Why tech needs the humanities – and why we should provide business with it

Eric Berridge is an entrepreneur. A humanist, to be more precise. He thinks we are obsessed with STEM and technology, and that this is biasing our kids’ judgement in choosing their life path.

In his brilliant talk, he recalls the experience in which his company – a computer programming consulting firm – was literally rescued right before being fired by a bartender with a major in philosophy. Why is that? Because humanities help seeing a broader context, and this does not mean to lose perception of the details whatsoever.

We tend to think that a degree in a technical subject will be more appealing to the labour market. Actually, the opposite is true most of the times: people with a degree in humanities can make great leaders. So what will be the message to the students who just started their courses at university? Choose a path you like, walk on it, enjoy every step.

Life can be hard sometimes, but passion makes the burden much lighter.
Enjoy the new year, and make the most of every opportunity.

 

The small problem of time, and how to make your life longer

astrology-astronomy-atmosphere-1151262.jpgI could count the times I hear this sentence every day: “I have no time for this”. It could be either me or anyone else pronouncing it, still I hear it very often, maybe too much. Time is a big issue. In philosophical terms, it could be considered within the boundaries of a lifespan, or it could be seen in a broader perspective as the whole time since the universe existed.

One of the best theories on time I have read of recently is the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking’s. In his last speech before he passed away on March 2018, Hawking wondered whether he became more famous for his wheelchair and disability, or for his discoveries. Despite of his illness, diagnosed when he was in his last year of university, he kept on studying, researching and teaching and, admittedly, he “was not afraid of death, but was in no hurry to die”. Continue reading

Deconstructing knowledge

Schermata 2018-05-25 alle 21.51.55.pngThe African Leadership University is likely to be one of the most recent examples of life largelearning. They aim at “decolonising” knowledge, broadening the horizons and making knowledge really accessible to every African students.

The issues at stake in this particular process of decolonisation are but irrelevant. First of all, closing the gap – at least, partly – between African students leaving to study in Europe or in America, and vice versa. As of today, the ratio is 10:1. In other words, ten Americans or Norwegians, for instance, exploring South African townships, for one Ghanaian who might make it to the Eiffel Tower. Continue reading

Meet the CEO: Zhang Ruimin, Haier

z-830x553Zhang Ruimin is one of the top 50 global management thinkers, a world renowned enterpreneur, founder of Haier Group, Secretary of the Party Committee of Haier Group, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Haier Group.

In recognition of his achievements in management innovation, Zhang Ruimin has received many awards from the international management field including “Inspired Leadership Award”, “IMD Management Thought Leader”, “Asia Brand Eternal Spiritual Leadership Award”, “Dale Carnegie Leadership Award” and Fortune “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. Continue reading

To learn is to be free

Meet Shameem Akhtar, who posed as a boy during her early childhood in Pakistan so she could enjoy the privileges Pakistani girls are rarely afforded: to play outside and attend school.

In this heart-warming, personal talk, Shameem recounts how the opportunity to get an education altered the course of her life – and ultimately changed the culture of her village, where today every young girl goes to school.