More systems, less stuff.
Ongoing research for future work has led me to re-discover the history of General Baden-Powell’s Scout Law which was originally published in the 1908 volume Scouting for Boys. For more than a century, Scouts and Guides around the world have taken this oath to live up to the ideals of the movement. It’s wonderful in it’s simplicity and timelessness.
Suppose as you went to preschool and school, teachers were telling you that there were two kinds of businesses, one to make money for yourself, another to solve the problems we see around ourselves. And you can use your creative power either way. So you would have grown up with the idea that there are two kinds of businesses. You would make your decision what kind of business you would like to get involved with, and how much of each, if you want both.
We’ve used our creative power to focus on making money and we’ve done it like it’s the only game in town. It’s not. There’s a more exciting game in town.
There’s a whole generation of young people coming up with social business ideas. Profit making doesn’t interest them as much as it interested people before, particularly the postwar generation. Their main question is: What am I going to do with my life. What is the purpose of my life?
- Muhammad Yunus on social entrepreneurship. More here.
The way that education can lock us into careers, or at least substantially direct the route we travel, would not be so problematic if we were excellent judges of our future interests and characters. But we are not. When you were 16, or even in your early twenties, how much did you know about what kind of career would stimulate your mind and offer a meaningful vocation? Did you even know the range of jobs that were out there? Most of us lack the experience of life – and of ourselves – to make a wise decision at that age, even with the help of well-meaning career advisers.
– Roman Krznaric, How to Find Fulfilling Work
Frustration fuels creativity. Usually.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in adapting the world to himself, therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
– George Bernard Shaw
The always enlightening Thomas Friedman interviews Harvard Education Specialist Tony Wagner in this important NY TImes Op-Ed. Wagner posits that our K-12 and college tracks are “not consistently adding the value and teaching the skills that matter most in the marketplace.” It’s not a new conversation, but one that is indeed becoming more frequent.
What you know matters far less then what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate–the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life–and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge.