The last 3 crises have reinforced just how useless much of what we all are taught in school really is, when it comes to dealing with real-life uncertainties. Here is my thought experiment on 101 courses I would love to see included in school curriculums of future generations.👇🏽
#1 Personal Finance 101 – introduce what “money” really is & its social role, assets and liabilities, leverage, investing, asset classes, portfolios, etc. This will go a long way in encouraging kids to have an open dialogue around money and proactively manage their finances…
#1 (contd.)…The course should refer to core concepts from the works of Benjamin Graham, Buffet, Munger, Adam Smith, Templeton, @nntaleb etc.
#2 Managing Risk 101 – introduce the meaning of “risk” in different aspects of our life, risk vs reward, probabilistic thinking, taking bets, etc. While we are typically taught probability in a purely mathematical sense, what’s needed is tying it back to real-life decisions…
#2 (contd.)…via introducing concepts like scenario planning, estimating odds, correlation vs causation, tail risk, ruin, etc. Keep it simple and rely on real-life contexts that anyone can relate to. Do a high school intro to the works of @nntaleb & @AnnieDuke.
#3 Design Thinking 101-how to innovate & improve by keeping people at the center of decisions, building iteratively via the “lean” cycle of protoype->test->learn->repeat, having an agile, high-velocity mindset, importance of making mistakes to learn, but keeping their costs low..
#3 (contd.)…Do a high school intro to the works of @sgblank, @ericries, methodologies pioneered by @ideo, etc.
#4 Cognitive Biases 101 – introduce key biases that all human beings have due to our evolutionary wiring. Explain them in layman terms eg. “sour grapes”, “losses hurt us more than gains make us happy”, “we tend to be overoptimistic about our circumstances” etc…
#4 (contd.)…Discuss how to watch out for and control these biases, during real-life decision making that anyone can relate to eg. buying a house, investing in stocks, looking for a job, etc. Do a high school intro to the works of Daniel Kahneman, @R_Thaler, and Charlie Munger.
#5 Mental Models 101 – take kids through how there are a set of mental models that several experts across domains have heuristically tried-and-tested over many generations, and which when applied well, improve odds of intelligent decisions being made, even with limited info…
#5 (contd.)…Course materials could be as simple as a high-school version of @farnamstreet’s list of mental models (https://t.co/PfSuWfPZxs) or Munger’s latticework of mental models as captured in “Poor Charlie’s Almanack”
#6 Negotiations 101 – probably one of the most core life skills, alongside essential mathematics, science, and language. Concepts such as Anchoring, BATNA, ZOPA, Reservation Price, etc. lend themselves really well to being explained via simple yet highly-engaging group games.
#7 Launching 101 -how to build & launch any product or service from scratch. Basically take kids through each element of the “Lean Canvas”, which essentially captures any business model (Problem, Solution, UVP, Unfair Advantage, Customer Segments, Channels, Metrics, Rev. & Cost.)
#8 Art of Storytelling 101 – how to pitch & sell any idea, product, service, person…or even yourself. Creating narratives, interesting stories that appeal to emotions. Use case studies (Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Nelson Mandela, Hollywood) and do student demo days every Friday.
#9 Building Teams 101 – highlight engaging examples of how leaders from all walks of life built top-notch teams that went on to do amazing things. Choosing business partners, managing superiors & peers, getting stuff done, etc. Drive the course via weekly speaker sessions.
#10 Health 101 – expand its definition to include both physical and mental health. Cover key elements, from nutrition and activities to daily lifestyle and mediation. Open the minds of students to both the East (Yoga, Tai-Chi) and the West (Navy Seals, Extreme Sports)…
#10 (contd.)…Introduce specialized concepts such as Sports Nutrition and Flow. Highlight with real-life case studies of people that have set gold standards in their fields – from @DjokerNole’s dietary insights to mental training methods from @davidgoggins.
Based on my life experience, I believe these topics are core building blocks that any citizen needs to lead a meaningful, value-creating & resilient life. These should be engrained when the human mind is most unbiased, impressionable & accepting. LMK what you think 🙌🏽.