  • so that was a very traumatic experience.

  • So you know, crises are always there,

  • and you learn something in every one of them,

  • and hopefully you come out better.

  • - And you know, in hindsight these are fun stories,

  • because, you know, many of us know where you ended up,

  • but at the time, what were you feeling were you,

  • was it like a crisis of confidence, were you just like,

  • "I'm not going to be able to make something out of this,"

  • or were you pretty, you know,

  • how did you pick up the pieces and say,

  • "No, I'm gonna keep working on this,"

  • and especially keep working in finance.

  • - I'd be pressed for a while,

  • and you know, I graduated from Harvard,

  • I thought I was pretty good,

  • and then go broke at 26 et cetera.

  • Having just gotten married

  • like that was not a good experience.

  • I was invited by a few large organizations to go

  • and work for them.

  • And I didn't like that and I liked the liberty of being

  • in a smaller company, being more of an owner like that.

  • So I didn't join any of the larger organizations,

  • and actually joined the small brokerage house in Brazil,

  • and then that it went reasonably well.

  • But I really wanted to run my show.

  • I didn't wanna be part of somebody else's show

  • and like that.

  • So after a few years of doing that,

  • I bought my own brokerage company and set up

  • what became a successful investment bank later.

  • - And what I know

  • what tech ways would you have? - I think my (mumbles).

  • - Go ahead. - I think my playing tennis

  • and you know, when you play tennis

  • you don't win all the sets, or all the games you lose,

  • and so that sort of taught me that if you don't do well,

  • you can do better the next time,

  • you can practice more,

  • or you can figure things out better like that.

  • So that's been with me all my life,

  • I think always trying to do better

  • and to learn from your mistakes.

  • And boy, do you learn a lot from your mistakes. (chuckles)

  • - Now, this is the time we learn the most,

  • and there's two questions from YouTube

  • that I think are related to this one,

  • Marcella Carter asked,

  • "What was your biggest lesson in life?"

  • And from YouTube, Matt Gray asks,

  • "Who was the most influential person in your life?"

  • So when you're going through this journey,

  • I'm sure there's a lot of actors there,

  • but I guess, what advice would you give

  • to a young Jorge Paulo or someone like you,

  • who's you know, in that position now,

  • and then who are your influences,

  • who kind of got you, kept you on the trajectory?

  • - Well, you know, when I learned

  • that it took me a while to learn.

  • I was a tennis player, a surfer,

  • and then went to the financial market,

  • and was basically a trader in the financial market,

  • so all of those things basically

  • made me a short term thinker,

  • I didn't think very far ahead.

  • And only with time and with some of the mistakes I made,

  • that I learned that you know,

  • what's gonna happen in 24 hours, or in the next week,

  • or next month is not really that important.

  • And you gotta figure out where you're going

  • for a longer period of time.

  • And so as time went by my thinking became much more

  • long term oriented.

  • And it took me a while to learn that and then,

  • you know, it sorta clicked and some of the things

  • I began doing when I was already 40,