Let’s get the elephant out of the room from the get-go. This newsletter was supposed to be monthly. It didn’t happen. Failing has always been a learning instrument for me, but this time it was different; bigger fish dragged my attention.
Unless your head is buried in the sand, you know that nowadays we live in constant turmoil. Geopolitics is the topic of the day, and the world is becoming a strange place to live. Just think about the growing disconnect between the “elites” and the “forgotten ones”; the ongoing shift of the world’s center of gravity (China, anyone?), the proximity of a new world financial crisis, and the rise of populist parties, among many others. Serious stuff - if you’re not paying attention, you should.
That being said, paraphrasing Noah Harari, if we look to human history, it’s the first time that starvation kills fewer people than obesity, plagues kill fewer people than aging, and violence kills less people than accidents. There is HOPE.
Where am I going here? No, I don’t intend to pick up an M16 rifle and turn myself into an activist. Neither am I going to undress myself and run into a savanna and unplug myself from The Grid. Stay tuned.
I grew up surrounded by books, from military history to erotic literature. Turning into a bookworm was like a natural path for me. Not always, I must confess. Some periods of my life were more guided by hedonism than for the power of the written word. During this process, I jumped around like a mad man, in an endless loop of theory and practice, either looking for a cause to fight for or for the next quick fix to calm myself.
Later, when I started to work in the design field, something began to change. Knowledge and empiricism started to go hand in hand. My hunger for devouring all types of books, and my need to know something/someone new every day was fulfilled.
It wasn’t an easy path for a recent (old) sociology graduate that didn’t know what he was looking for. However, in my journey ebb and flow, soon I discovered I had a lifelong learning mindset and a latent obsession to try different working models — now I’m trying to shape new ones. Yeah, I’m addicted to change, but with an odd respect for (certain) traditions.
ME AND YOU
So, currently, I’m driven by three areas: business design and innovation, the future of work, and lifelong learning. And you know what? They all play along in this fast-paced world.
Before moving forward, just a quick interlude about something transversal to any field of life. P H I L O S O P H Y. Philosophy will keep us on our toes (thankfully). Designers will reincarnate as philosophers sooner or later — yeah, I like to make big claims to get your attention. Or not. Seriously, we need to get back to basic principles, to BIG questions.
Back to reality. Long story short, the editorial line of this newsletter is going to be oriented to the triad mention above — business design and innovation, the future of work and lifelong learning, but always framed around meaningful stuff. We all are running after meaning after all, aren’t we?
Business design and innovation is a no-brainer for me. Formally or informally I’ve been working in this area for some time. Working for myself or working for others. As an advisor, as a mentor, as a manager, as a designer… I’ve failed over and over again and, in the process, I’ve learned to fail less often. I want to teach the little I know and, above all, to persuade you to adopt a learning-by-doing mindset.
The future of work isn’t fantasy. It’s happening right now… In fact, it should probably be renamed to “the present of work,” but let’s avoid creating more mumbo-jumbo. The truth is that current models are falling apart, and there isn’t enough experimentation to see what comes next.
And the future of work is the perfect plug to talk a bit more about what has been my life approach for flowing through different roles and embracing new challenges — Lifelong Learning.
I’m not going to make a rant about the #OneSizeFitsAllOutdatedEducationSystemFromTheNineteenthCentury. Academia knows their challenge - to evolve or perish. And we need them. Strongly. However, we need MORE; we need to learn HOLISTIC SKILLS in an informal and agile environment.
Every day a new article is published on THE skills you’ll need to thrive in this new challenging world. I have an idea or two to share about those skills, but let’s leave that for another time. Just keep in mind that learning how to learn trumps all the other skills. So… I have a dream…
After many years of informal mentoring, it’s time to think BIG. To scale it up. Something is in the making… I’m still doing what I do best: talking with as many people as I can to learn from their different views and experiences — the good, the bad and the ugly.
To sum it up, I want to help people to reinvent themselves. The thing is, I’m not an activist in the strict sense of the word, but I firmly believe the world would be better off if we had more people with a growth mindset and strong ethics.
Wait! Before you close this email, or dig into some of the nuggets I share below, let’s connect the dots and return to the first line of this issue. I don’t have a clue what is going to be the periodicity of this newsletter. So… Just unsubscribe or shoot me an email if you want less or more of me.