Historically, this was an unearned position, one that's inherited or acquired in ways that take advantage of others. In more and more societies, the dividing line has changed. The line is now between people who are actively engaged in new ideas, actively seeking out change, actively engaging--and people who accept what's given and slog along. It starts in school, of course, and then the difference accelerates as we get older. Some people make the effort to encounter new challenges or to grapple with things they disagree with. They seek out new people and new opportunities and relish the discomfort that comes from being challenged to grow (and challenging others to do the same). Being an elite today is not because of birth or financial standing, it's because of a choice, the decision to be aware and engaged, to challenge a status quo of your choice. The number of self-selected elites is skyrocketing. Part of this is a function of our ability to make a living without working 14 hours a day in a sweatshop, but part of it is the ease with which it's possible to find and connect with other elites. The challenge of our time may be to build organizations and platforms that engage and coordinate the elites, wherever they are. After all, this is where change and productivity come from. If someone doesn't choose to be part of the elites in your organization, you cannot persuade them to change. If they are in an influential position, you need to let them go, irrelevant of their skills and experience. The cycle of discovery and engagement and shipping ideas around the globe is going to accelerate over time, and you have all the tools necessary to be part of it or to lead it.