12/13/2012 04:05 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Perspective X: Different Paths to Success

The world is changing every day, perhaps every minute. How are people from all walks of life--from young entrepreneurs to established business leaders to government officials--viewing change not as an obstacle but as an opportunity? Cisco produced the Perspective X interview series to illustrate how we can use innovation today to create impact tomorrow.

I recently had the opportunity to interview a number of successful and unique individuals from very diverse personal and professional backgrounds. The goal of the interviews was to hear about their life journeys, with the intent of extracting an AHA! moment. In my own life, the most profound gifts I've received are those AHA! moments that totally disrupt the way I see the world. These perspective-changing moments happen unexpectedly and are magical when they occur.

I first met Alejandro and Nikhil several years ago when we were all presenters at TEDX Presidio. These two recent college grads got up on stage seemingly uncomfortable to discuss their company, Back to the Roots (BTTR)--inspired by the idea of turning waste into wages and fresh, local food. I was captivated within minutes with their story, passion and their will to make a difference in the world.

Subsequent to that event, I've had the privilege of visiting them at BTTR and I'm happy to say we have become good friends. I admire them for their incredible entrepreneurship skills, their fearlessness with challenges, and their relentless pursuit of their vision. I've had many AHA! moments with them and they have clearly changed my perspective on how I see the world.

I hope you enjoy our "Perspective X" series as much as we enjoyed putting it together. These are great stories with great lessons from fantastic people and chock full of ideas, motivation, inspiration and AHA! moments. Each person has taken a different path to success and all have faced many challenges that they have overcome.