Krisztina "Z" Holly

68: Innovation, Impact, Manufacturing (Part 1)

Krisztina “Z” Holly is an MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur, and pioneer. She was curator and host of the first ever TEDx (TEDxUSC) and founder of two university innovation centers at MIT and USC. Z hosts The Art of Manufacturing podcast and is Chief Instigator of MAKE IT IN LA, LA Mayor Garcetti’s non-profit initiative to celebrate and support the nation’s largest community of makers and manufacturers.

In this conversation, I wanted to learn how she develops and innovates at a global scale. She has a track record of building platforms for ideas and people to make an impact.

I hope that you will pay attention to how she thinks about risk and risk-taking — and — how she approaches authenticity and building, both herself, and others — and being able to do that at scale.

“Creativity is the generation of ideas but innovation is taking that idea and making it have an impact on the world.”

In This Episode:

  • Parents escaping Soviet-controlled Hungary in 1956 and the risks they were willing to take to leave
  • Adventuring as a young, only child with experiences being a family priority
  • How scuba-diving became a big part of her life
  • The balance between joy and cynicism
  • Is passion a “thing” you should follow?
  • The value in linking things from different areas to fuel innovation
  • Why being an innovator still requires fitting into society
  • The difference between creativity and innovation
  • What it actually means to be a risk taker
  • The challenge of emotional vulnerability
  • Love vs. self-preservation


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