Are the demons that drive Elon Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?

This question was posed prior to Walter Isaacson’s lecture at the University of North Florida on October 23. Following Mr. Isaacson’s visit, it is safe to say the answer is complicated.

Isaacson’s visit to Jacksonville came on the heels of the release of his latest biography, Elon Musk. 

Mr. Isaacson, who has written biographies of Leonardo Da Vinci, Jennifer Doudna, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Steve Jobs, paints a fascinating portrait of Elon Musk’s complex personality and achievements, calling him at times both amazing and abhorrent.


Mr. Isaacson posited that it may take some craziness to drive innovators to do the seemingly impossible.

He said that other innovators such as Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos shared this craziness, but that Musk was 10 times crazier.

Please click HERE to read World Affairs Council member Paul Herman’s detailed recap of the October 23, 2023 Presidential Global Issues Evening lecture, which was hosted in partnership with UNF’s Distinguished Voices Lecture Series and took place at the Lazzara Performance Hall.

As always, a world of thanks to those whose support made this presentation possible:

Platinum Sponsors

Coastal Construction Products – William and Barbara Harrell

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Chuck and Nicki Moorer

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J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver

Ellen and Jim Wiss

Event Sponsors

Vicar’s Landing

Marilyn Carpenter

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Diane DeMell Jacobsen, Ph.D

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