ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: Forget about T-shaped people. We need X-shaped people. | David Clifford | TEDxChristchurch

ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: Forget about T-shaped people. We need X-shaped people. | David Clifford | TEDxChristchurch

Here’s Great Tip: Forget about T-shaped people. We need X-shaped people. | David Clifford | TEDxChristchurch


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In 2010, Tim Brown, the co-founder of IDEO, proposed the idea of a T-shaped person: someone with both depth and breadth of skills. What makes a T-shaped person special is empathy. But our world of ever-increasing complexity calls for people who bring more than empathy and more than knowledge. In this thought-provoking talk, David Clifford offers a new model to build embodied, purposeful, self-aware, ethical, creative people. David Clifford is an American edu-agitator who founded Design School X (DSX) and co-created Liberatory Design. He builds irresistible learning environments of belonging and becoming. David has been an artist, designer, builder and equity/social justice-oriented educator for over 25 years.

David co-founded the East Bay School for Boys to empower middle school boys to be thoughtful, courageous and engaged men of tomorrow. Before that, during his 13 years at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco leading the Technical Arts department, David co-designed and built many programs: Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership, Philanthropy Initiative, Senegal Service Learning Project and Private Skills for Public Purpose. David incubated DSX and co-created Liberatory Design while a fellow and K12 Lab Senior Learning Experience Designer at Stanford’s d.school. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

2 Replies to “ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: Forget about T-shaped people. We need X-shaped people. | David Clifford | TEDxChristchurch”

  1. Well done, David! Great extension on the concept…I'm cutting out the letter names and just using the term hybrid professional. I think it captures the idea of integration and isn't as phone sounding. I'm a fan of what you're talking about.

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