52 years ago, our guest foresaw and implemented the foundations for the world’s first trillion-dollar organization. Back then, Visa was little more than a
set of unorthodox convictions about organization slowly growing in the mind of a young corporate rebel. Today, according to the Visa 2019 annual report,
payments and cash volume for the year was a staggering $11.6 trillion dollars, transactions processed on Visa’s networks totalled $138.3 trillion dollars and the year saw some 3.4 billion Visa cards in operation.
Our guest is the man who imagined this reality, who had a once-deemed-impossible vision 52 years ago, a vision which has become a concrete reality today.
He is a man who has a different view on what the next 50 years can deliver, but that vision will require a radical shift in mindset for every single one of us.
His book, “One from Many” is much more than the story of the scarcely believable events that brought Visa into being and led to its extraordinary success.
It is also the story of an introverted, small-town child, passionate to read, dream, and wander the woods, the youngest of six, born to parents with but an eighth-grade education.
It is a story of crushing confinement and interminable boredom in school and church, along with sharp, rising awareness of the chasm between how institutions profess to function
and how they actually do; what they claim to do for people and what they actually do to them.
It is about three compelling questions arising from that awareness that came to dominate his life:
Why are institutions, everywhere, whether political, commercial, or social, increasingly unable to manage their affairs?
Why are individuals, everywhere, increasingly in conflict with and alienated from the institutions of which they are part?
Why are society and the biosphere increasingly in disarray?
This is the story of a lifelong search for the answer to those questions, which had everything to do with the formation of Visa. It is a story of harbouring
four beasts that inevitably devour their keeper; ego, envy, avarice, and ambition; and of a great bargain, trading ego for humility, envy for equanimity, avarice for time, and ambition for liberty. It is a story of events impossible to foresee, that sent (a man of 92) him at 55 on (a journey) an odyssey more improbable than Visa, and infinitely more important. At 91, he is still in the midst of that odyssey
Beyond all else, it is a story of the future; of something trying to happen; of a four-hundred-year-old age rattling in its deathbed as another struggles to be born.
It is not just the story of today’s guest, although he is central to it. It is not just your story, or my story, (although you} although we are both in it. It is a story of everyone
A story of us all.
It is such an immense honour to welcome the founder and CEO Emeritus of Visa and author of the pioneering work “The Birth of the Chaordic Age” and its updated version “One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization”, Dee Hock