Category Archives: Inspiration

“The seemingly impossible is possible”

(and it’s not a sports brand’s slogan)

 I wish I had the time to write up my impressions about this video – but the thesis is eating all my energy away! So I’ll just say, watch this video. Really. Make sure you watch it till the end. 

And, related to this, check out the great tool going online (hmm, also acquired by Google, as all great web-based tools have recently been) – http://tools.google.com/gapminder/

I’m so inspired I’ll email my Uni professor back in Ukraine to let him know about the tool – and hope he’ll use it!

P.S. I just checked Ukraine vs. Poland from 1990 until the present day. That’s quite a sad picture (for a Ukrainian). You can see the two countries starting almost exactly at the same point, and then Poland just going full speed ahead…

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World’s best presentation

Some interesting facts about the future of the world and technology presented in a simple and compelling way…
This presentation won the Best Presentation Award distributed by slideshare.net:

Although I would argue that the best presentation (as well as one of the best presentation tools) is this:

Isn’t it an amazing way of using “raw” data to tell a meaningful story?! We often think that just throwing numbers in people’s face is enough to communicate an idea… But it isn’t so. Not everyone thinks in terms of numbers. There is a story behind the numbers, and that is why these numbers exist in the first place. Some people can “extract” this story themselves; the rest need it extracted and prepared for them, so they can digest it. There is a lot of power to be unlocked, as demonstrated by Gapminder, from telling the story behind the numbers!

Related links: www.slideshare.net, www.gapminder.org

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Do schools kill creativity?

This blog is turning into a video blog thanks to TED and YouTube! This time the talk is on whether schools kill creativity, and the answer suggested by the author seems to be yes…

This made me think again about the Problem-Based Learning system at Maastricht University… I like how it makes you think instead of memorize, and how it lets you make your own mistakes. Although far from perfect, it is a step in the right direction.

Also, the question asked by Ken Robinson goes beyond the title of this video – it is about the relevance of what we learn at schools… As well as things we don’t learn… I learned more from the trainings by the U.S. exchange programme (on cultural sensitivity, intercultural communications etc.) and by AIESEC (on time management, sales effectiveness etc.) than from many fully fledged courses at Uni… I just wish everyone was taught some of these vital skills at school…

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“Everything was better back when everything was worse”

Recently I got hooked up on the TED Talks – a series of lectures on a range of topics (going beyond the Technology, Entertainment, and Design subjects suggested by the name of the conference). To me, this is what Internet IS (ok, should be!) about – disseminating knowledge that would otherwise be available to the privileged few. I am posting one of my favorite talks below, but there are so many more intriguing, inspiring topics to explore!

 This one is by Barry Schwartz, a Sociology professor who also wrote a book about “The Paradox of Choice”. He argues that the abundance of choice created in modern industrial societies is not making us better off. On the contrary, it is actually having a negative impact on our lives!

The video is 20 minutes, and I highly recommend you make time to watch it…

Some memorable thoughts from the video: 

  • “Opportunity costs substract from the satisfaction of what we choose, even when what we choose is terrific”
  • “The secret to happiness is low expectations”
  • And the conclusion is this: “There’s no question that some choice is better than none. But it doesn’t follow from that that more choice is better than some choice”.  

It is especially interesting to watch as a (future) marketeer. It is the idea of “choice confusion” which has been raised in the academia, articulated clearly and convincingly. But it is also relevant to someone interested in politics and sustainable development: Barry argues that a global redistribution of wealth would not only help the poor countries, but also the so-called developed world!

And finally, it is a good watch for anyone interested in living a happy balanced life in these crazy times…

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Filed under Inspiration, Marketing, Sustainability, Technology