Rerouting to Stuttgart

26 12 2012

Always amazing how quickly we can travel time and bridge the ocean. I still sometimes wonder when we will finally get that really right, Scotty beam me up….

On my way to see my father and celebrate the old man’s 85th birthday. And what a life he has had. Looking forward to seeing old and new friends of his, lifelong relationships and family who stood close thru the very good and the very bad. I guess one thing you learn when you’re 85, is who you can really count on. Or you at least hope you have learned that by now. Or is it sometimes still politics after so many years even……you can never eliminate the politician from the politician. Never!

I asked my father now that he turned 85 years old, what it is he sees on his side of the pond and what and where he has arrived that he was chasing all his life and if that goal, that success, what ever that defines, is satisfaction!? There was silence and he didn’t answer. I think for the first time in a very long time, I caught my father thinking deeply without talking…..amazing what you can learn from the older generation and if it is only to live as Alan Watts describes…LIFE AND MUSIC as I posted it recently to my Facebook and it has made since then for many good conversations!……

Wondering and wandering off to the plane to the flight to Stuttgart……until soon!


The Newtown CT shock of last week…..still shocked!!!

17 12 2012

I can not express my empathy, sorrow and pain enough about the tragedy that played out in Newtown CT at Sandy Hook Elementary.  The deep desire and wish to just be able to remove all that for every mother and father affected by it.   For every brother, sister, husband or wife of a victim. Shock is still an understatement and my wonder about what is “next” does not describe what by now we continue to learn about the circumstances but more importantly the beautiful kids and teachers we lost.  During my lifetime this is the 5th tragedy I get to see as a father, an uncle and friend to many other fathers and mothers wondering about the very same as I do:  “How do we truly keep children safe and protected from such a tragedy. How do we protect them and reassure them especially now of their own safety.  Kids are curious and inquisitive, unbiased and sweet.  They certainly do not understand the exact details, but they understand better than we did when we were little, what death and loss is about.  They hear it so many times, but it is far removed from their day-to-day lives, as we protect them and keep the really “bad things” away from them.  We try, regardless if they’re 5 or 15.  Not here.  We didn’t. We couldn’t!  So the question is, did we fail them?  Did we disappoint them?  Did we let an entire generation down and set them up to fear life and people around them?  We can not allow one crazy mind to destroy kids being kids, and relinquish their beauty of curiosity, trust, playfulness, openness and make them give up being a child!  I refuse to do that as a father and refuse to accept that this is what we need to do and is the only option.

I saw last night a Republican politician on CNN justify 48 hours after the tragedy the right to bare arms, his right to carry a concealed weapon…really???  This is not a political issue, this is a call upon everyone in this country to take a look at how easy someone can get a hold of a weapon.  Criminals will always be criminals, but a mother carrying a gun just because she can, a father with a full collection of rifles in his house unlocked and someone either breaking in  or even a child such as the bad apple last week simply taking the parents weapon and go crazy – a stricter and very different law would have possibly eliminated “Newtown superdark Friday”.  Again, I am not looking to politicize, but frankly is there a gradual way?  I do not believe so and I believe that the “cowboy mentality” as much as it is historical and anchored in the US constitution, may need another look at it.  We do live in different times and protecting your land and house as well as defending borders and assets has been officially transferred to police and other agencies, which are doing a good job overall and maybe they need to be called to action even more.  Good advice is hard here.   No one will be able to bring the children and teachers back.  As President Obama said beautifully yesterday to not let us waste the life of the children and teachers but make it their legacy that we found a path forward together to create a system, a law, an evolution of past practice and allow everyone to take a fresh look at every aspect of what allowed Friday in Newtown to happen.  Every action, non action.  Every law, regulation and permission as irrelevant as all of it may look at first. We need to and we need to take action now.  We owe each teacher and child just that.  Not next year, in 5 years, NOW!  We truly have to!  I can’t find any different way to feel about it! The parents will never get closure, so close to Christmas and holidays. Many gifts already bought and carefully thought about.  Holiday plans made, vacations planned and family times looked forward to!  What now…..none of that!!  Destroyed!!   And as I am on my way to NYC for meetings I am seeing a newsflash that the discussions about better laws has started and is already being politicized!  Sad but I guess that is what politics for some people is, rather than what is required here urgently and called for, which is the respect and honor of human life, especially if it is lost and taken so senseless!

With much sorrow, thought, empathy and love to everyone in Newtown CT.

The never ending story

21 04 2012

It’s been months now that the story has broken and the all so beautiful idea of a tablet gone bad in India is still in the daily news. So today another report in the Mintmint about Datawind failing to deliver and everyone around it involved pointing fingers. Speaking for myself, I am not sure why after many months of this we still focus on the failure rather than the success and the positive. India is a country, and historically has been a country of surpassing crisis through great innovation. India has created a fertile territory for innovation with great opportunity to succeed – why don’t we all recognize the infusion the introduction of a project like Aakash and the following award even to an underperforming company like Datawind has been into the creation of a education spark. In my book, focusing on failure and focusing on the mistakes, creates often more failure and the real benchmark certainly should no longer be the tablet, that was delivered only 334 times to truly proof it was a flop. We have moved beyond that and we have seen many others come to the table with bookshelves and “empty” devices with no promise. The focus now needs to be to provide a consumer in an emerging and highly cost value critical consumer like in India, an offering that provides not only a device but more importantly a contextual piece, that let’s each user benefit in ways that drive a nation and a country forward. The often quoted “bridge to the digital divide” is not the device or the technology alone, the true bridge is the resources, the knowledge and the information we can access thru it. Think and imagine, people would have to be concerned about and tell you every single time they access Google, that they do it on an android, iOS or windows operating system, on a tablet, laptop or desktop machine – ridiculous, right? Access to educational and meaningful resources for the learner, whoever she or he is, must be the same and that will be the ultimate crossing of the bridge of the digital divide! For now we are just starring at the water running under the bridge and we have not even entered the gates to the bridge which crosses that river!

Almost At the Pakistan Border

23 02 2012

It’s been short plane ride from Delhi up to the border for a meeting with a University. Surreal beauty of landscape and hospitality of people, smiles and gracious welcome! Beautiful India and another day at a time making a difference in education. What an amazing way to spend the day….more soon!

Big Ideas Fest Half Moon Bay

4 12 2011

Arrived in beautiful San Francisco and looking forward to seeing a lot of the old and new Garde.  The week promises to be exiting and many discussions and conversations around learning and teaching impact in scalable formats will happen and all on the search for impact-ful outcomes.  Hopefully we will see some real progress.  Having spent much of my last 5 years in the Open Space and seeing product focused contribution my wish is we see the systemic approach overarching many of the small efforts entrepreneurs are making.   Its not about the product but the people it can affect in a highly scalable manner! Stay tuned as we proceed thru the week…..

14 09 2011

Are we too abstract in class?

Are we too abstract in class?

14 09 2011