Howard Gardner (Multiple Intelligence)

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INTERVIEW WITH Howard Gardner 
(Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education Harvard Graduate School of Education)

THE HIDDEN INTELLIGENCES: HOW CAN THEY HELP HUMANS IN THE 21st CENTURY"

 

May 2000. I went out for a pizza with my friends. Mike who had the highest IQ was not able to have a word with any girl in the group. Josh who had the worst IQ was a genius in relating with girls and the other friends of the group. Why that? Why the most intelligent person was defeated by Josh in relating with the girls and the group. The answer is simple: Josh has higher interpersonal intelligence!
 
Having a big IQ simply means that you have good Logical and Linguistic intelligences. But there are 6 other kinds of Intelligence the IQ does not take into account and that can be determinant in your success in life and can be determinant in solving some complex challenges like the ones humans are to face in the next decades. Howard Gardner (Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education Harvard Graduate School of Education) developed the Multiple Intelligence (MI) theory in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the publication of the book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He says “Each person has a unique spectrum of intellectual strengths and weaknesses.” We all (parents, teachers, professors, politicians, head of companies etc…) should understand this principle. We should understand that it is a very, very big failure for the system if it is not able to get the best from each person and make him happy (by doing what he can do best).
 
So, what is Multiple Intelligence? How does it affect the educational approach? How can it help humankind face the current and future challenges? Can it help society develop Long Term Thinking? Should educators and parents understand the MI model before trying to educate a child? Howard Gardner answered to these and other questions.

Isatou Ceseey (One Plastic One Bag)

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INTERVIEW WITH Isatou Ceseey
(Founder of Women Initiative the Gambia and of One Plastic One Bag project)

“WHEN PLASTIC WASTE BECOME A BAG…"

Waste… What is it? When waste is little it does not create problems, but at a certain point it manifests its negativities. When Isatou Ceseey (better known as the Queen of Plastic Recycling in Gambia), walking around her neighborhood, found columns of plastic piling up behind the houses she thought it was important to solve this torture for the environment and human eyes by educating women to the importance of recycling waste. That brought to the creation of the Recycling Centre of N’Jau. Every week, members of Women Initiative The Gambia (WIG) now craft wallets, bags, and balls for children from the reclaimed plastic bags that they cut, knit and sew patiently. «But in the beginning, women wouldn’t believe we could turn plastic into revenues », remembers Isatou.
 
The project One Plastic One Bag goes far beyond reducing the impact of plastic on the environment. It is about educating communities in order to make them sustainable and resilient. It is a social development and ecologically sustainable project.
 
Circular economy, local economy and first of all shifting from short-term to long-term thinking is the way to create a real sustainable society. Thank you Isatou for giving this important example to humanity, and for answering to our questions..

Vandana Shiva (Seeds of life - Navdanya)

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INTERVIEW WITH Vandana Shiva
(Environmental Activist, Founder of Navdanya movement)

SEEDS OF LIFE"

It’s 1 pm! It’s time to sit at the eating table and eat our preferred dish made of pasta, rice, vegetables or meat/diary-based products. Do we know what are we really eating? When Vandana Shiva told me: during the process of agriculture industrialisation our food base has passed from 10,000 to 10 species, I was literally shocked. Only three plant species - rice, maize and wheat - contribute nearly 60 percent of calories obtained by humans from plants. More and more studies (by United Nations and FAO) have underlined how big the loss of biodiversity is, that has happened during the last century. That’s a big problem! That’s a big problem for us, and especially for future generations: Nature is our first “provider of services,” and without it and its biodiversity humanity is bound to fail inexorably. Loss of Biodiversity is like a high-speed train difficult to stop, triggered especially by the greed for power and the ongoing “insectageddon” (that’s the way Vandana describes the massive deaths of pollinators due to the massive use of pesticides in agriculture). That’s why a cultural change is needed and that’s why Navdanya, the movement of farmers founded in India by Vandana Shiva started the Earth University. Its mission? Building a poison-free, fossil fuel-free food and farming by 2030 to avert species extinction and climate catastrophe. 

“Biodiversity is life. And all biodiversity begins as seed”

These are the words Vandana started her interview with us. We all know that seeds (in agriculture and in thinking) are the starting point. Without good seeds we cannot have good yields. Without flexible/diverse seeds we cannot have flexible/diverse yields necessary for facing Climate Change. Vandana and Navdanya team are doing a great job in awakening people and protecting the incredible heritage of Nature. What are the main causes of Biodiversity loss? What are the solutions? How does Navdanya movement work and how to join Earth University? How to achieve Zero Hunger (SDG goal 2), Good Health and wellbeing (SDG goal 3) at the same time? What about Navdanya’s project in Italy? Vandana Shiva, environmental activist, founder of Navdanya movement, answered to these and other questions.

Otto Scharmer (Theory U and Leadership of change)

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INTERVIEW WITH Otto Scharmer
(Senior Lecturer at MIT; Theory U author and U-Lab founder)

“HOW A LEADER IS A CHANGEMAKER AND…WHY A CHANGEMAKER IS A LONG TERM THINKER"

Over the past few decades our global society has become ever more unstable. There are more and more situations of disruptions, as well as global challenges (e.g., Climate Change) that humanity needs to face as a whole. Recognizing such uncertainty is not enough. The process of learning must change. It cannot be about just memorizing things anymore. It must evolve towards deep learning, that is involving an open mind, an open heart and an open will… Leaders of the 21st century are no longer those at the top of a hierarchical structure; leaders (or better change makers) are those who are able collectively (in coordination with the whole system) to sense and shape the future, turning from ego-systemic awareness to also eco-systemic awareness. All these things are explained in the Theory U, which after 2 decades of experimentation, and the publication of several books on the topic, in 2015 evolved in an on-line community based on a MOOC (U-lab course) organized by the MIT and coordinated by the founder of Theory U, Prof. Otto Scharmer. So What is the Theory U? Who is it addressed to? What is a change maker? How can Theory U help solve impelling problems such as Climate Change and sustainability? And how can Theory U help people change themselves? Otto Scharmer answered to these and other questions..

Christian Felber (The Economy for the Common Good)

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INTERVIEW WITH Christian Felber 
(Founder of the Economy for the Common Good Movement)

INVESTING IN THE “COMMON GOOD” FOR LONG TERM PROSPERITY"

My firm used to be a firm full of “waste.” Fortunately my community, my land have a big river, extremely important for the local ecosystem. I started to throw all my industrial-toxic waste into the river. My firm had a great benefit from that decision…We saved a lot of money and continued to produce a lot of waste. I became very rich. After 10 years all the fishers had to abandon the community and tourism to the river decreased and local economy started to go down. We had to buy water from neighboring communities, and life in our community started to become very, very hard. After 15 years I had to close my firm. When we talk about “The Economy of the Common Good” and about “Long Term Economy” take this example in your mind. By polluting the river, the firm has not worked for the “Common Good” and has had a very short-term view. The final result was ecological, social and economic crises. If we do not work for the Common Good and in a Long Term Economy perspective, our community is bound to fail. So, what is the Economy of the Common Good? Who are the actors involved? What is an Ethical balance sheet? How can we join the movement? Christian Felber, founder of the Economy for the Common Good Movement, answered to these and other questions.