July 25, 2021

10 lessons left by the South Summit | Fortune

10 lessons left by the South Summit | Fortune

Three days of debate, 12,000 registered attendees, 650 investors, 3,500 startups participants and a portfolio of 30 million euros to invest. These are the figures that the sixth edition of the South Summit, the annual summit of investors and entrepreneurs. However, although La Nave, the modern building located in the Madrid neighborhood of Villaverde, which has hosted this event until Friday, has left long-term reflections that must be on the agenda of the top management of the companies. The EnlightED scenario, sponsored by the Telefónica Foundation, was the epicenter of a series of reflections, focused mainly on education and in the challenges that society faces in order to adapt to the digital world. They are not all, but these are some of the key points.

  1. Experimental learning "Students need to integrate the experience in the classroom with the experiences in the world to try and understand what they are learning in the classroom," claimed the president of Northeastern University (Boston, USA), Joseph Aoun. The academic stressed that parallel implementation of what is being learned in the classroom helps to better identify each one's skills and know what their strengths are. In addition, it is a good exercise to learn to work in a team, in an environment and with very diverse people. In this sense, Auon insisted that the main difference between human beings and machines is the ability of the former to apply the acquired knowledge to many different contexts.
  2. Continuous training. During his speech, the ex-coach and uncle of tennis player Rafa Nadal, Toni Nadal, defended that the most important quality that a person must have is the ability to continuously improve, and for that, you must have confidence in yourself. In this line, the president of Northeastern University commented that he always recommends that students "start cultivating what makes them unique as a person, because they will have to learn continuously."
  3. Personal relationships in a virtual world. The president of the aforementioned university assured that the availability of free online training does not jeopardize the university, since in his opinion, the students who attend the classes do not do it for acquiring knowledge but for the community that revolves around the institution. "In the same way that people go to a summit like this, which in turn is also retransmitted via streaming, for him networkingwhat is done here, "said the academic. An idea with which the CEO of Eton Online Ventures, Percy Harrison, for whom the primary school is not a place where children go only to accumulate knowledge, but also seek to relate to other people.
  4. Decisive skills. The rector of the Carlos III University, Juan Romo, explained that "we are digitizing humanity, but the next step would have to be to humanize the people behind that digitalization". In this regard, the executive director of Burning Glass Technologies, Matt Sigelman, recalled that the more human skills a job requires, such as creativity, critical thinking or innovation, the less risk of automation it will have.
  5. Personalization. All individuals have different abilities. Education and creativity expert Ken Robinson criticized that measurement systems, such as the PISA report, do not accept the diversity of talent and skills that each person presents, since these can be hidden. For his part the co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute Michael Horn argued that "students have gaps in their knowledge, which can make them fall behind. Online education can solve this and make everyone develop their potential. "
  6. Technology democratizes education. Digital platforms facilitate access to training from anywhere in the world. The president of the Telefónica Foundation, César Alierta, insisted that his main struggle is that there should not be two worlds: that of people who have digital education and that of those who do not. "You have to educate so that a boy has the same possibilities in a remote place in Africa than another in New York", defended the manager. He also criticized that while spending 3,000 million euros per day on military spending worldwide, only 4,000 million euros a year would be needed to train all children who do not have access to education.
  7. Passion is not everything. Although during the three days of the South Summit there was much talk of enthusiasm, chef Ferran Adrià insisted that it does not exist. "Passion is a lie, it only exists if the business is yours or you are the CEO. Tell someone who charges 1,500 euros that you have to be enthusiastic. No, what you should ask is that they are professionals, "said elBulli's chef.
  8. The people in the center. "It is time to reinvent education, to place people at the center of the new digital world," explained during his speech the president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, who recalled that the current technological revolution that is being lived now is unique and exceptional, since no generation had experienced such extraordinary changes as those that happen now due to the large amount of technology that is generated. There is nothing written and therefore it is necessary to rethink, reinvent and innovate constantly, said Alvarez-Pallete, who has defended the need to encourage humanism and to exercise collective responsibility, so that everyone has the same opportunities and that nobody of future generations is left behind. The president of Telefónica wanted to focus on another issue, in the way in which technology is transforming the labor market, since "many jobs will be lost, but others will also be created". For this, the management of this transition is important, in which education, cohesion and social protection are decisive.
  9. Many ways of undertaking. "We are in an increasingly exponential world, where technology enables us, but it is people who make the difference," said HP Iberia president, Helena Herrero, during her speech at a round table in which Barbara Oakley participated. , professor of Engineering at the University of Oakland, who in turn offered a master class on how to learn to learn. He also sent an encouraging message: "There are many ways now to become an entrepreneur, and people are more hungry for knowledge than ever before." And he pointed out that one of the challenges for the future of learning is to ensure that everyone has access to that online learning.
  10. Talent. The transformation of a company is only possible if it has talent. "If it is not impossible to move forward, having an excellent team is essential," said BBVA president Francisco González, a strong advocate for companies to have the best professionals with the key skills, but also with new skills needed to transform. And he said, during his speech on the role of technology in the reinvention of the professions, that the most complicated process within an organization is the cultural change and the assembly between the employees that make up the current staff with new talent that is incorporated into the company and which is expected to be a breath of fresh air.


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