Humanities gives skills to face the new world : Dr. Kranti Saran, Ashoka University

Prof Kranti Saran was one of the speakers of eminence to address the students who are stepping into class XI at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, and their parents. Here I tried to reproduce his inspiring Kranti Sarantalk, to the best of my abilities.

Kranti Saran, currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ashoka University and a Research Associate at Harvard University, also a visiting faculty in JNU.

His research interests trace a progression of questions about the nature of bodily sensations and bodily spatiality to the nature of introspection of them. From introspection, his interests generalize to the nature of attention. Finally, he is interested in how practices of attention to bodily and mental states can school a subject’s affect in a morally salutary direction.

———————————————- My Journey —————————–
What does a philosopher do?
Most people talk about being super successful
Most of us are not, but still will lead a happy life.

I had scored a 70% in my school, never like today’s 95%+
In school, I was never interested in what we were studying, because of the way we were studying.
I used to read a lot; though disconnected with contextual reality, I always felt thing will work

I had to get into a college. what to do? Never got what I wanted.
Accident happened….philosophy happened.
This was what I was waiting for the whole life.
I fell in love with.
I started liking and doing well in acads
It was a wonderful feeling, but disconcerting too as I was doing well.
….went to Harvard and a few other places too..
———————————————————————————-
Three things I want to share from my learnings.

1. Be prepared to be surprised – in class x, I would have never imagined what I am doing today. Acads? I ran away from it then. It is now rich and rewarding

2. Play to your strengths
A. In our school, if you were smart you did science. I discovered, I had no aptitude for science. 52% in class XII. DO NOT PUSH THE CHILD INTO AN AREA THAT YOU FEEL THEY OUGHT TO BE.

3. what special talent do you have? What is that one thing that you are disproportionately blessed with. Nurture and develop. Disproportionate rewards will come your way.

CAREERS OF FUTURE

careers different from undergrad training? How many here? About 30 odd parents stood up.

When the concept of car was introduced they were called horseless carriages. Now we see Teslas of the world bring in rapid changes

What do we need now?

We need to be flexible to bring the skills to the market place
We need to be adaptable, agile and nimble in the market place

Once upon a time Music industry – was worried about piracy etc. Napster etc happened then.
Apple introduced music service and the music industry has never been the same again.

We do not have models of the world, that the world will change to. Everything is abstract.
Have skills that are nimble, and help you to adapt quickly.

Skill set to have – How Humanities equip you.

What are the particular skills that you learn in classroom?

  • Reasoning and analysis – how do you put the argument
  • Communication to get your ideas and thoughts across
    You are with people all the time, how do you use persuasiveness is the key
  • Feeds into capacity of being a team member, building a team

All these three will help you connect the dots. Helps to think out of the box.

How does it translate into a real world?

1. Jeff bozos of AMAZON

  • Asks subordinates to write a detailed memo In advance and share
  • Everyone reads, be prepared before they come to the meeting

Why?
– clear writing shows clarity of thought
– well thought-out ideas emerge

2. Have you ever read any IPO document?

  • IPO document of Twitter will tell you details
  • Founders are not techies in under grad
  • Almost all of them are from arts, humanities,…

So, select Class XI subjects such a way that they make you flexible and adaptable.

You can get in touch with Kranti Saran at Saran@ashoka.edu.in
Thanks to the web for photograph of Kranti Saran. The rights belongs to the owner.

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2 Responses

  1. Dear Sir, The article is quite straight , candid and meaningful…..Nice one! Thanks for sharing!!

    Like

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