Nilofer Merchant: How to Turn Ideas Into Impact with Onlyness

Nilofer Merchant is a master at turning seemingly “wild” ideas into powerful new realities and showing the rest of us how we can do the same.

Over the years, this has taken the form of books, her top-ranked TED talk, strategic advising for some of the largest, most-innovative companies in the world and game-changing startups, as well as being a member of organizational teams responsible for global impact and billions in product revenue.


More recently, though, she’s focused her fierce ideation and research lens on a bigger question. Nilofer asks, “do we really each have within us the unique capacity to make a substantial impact?”

Her conclusion, indeed we do. And, we’re living in times that, maybe for the first time ever, have made it possible for people who’ve been marginalized, disenfranchised and stripped of power to bring forth and build momentum around ideas that, in her words, are mighty enough to “dent the world.” Merchant explores these ideas in her intriguing new book, The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World.

Big idea: Every single one of us has the ability to contribute. The fact that we don’t is the society’s greatest problem and the greatest opportunity.

You’d never guess:  How one woman was able to sway the decision of a group of Pakistani tribal leaders to change the way they create justice.

Current passion project: Educating people about the power of ideas and the power of all people to move ideas to create impact in the world.

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