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.

 

Should good leaders still be learning?

followership.pngHow does experience influence the fact of being a good leader? And what role can education play in forming a good leader?

These seem pretty obvious questions, because of course both experience and education go hand in hand to create a good leader. The true question is, however: is it all about it? Is it enough to pair good education to a significant experience to automatically have a good leader? The answer is not as straight as it ought to be. Continue reading

What humans will look like in 1,000 years

Humans are still evolving, So, where will evolution take us in 1,000 years? Chances are we’ll be taller. Humans have already seen a boom in height over the last 130 years. We may also merge with machines that can enhance our hearing, eyesight, health, and much more.

Will we be cyborgs, monsters or Martians?

How NASA’s experience can promote healthcare for all on Earth (too)

do-patients-trust-telemedicine-01One of the principles of Jugaad innovation is to include the margin. This means enabling people living in remote areas with the same (or almost the same) tools as in the more advanced countries.

A smart way to apply this principle is telemedicine. Specific medical instruments are already been designed to connect the patient in a village or far-flung area to the physician in town, who can remotely check the patient and diagnose diseases in real time, reducing costs and still giving proper assistance.

An article published on the Harvard Business Review brilliantly explains how telemedicine is used to remotely assist astronauts who spend months in the space and might experience the need for medical care. Continue reading

Are new situations the key to success?

caminante-en-carretera-2An ancient Chinese curse reads: “May you live in interesting times!”. It actually looks more like a wish, than a curse. However, if we think about the job of the historian, the most interesting times were (and still are) plentiful of events, most of whom dramatic. Here we see that the “interesting times” are basically the ones of instability, or even crisis.

Our time is undoubtedly interesting. With all its challenges and difficulties, it leaves room to new opportunities. But the point is: are we able to see them? Continue reading

How can we live a fuller life and live happily?

What makes our life fuller? A good job is not enough (anymore), although it characterises us. At most, we spend the majority of our time at the workplace, and we spend the rest of our time doing “something else”: hobbies, leisure, private life, sleeping.

The Atlantic has studied the habits of the average American, to get to an interesting trend of – our – days. In sum, we spend two thirds of the day only working and sleeping. Continue reading

Working and studying: possible and desirable

Is it possible to work while at university, without this being a heavy burden to bear, or slowing the regular academic path? In Italy, it is a common practice, even though working learners are now decreasing in numbers compared to the past. According to the Italian newspaper Sole 24 Ore, the percentage of students that study and have a paid job dropped by 39% to 26%, probably due to the reduced working possibilities.

Conversely, in the US, according to a report by Georgetown University, nearly 14 million people – 8 percent of the total labour force and a consistent 70 percent to 80 percent of college students – are both active in the labour market and formally enrolled in some form of postsecondary education or training. Continue reading

Are we able to innovate?

The capacity for innovation in the world has been influenced by the massive spread of technology, even in countries where it was less common. Human Progress shows in an interactive diagram how our capacity to innovate has changed since 2007 to 2015.

The data in the diagram are taken from the Global Competitiveness Report del World Economic Forum, an annual report on the state of the art of over 140 world economies, related to their capacity for innovation, so to their capacity of drive economic growth.

A comparison between the 2007 and 2015 dataset shows significant changes. Continue reading