The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale with John List

The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale with John List

What is it about some ideas that allow them to catch on and energize large groups of people, while others are doomed to flounder before ever getting off the ground? Even the most inspired initiative for change has no guarantee of success, and it all comes down to a simple yet vitally important variable: whether the idea has the potential to scale.

Based on List’s decades of boots-on-the-ground research, The Voltage Effect is a fascinating exploration of the potential of ideas. Full of actionable advice, it’s also a practical guide for identifying a plan’s problems, preventing them from voltage drops that drain their momentum, and engineering the voltage gains necessary to scale to limitless heights.

Join us for a talk with John List as he discusses the becoming’s of  The Voltage Effect and how the book is filled with anecdotes and real-life examples of scaling shortcomings and successes—from Jamie Oliver’s restaurants to Elizabeth Holmes & Theranos; from Fortune 500 companies to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By understanding the science of scaling, we can drive change in our schools, workplaces, communities, and society at large. Because a better world can only be built at scale.

Hosted by the Penn Club. This event will be on Zoom. You will receive the zoom link upon registration.


John List

John A. List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago and Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Australian National University, as well as the chief economist at Lyft and, previously, at Uber. He has served on the Council of Economic Advisers and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, in­cluding the AAEA’s Galbraith Award. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Slate, and The Washington Post, and on NPR, NBC, and Bloomberg. List has authored over 250 peer-reviewed jour­nal articles, several academic books, and, with Uri Gneezy, the international bestseller The Why Axis.