I had a great chat with another inspiring parent, Michael Haupt. He is a very successful businessman and a single dad of a 3y old daughter. These days he focuses on education, especially in South Africa. We discussed how will the exponential technologies affect children in the next 10 years - a very cool talk!
Hir profile on Parents.Community: @Michael Haupt
Listen on SoudCloud (or play below)
1) His blog: michaelhaupt.com
4) Book: The Everything Toddler Activities Book: Over 400 games and projects to entertain and educate
5) TED talk: Build a School In The Cloud
Michael Haupt: All right, hi Michael it’s a please to talk to you!
Michal: You have a really impressive corporate career, I’ve read that you have about twenty years of professional experience. You were hired multiple times to lead Tech Teams, you are really passionate traveler as you have traveled more than one million miles which is really outstanding and you have three year old daughter which is which is very cool. I can see many similarities with me I also passionate about technology, I Co-founded a travel company and I also have two kids, so it's very cool to see so many similarities in our lives.
Michael Haupt: Awesome thank you very much for the invitation to chat and of course another similarity we have is our love for Thailand, so I guess we will get into that and it's a great pleasure to be talking to you today as I’m also passionate about children, education, and technology. I think an important thing to point out for your listeners is that I’m in no way an expert in the education as I don't have any formal training so the kind of things we'll be talking about today if you're looking at Voice from an academic perspective, this is probably the wrong place for you to be. We obviously be talking about children and the future of them and the future of the planet, these are serious topics and I take them very seriously so I just wanted to set that as a framework of how we go into the discussion today.
Michal: Yes indeed, actually many of the listeners actually are entrepreneurs who are patients of all the exponential technologies and we just like to learn from like-minded parents and discover what other people do. Maybe not that much about things that happen all the times or twenty years ago just because these are the obsolete, so let's just discuss things that we are passionate about such as the exponential technology and how it will impact our kids. I notice that you were elaborating in one of your book posts about parenting, kids who will become adults in twenty thirty, how do you think these experts that authority will impact our kids?
Michael Haupt: it's a great question and I let me maybe just to put into context why I’ve chosen twenty thirty: Two reasons and at that stage my daughter is going to be sixteen years old, so that's the kind of time that she's going to be thinking about what career will she be entering into, so that's one reason. The other reason is that the United Nations has put together their seventeen sustainable development goals with certain objectives they want to achieve by the year twenty thirty. So, on one hand, it is a group of people working on some of the significant challenges that our planet faces, on the other hand, it's my daughter who’s going to be entering the workforce at around that time, and the other is that I think it helps to take a longer term view of where the world is going, rather than looking around and seeing all of the crazy things that are happening around us today and being concerned about maybe a year or two in the future. I think it helps to take a much longer term view so that the decisions that we make take that time scale into account, so that's the reason why I have chosen twenty- thirty.
Now one of the things that really opened my mind over the past two years I've been involved with two Silicon Valley tech startups. We’ve raised a fair bit of funding for them and it meant spending a fair amount of time in Silicon Valley, and the kind of projects that people are working on there now are incredible and I find that in general, parents of children today obviously they are caught up in the day to day stuff of raising kids which is a fair handful. But in the process of being so caught up in that they’re completely unaware of some of the changes coming and you would be aware of it and probably the listeners too about artificial intelligence and robotics and automation and driverless cars and all of these great things that are coming and what we tend to overlook is how that will impacts employment. For me I'm wondering if; it makes sense to assume that they will be no such thing as employment anymore, most of the jobs that we take for granted today are not going to exist in twenty-thirty. Most of it will be automated, many of, even the white collar jobs for example accounting and lawyers decisions and the medical field, all of this is going to change significantly. I.B.M. Watson has upload as, and I’ve forgotten the details of the [Inaudible 04:27] but results of millions of medical studies are now available via on artifical intelligence in I.B.M. Watson. Now, what does that do to a doctor's profession? I just don’t want to be all doom and gloomy here because it’s going to create all kinds of other opportunities too, but it just helps to keep these things in in mind when we thinking about the future of our children and the decisions about what they're going to do for the rest of their lives.
Michal: Indeed and I actually cannot wait for this to happen, just then we went the hospital to see a doctor just last week with my daughter and she went to some ultrasound and some tests, and the doctor was looking at her and saying “yeah, it seems OK just wait and observe for the next three to six months” and then as I was sitting there I was like “yeah I don’t know this just feels a little bit weird”. when you're talking to some doctors and you cannot really be one hundred percent sure that she's assessing it right, maybe she's in a bad mood or maybe she doesn’t have experience or maybe this is such a unique case which will hopefully not, but you have no confidence in the doctor. While I cannot wait for actually, some artificial intelligence powered machine, assessing it based on the millions of cases that the machine actually saw. So yeah, it's really exciting and it will also negatively impact the jobs as you say, so maybe that's not that exciting.
Michael Haupt: Well, the reason and I think we'll get into this later in the call, so the skills that we need to be developing in our children today are not the ones that have been typically successful in the past and we'll get into that when the time is right. But rather than this sounding as it was going to be a doom and gloom call it's not at all, it's very exciting I believe we're on the cusp for something absolutely incredible and that it's a huge privilege for us to be alive right now and for us to be bringing children into the World that’s going be totally different ten or twenty years from today.
Michal: So how should we then prepare our kids for this wonderful age of twenty-thirty or twenty-forty?
Michael Haupt: I wish I knew the answer to that but what I can tell is what's working for me right now, is to as a parent significantly change your mind set about children and so maybe I can give two quick examples of this. When we typically look at birth and raising a child, we assume that the child knows nothing on the day their born and that it's our responsibility to teach them. One of the biggest shifts that have worked incredibly well for me happened on the day that my daughter was born when I looked into the eyes and saw wisdom that I cannot explain, this child knew everything.
So what helps for me is to, and there's no right or wrong here, I don't know whether this is correct and I'm not going to try and prove it scientifically, if it sits well with you then maybe it's a worldview that might worth to take on, but if we can assume that this is an all knowing spirit that has a riot from another world that knows absolutely everything and it has chosen to take on the physical form of a baby, on this planet, at this time. So what we then do with the education system is we, help the child to unlearn everything that it knows as an all knowing spirit. so if you view an education system as taking something,: an entity, a body, a collection of energy and Force fitting them into Will that we've decided runs the way it should run, whereas instead assume that ,” hang on”, this child is here to teach me something, let me shift completely how I think about raising this child, let me allow the child to lead me through its own development and let me be much more aware as a parent of how little I know and how much I've been taught and accepted, and actually we need to question that and say is that the right way of doing stuff? So that's the one big shift for me in terms of preparing her for the future, to see her as the teacher rather than me as the all-knowing adult.
The other big shift is the perspective of how we talk to our children, I will give you two very brief examples that it's actually been very difficult for me to make this shift but we often say that the sun is rising or the sun is setting or the sun is gone behind the clouds, it's a very dangerous set of Words to use that because the sun hasn't gone behind the clouds, the clouds come in front of the sun, the sun is setting, the earth is rotating and that's what causes it to look as if the sun is setting. So this is a huge topic and I don’t know if we will get time to unpack it completely but just to be very careful of the perspective that we use when we talking to our children rather take a galactic view of what's happening around us rather than just our point of perception from where we happen to be on the planet. Does that doesn't make sense?
Michal: Publicly, especially in the first part as you mentioned that the kids already know more than we do, I could imagine that they are much much stronger in curiosity. like the way how my two kids can come up with completely out of books ideas how some things can be done and its really mind blowing and it just reminds me how maybe, I assume I was also curious and creative thirty years ago but then somehow it faded out, especially this creativity that you can just think completely out of the box. How do you think we can support that creativity and the curiosity in our case?
Great question, and if you don't mind another quick rambled on some things that I've discovered. When we talk about creativity, I think it's important to talk about the difference between left and right brain thinking which we're all probably aware of, very simplistically left is the more structured mechanistic logical approach and right is the more creative approach. Now the latest neuroscience research is uncovering a lot more around this very simplistic model, as we know the brain is a very complex mechanism but the big thing that I’ve discovering is that both the left and right half’s of the brain are involved in just about every activity and the two hemispheres of constantly passing information between the two. So it's not as if anybody is typically left or typically right, you do find a predominance but both half’s of the brain are actively involved in each part of it. Now what I was curious to ask about is the difference between the left and right brain thinking is if we look at the rise and fall of various civilizations, Could it be that there was a predominance of either left or right brain thinking at each major moment in history?
So let’s take for example the Renascence, which was typically the right brain; it was a very creative, there was lots of art and music and you saw coming out of that time. Then we moved more towards the left brain around the industrial revolution stage, where we focused very much on Science Technology Engineering math and we built all of the other big structures we see around: the roadworks, networks, railway lines, it was all pretty much the left brain activity.
Michael Haupt: It looks to me now, if we swing more towards right, ever since the nineteen Sixty’s in the hippies movement, people have started questioning and saying, “hang on what's going on in the world right now maybe there's a different way of looking at stuff” and I think that we're right in the middle of that transition right now, If we see the year twenty-twelve as kind of the midpoint. If you imagine a pendulum that swings left to right. I think twenty-twelve and the years around that will pretty much Mark the lowest point of that pendulum swing and we will very much move into much more of a right brain view of the world. Now, if we're in the middle of that transition right now that might explain why the world is so crazy at the moment.
We look at all sorts of weird things going on, Trump is obviously the talk of the news right now and I just see that as this tension between two views of the world and we're trying to figure out what's the best way of doing this. So when we talk about creativity, it's actually more to me than artistic creativity. I think it helps to look at some of the core differences between left and right brain thinking, particularly when we still talking about technology. So technology from a left brain perspective is all about making things cheaper, faster and more efficient. Where is technology from a right brain perspective is all about connection and empathy and nurturing and love, so to me particularly when we’re talking about technology, education, the future and where the planet is going, we need to take those right brain characteristics and make them unpack them some more, if you think your listener will find value in that. But does that discussion or framework around creativity, does it make sense?
Michal: I'm thinking how can we make it practical? In terms of what are the things, we can actually apply in our daily discussions? Knowing if it is left or right hemisphere is essentially important just because we can adjust the words that we say to our own kids. But how can we maybe apply some games or maybe some special sentences that we ask them so that we target the right hemisphere, do you have any thoughts on this?
Michael Haupt: As I said at the beginning before we started recording this, there are plenty plenty of activities that can stimulate this kind of thinking. For me, the big thing is just getting outdoors and just watching how they interact with nature. My daughter randomly without me ever mentioning it to her, started hugging trees and it just warms my heart, where did this child get that idea from, [Inaudible 14:38] I would it want to teach her at a later stage of life because I think there’s a lot of value in connecting with nature like that, but she just came out of it just by taking her for walks out in the mountainside where there are lots of trees.
One book That I highly recommend and I have turned to this many many times because I don't know what kind of activities to do with my daughter, it’s called the everything toddler activities book and it ranges from indoor activities’: Arts and craft, types of things that take them outdoors, it teaches them how to have fun with stars and identifying different planets and so on. It's really an incredible book and it's been a lifesaver for me because often as a parent you run out of ideas of things to do with your children, so rather than me giving you specific ideas, I’d highly recommend going to this book. Each activity is classified by the ideal age group, it Gives you an idea of what kind of Objectives you can achieve with each activity, it’s a fabulous book written by an educator called Joanie Devine and I think you'll share a link with everybody as I highly recommend that book if you're looking for specific activities to do with kids.
Michal: Well Thanks, thanks for [Inaudible 15:49] but when should you find the time to do these kind of activities with your daughter? Do you have some favorite spots during the days?
Michael Haupt: So, one of the things I decided to do is be a lot more active in the raising of my child. so she doesn't go to school yet, she doesn't go to playgroup she doesn’t t go to any external activities, so to me, I’m in a fortunate position right now where I'm in devising a number of companies. I don't have a day job where I have to be in the office at a certain time and so my day job is raising my daughter right now. It's not a case of finding the time, it's a case of me making this a priority and I recognize that's a huge privilege that many parents Wont have and I'm just incredibly grateful that I'm in this position where I can do that and it hasn't been easy. Single parenting is one of the most difficult things I've ever done, I think somewhere in one of my blog posts I've said I’ve run million dollar projects all over the world using multicultural teams and that to me was a walk in the park compared to raising a daughter, So not for a minute saying this is easy but to make the time is to me the priority
Michal: Yeah well, I think many people are very jealous of the situation you are in just because you can rededicate your time and I'm sure you worked really hard the last twenty years just to get there and to have the resources that will actually allow you to and the recommendation that makes it really easy for you to get some consulting, so it's really a unique fore take but let's not forget that there are some substantial hard work behind it which is really great.
Michael Haupt: I've been very fortunate in the way things have turned out and if I can maybe mention at this stage this concept of a golden thread, for everybody no matter where you are in life. significant events have happened in your life and if you take a step back rather than worrying about the day to day stresses and strife that light brings us, it helps every now and then and I do this at the end of every year, just to review what are the significant life things that have happened to me in this year? How do they fit in with what's happened in the past year? And just help see a pattern. Firstly when my daughter arrived she was unplanned, my initial reaction was just to say I'm sorry I'm not dealing with this and I’m quite open about that. In fact, I insisted on an abortion but it was too late to legally have an abortion. So it was a case at that stage of saying, “OK well, if that's the case let’s make the most of this” and it is being another one of those moments in the golden thread of my life that has made me relook at education. I've always written off education, I didn't go to university, I don't have a degree because I was concerned about this total specialization, but now with the arrival of my daughter I’m forced to relook at education and it's such a privilege to me to be able to bring vast marketing and technology experience and add this new dimension of education into it and see how we can make it a difference initially in my country both South Africa where are based now but ultimately because it's a pretty serious conversation that needs to be had.
Michal: Yeah, what do you recall that you have a great to entrepreneur background and I can just sort of copy paste some of the things you were doing as a business manager or entrepreneur manager and you can copy paste this to the education system or even to parenting? I can also see for myself that they are some things that somehow even naturally, fit in the family. So I know that you actually joined the board of education organization called SOLELY, SOLEO, what was the correct pronunciation is it S.O.L.E or SOLEA, how do you call it?
Michael Haupt: It’s, just pronounced SOLE and it stands for self-organize learning environments and I'm very excited about this. It’s a global movement, so wherever you are in the world you might want to look up if there’s a chapter in your part of the world but very briefly the history of this. It was started by Indian chappie based in India Sugata Mitra, if you want to search for a Ted talk that he gave in once in nineteen ninety-nine, where he talked about the vision that he had for the future of education specifically for some children in India and he actually won the first one million dollar prize that the Ted organization gave to particularly creative ideas and he used that funding to build the schooling in Calcutta and the concepts revolves around asking big questions. So one of the big problems with education now days is that we’re teaching children to memorize stuff and in a Google powered world the art of remembering is pretty much obsolete, you don't have to do that anymore. The answers any question are available at the tip of your fingers. So what we should be teaching children is creative thinking skills and how to present their findings, how to communicate what their view of the world is to others and to inspire them and basically to become good leaders.
So SOLE, is a very simply brilliant way of achieving that and a SOLE session starts off with a big question that doesn't have an easy yes or no answer and so that the teacher will typically introduce the question maybe give a little bit of background in less than five minutes and the class then is allowed to range themselves into groups of four or five children, they choose which groups that like to work with and they're given access to an internet connected computer and they go and research this question. They do this collaboratively so that they learn teamwork and allowing each other the Opportunity to work together. Then the last twenty minutes of the session which is usually an hour, the last twenty minutes is where they come back and present their findings to the rest of the group. So It teaches them technological skills that are required and you know to us this might seem like a pretty basic approach but in rural areas where there is no internet access, this is a completely new way of looking at the world and how it started with Sugata Mitra in India is that he put a laptop in a slum environment and just left it there. He didn't give any training, no education whatsoever, many of these kids could barely speak English and he came back three months later and was astounded by how much progress these children have made and he's re-run that experiment in a number of different remote rural areas in India and the results are profound.
So what I like about this thing from an education perspective is in any country in the world education reform is almost impossible. It’s managed by governments and getting governments to change their perspective on education is almost impossible because they're measuring the wrong things, their measuring pass rates. So what I love about SOLE is that it's both transformative and supportive of the existing curriculum, so you can bring it into government run schools without getting the government upset, without getting the principal worried about making a major decision and at the same time it's teaching them skills for the new world that we bring them into. I'm very excited about SOLE and I highly encourage you, you can run SOLE sessions for your kids at home if you want, you can introduce to your school if you google SOLE, their many chapters around the world. Our website sole.org.za has links in the bottom foot that take you to all kinds of SOLE activities around the world and I’m very very excited about this. If you curious about it different ways, if you if your kids are currently in public schools and you want to introduce a new way of supporting the curriculum, I can’t recommend this highly enough and very very excited about.
Michal: That sounds really interesting, asking one big question and then letting people, the students actually figured out that could be could be very powerful. There's one interesting thing you mentioned a while ago, which is related to you know everything is already online, on the internet, Wiki-Pedia and why to even remember some of these facts which I don't disagree with it, it's fact but on the other hand and there are also interesting research done by the [Inaudible 24:31] from the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential and they actually found this in nineteen fifty-five maybe you heard about it and they studied kids at first, brain injured kids and then even well kids. What they found out and actually then even master was a way how to increase children's intelligence by actually teaching them that [Inaudible 25:01] facts. Just because they thought or they believe in after thirty years of success with all these kids, they believe that the knowledge of growth set of facts leads to somehow general knowledge that they can test, which leads to high intelligence. Which is also it makes sense, both of these Views actually make sense and I also don't really want to just go through a list of two hundred countries and remember them just because it's super easy to find them on the google. But on the other hand, this this research do you have any thoughts on this?
Michael Haupt: So I'm not aware of the research itself it sounds really interesting and I'm going to go into it when we finish here. But just to come back to this concept of Left and right brain thinking, one of the characteristics of left brain thinking is highly focused and the easiest way of describing this is to use an analogy. If you imagine a good pecking seeds off the ground and it has to differentiate between a seed and a grain of dust or a stern, that's very much a left brain activity. It’s highly focused, they've got to casually analyze and look and see what I'm picking up off the floor here. Where right brain focus is much more on the wider a scope, so if you imagine one of this birdie pick picking up seeds it also has to be aware of a cat walking pass, you might pounce into and eat it for lunch, it also has to keep awareness of the mates that it could mate with, so there's an example of left and right brain activity happening at the same time. Now if you think about our education system they teach as a very much about that focus, we have to go learn very specific things when you finally finish school, when you go off to education you want to focus very much on a specific area of study and specialize in that. Never are we taught to take a much wider view of the world and be curious and open and like the birdies keeping in mind open for the cat that might pounce on it and is keeping an eye open for a mate that it might mate with. We are not taught those skills about just being open to anything and everything you know. So one of the biggest things I think we can teach our children is to, even if they've chosen to go and study a specific area of knowledge and something to that, So for example if your child is older and they are a lawyer, what other skills could they add to their legal abilities that would be number one; that would make them a more interesting person but number two; that would be more useful to the company that they work with. So, for example, could they add marketing to the mix, could they go to learn about what it would take to grow is a legal business.
Now, you speak to an average lawyer today and they have no idea what marketing is all about but I think this is going to be important, even if you specialize in a specific area, add something else to it that's going to make you so much more useful to an organization. It’s only going to avoid yourself being outsourced to artificial intelligence and automation by adding more skills to life.
Michal: [Inaudible 28:29] it actually also happens in the I.T field in computer science, I remember four or five years ago the developers tend to focus on what [Inaudible 28:39] man or front of [Inaudible 28:40] man or design but these days the developers prefer to be just focused developers and sometimes work up front and sometimes they can't and on a similar way happens with data engineers and data analysis, Business intelligence analysis which years ago it used to be very clearly defined, now the data engineers are not doing any analysis. But these days even people I thought [Inaudible 29:08] actually just want to learn how to migrate data, how to analyze them so that they have themselves a full stack of knowledge.
Michael Haupt: And the true stack phrase is becoming a lot more widely used. Now, why can't we have a full stack like?
Michal: What do you mean by full stack life?
Michael Haupt: Well so as you described in the developer, full stack they have a whole lot of different specialties in marketing, you have the same thing, you have a full stack market and you can focus on search engine optimization and google and paper click and website optimization, all those things that you throw into the bucket. Why can’t life be like that? In a holism thinking, Ken Wilburn has written numerous books on the concept of holism .there's no one area of life that is more important than any other, it's all in this package together and we should become experts at all of that. so that's why I'm suggesting a full stack life is when you take into account things that are completely outside your field of expertise so that you become a whole person, so that every approach, every way that you step in the world has a deep grounding in knowledge of a whole lot of other areas. Now our education system does not teach us that process at all so I'm not suggesting this is easy, this is and that's why I'm chosen twenty- thirty as kind of the thing that I'm aiming for; is how do we work towards that process of making holism an essential part of education for our children. The education system is not going to do it so how do we achieve that? I don't know what the answer is yet but that's certainly on a mission to find out.
Michal: It’s actually a very interesting angle on life itself and I can see especially the entrepreneurs, the business people are more vulnerable towards just focusing on one area of their life which is usually the business itself. Maybe the success is easier to measure in these area, like you have this imaginary ladder that you climb comparing to some other areas of life like relationship or parenting or health, it's not as easy or simple and you cannot just post it on Facebook like Oh now I nailed it, now I want to promote it or whatever. You are just a husband or you are a parent. So yeah, maybe what we need is some certification for Parents or something like now I nailed it or now I'm a better parent.
Michael Haupt: Well if you raise an interesting question because the measurement is again very much a left brain activity. We want to compare, we want to you know measure progress, we want to define success. Now if you take more of the right brain characteristics which are things around empathy, we typically use the word soft. These soft skills and you actually can't measure that, how do you measure whether somebody is empathy is increasing and increasing? so I think this concept of measurement itself if we are moving towards more of a right hand dominated world , the concept of measurements and success itself is going to change and again I don't know what the answer is yet but I’m being open to it myself. If we were going down that route of becoming a more empathetic nation and world, what does that mean in terms of no longer measuring or removing what we used to define as success? So I don't know what the answer is on this one but to me, it's an interesting Angle of questioning to take.
Michal: Yeah indeed and it also reminds me about the need for self-improvement and on a similar [inaudible 33:08] you were suggesting some parenting advisory newsletter. I read it on some of you blogs I think, so is this something you can pursue? How do you see this?
Michael Haupt: I haven't kicked it off yet so this is a very new initiative, it will probably be coming towards the middle of this year. At this stage I'm into your interview and having conversations with a number of parents of millennials and millennial themselves, just to understand; what's your view of the world, what are your concerns? I don't want to just put together a newsletter that doesn't mean anything, so I’m in the process of defining that right now. I will more than likely kick off June of this year.it will be driven very much by feedback, so every e-mail that goes out would include: What's your question of the day? What’s the issue of the week for you? Feed that back to me and I will Use that interactive process. And I'm doing it again to stress that not because I think I know anything, it's because I'm learning myself on an incredibly steep learning curve with my daughter. It is totally new to me, so, like you said to me off air, you want to document your learning because there are people that could take Benefit from this and that's how I view the same process from here as well.
Michal: Yeah indeed, that's why I started this small community of parents so that some of my friends and colleagues and some other like-minded entrepreneurial parents can actually get connected and discuss these things, so maybe some point we can you can join forces in educating other parents.
Michael Haupt: I’m very open to that, cool.
Michal: You also mention feedback which is as you described, understood that its feedback to you about the newsletter but what also could be very interesting is actually to give feedback to the parents. Just because I see it on my wife and myself, sometimes you're doing the same mistakes, again and again after reading some of the books you’ll know the theory but then you just need to truly start using new phrases or just talk to kids in a better way. Then I'm thinking how could we give feedback to parents, providing that they actually want [Inaudible 35:36]
Michael Haupt: That’s a great question and maybe just to expand on it a bit more, you’re probably aware that there are all kinds of parenting forums where parents can go and ask questions and then get advice from people. And I can help wondering how accurate it that advice because the person who's giving the advice is giving it from their perspective, which is fine you know there’s value in that. But what happens if there advice doesn’t work or isn't the ultimate for your current situation, so I'm very interested in this concept of open source decision making and there's a platform called [Inaudible 36:10]. I’m in the process of figuring out how can you can convert or add another layer of this parenting forum concept it into a platform where you could go and say hey I've got this particular challenge that I'm working on right now what do you guys think? And then rather than one person giving an opinion, there’s now a discussion and towards the end of it you reach a conclusion saying OK from a global input, from parents all around the world, from this specific issue, this is the ideal outcome that we've come up. I don't know whether it's going to work, I would love a service like that and I suspect other parents might be so again perhaps that's a conversation we can have off-line and see if we can put something like that together.
Michal: Yeah indeed, let's do it. On a similar fashion actually when you described a forum, I was thinking with the new exponential technologies, can we do just better? I'd [Inaudible 37:08] is a technology that was here out of the twenty years ago and maybe now with all these tools that can actually just listen to the voice of parents and then maybe be triggered by some phrases used and then give feedback that would be so much more in line to the [Inaudible 37:29] on the new trends and so much cooler.
Michael Haupt: If we go back to the discussion we had about I.B.M. Watson at the beginning who uploaded millions of case studies of various medical research, why can't we do the same with parenting? It’s commonly said that there's no handbook for parenting but by the time a parent has raised the child to sixteen or eighteen years old they have a humongous amount of knowledge, now why I called all of that knowledge be uploaded into I.B.M Watson and make it available to new parents coming along. So I totally agree with you, this exponential Technology is going to change parenting and we need to be open to how it's going to change. Some of that's going to be quite scary and it's going to take it's completely out of our comfort zone but imagine a parent interacting with a chat bot connected to I.B.M. Watson. So now you no longer turning to another individual with their foibles and limitations and close minded view of the world getting advice from them but you're getting advice from parenting advice driven by artificial intelligence, could that work? I’m Positive.
Michal: Yeah indeed, well if amazon echo and google homework so far they just listen to some phrases and they can respond then, why could they not respond to what we talk to our kids and then actually coming to the I.B.M. Watson technology. Yeah, indeed that's super exciting times.
Michael Haupt: It’s up to people like you and me to go and build that future and this why I’m excited about technology. There's a number of things converging here, there are people who have. Very bright technological background who have children and you've got these massive developments happening very quickly in the technological. So you bring those altogether and we have the potential to completely redefining parenting and education. So this is why I get so excited about it, things look bleak at the moment and one of the decisions I have to make is how am I going to educate my daughter? Perhaps we can go into a discussion about that but rather than looking at existing, having to choose from things that exist today, let's go and create what's going to be available in the future. I think that's a lot much more exciting discussion to have.
Michal: Yeah indeed and you also mention that by the time the kid is eighteen years old the parent has all this knowledge but then I was just thinking about the recently, that now after like three-four years I have some knowledge which I just wish I would have when my first son was born. Just because I would have done so many things differently but then I imagine myself in the next ten years I would have another set of knowledge, which if I would know now. Maybe thanks to some artificial intelligence or some common knowledge it would be just so much so much better, the Outcome if I think about the kids in this way: the Outcome of my parenting.
Michael Haupt: Well you are creating your product, the same as you bring the product in your entrepreneurial world you're creating a product and that's a huge responsibility which you know certainly the average parents are spoken to don't quite, I don’t think fully accept that responsibility maybe I'm being a little harsh there.
Michal: I too have a product roadmap for myself. I was also in the role of product [inaudible 40:53] the quickly responsible for the product development. so and then I created product roadmap my for me personally and I didn't go as far as creating it for my kids yet just because I know my wife is a little reserve here. But as soon as she becomes more open minded and I think I will do something proper here.
Michael Haupt: And we can use the concept of the product roadmap to your kids so that they become the architect of that. It’s such a different way of looking at life and I love it, if you're OK with it I'm going to steal that idea for my daughter.
Michal: What I actually done in Louisiana as I was mentioning recently when I interview him he was saying that he also sets weekly goals with his two kids, which is which is really cool and again it reminds me how many things you can apply from the business world to just parenting or home schooling or educating our kids and all these things that are natural in the business world we can just copy paste and to do it with our kids.
Michael Haupt: Yes I love the idea and the thing that I was a little cautious about is, I have an issue with setting goals and the reason for that is because we often said goals that are too small. so if we take the concept of goal setting and add Peter [Inaudible 42:11] concept of moon shot, it's also a google concept; where you take an absolutely audacious, a ridiculously sounding goal and set goals of that level rather, because the problem with setting a small goal is that; that's all you aim for, you don't aim for anything bigger than that. So when talking about goal setting with kids this is part of how we can educate them. Don't think about the small goal that you setting for next week, set a seemingly impossible goal because even though you might miss the seemingly impossible goal, the progress that you make is way bigger than if you were to set a small but achievable goal.
Smart people talk about smart goals and the A stands for achievable and I don't like that approach that all but that's personal.
Michal: Yeah, yeah [Inaudible 42:57] introduced OK [Inaudible 42:58] just recently. So it actually pushes everyone to think bigger and try not actually to achieve hundred percent but only sixty- seventy percent but it’s still not that kind of moon shots as in google. So, how do you actually want to educate your daughter? Now she's only three years old but I guess she will start soon, so will you do it?
Michael Haupt: I was hoping that you wouldn't ask that question because it's a question that scares me, I honestly right now don't know what the answer is. I can tell you that while I was traveling in Thailand, sitting on a beach this was in [Inaudible 43:42] I saw an inspiring activity happening and that has, I Suspect that this is how the educational of my daughter is going to be unfolded. And it was a family of, I think there were four children, they would sit under a palm tree every morning for three to four hour, not playing like everybody else plays but they were involved in what seemed to be educational activities. So I met the parents and had a conversation with them and it turns out that they are traveling, I can’t remember whether it was eight or ten years but they said to goal to travel consistently while homeschooling their children. So the kids were getting an international exposure while getting this very close attention from their parents, they didn't even have a tutor. And the learning only happens with three or four hours a day and the rest of the time they were free to go and creatively play. Now one of the things about homeschooling that people always raise this question of, “well. How are they going to be socially adaptable and so on?” These kids had that process cracks because they would be doing that; learning in the morning and then doing the afternoon they’re socializing with other people playing on the beach. So I suspect there's going to be some kind of hybrid solution that I will be implementing, travel is very much going to form part of her education from a very young age. But in terms of specific answers, to be honest, I look at the available options right now and all of them have limitations. so whatever the answer is going to be, it'll be a hybrid of a number of different approaches and to me this is a journey and I love what you're doing with your community, I think we should all be going on this journey together and learning from each other to see what the ultimate, what the most efficient outcome process would be.
Michal: Well connection with the travel is really inspiring. I have so many destinations in our two visit list with the family but now we are Based here in Bangkok where we have a headquarter [Inaudible 45:42], so it's quite difficult just to travel somewhere but yeah I can imagine If you were down road that we'll be travelling and spending years with the family in different locations, that sounds very tempting.
Michael Haupt: I can honestly say that educate, I beg your pardon, travel has been my best education. I've lived in sixteen cities on six continents as a local rather than as a tourist because you can travel as a tourist and you're basically going to be in hotels that look identical around the world. But the exposure to different cultures the, I mean you know this living in Bangkok for four and a half years; it’s just, you cannot replicate that education in any lecture hall or school. The hands on education that you get from travel is just Phenomenal.
Michal: And even the exposure to different languages. Like I'm from Slovakia, so if we would stay in Slovakia then my kids would only speak Slovak most likely. But now as we live in in Thailand, they actually had to learn; In Marcos case four different languages: so it's Slovak actually English, French and Thai Just because the environment forces them, which is really cool. Then I can imagine that maybe you spend a year in China then this would be very beneficial for their feature.
Michael Haupt: Yeah, what a privilege
Michal: Yeah, but the environment in China maybe is not as good as in Slovakia, I mean the smoke and you don't really want to breathe it.
Michael Haupt: But to me, that's a good thing because seeing what is happening in the rest of the world the good and the bad is incredibly Motivational at a formative stage of the child’s life. You’re not bringing them up in this bubble. This concept of countries and border all of that is very much left brain thinking. We’re a citizen of the planet and it's not about what happens in Slovakia or South Africa or Thailand, it's what happens to the planet and the best way of teaching a child that, is taking into China and showing them the smog and getting them to live in it. I’m sure it’s not good for the health but isn't part of the learning process of developing the product. There are two ways of looking at it but [Inaudible 48:00 – 01] I'm thinking it's a different environment.
Michal: Yeah With some mask I can totally mention it.
Michael Haupt: And they do that in Bangkok anyway, so you're probably doing it right now.
Michal: Well not right now but yeah, when I’m sick
Michael Haupt: No, when we're out on the street, yeah.
Michal: Sure, speaking of traveling, have you plan a visit to Bangkok?
Michael Haupt: Definitely. What I've decided though for the next few years is just to get so up and running in South Africa and they are a number of parallel initiative that we doing at the same time. So this is going to be a focus for, I would guess another two years at least and also to consider the age of my daughter I don't want to do too much trouble with her before she's six years old. So it's probably two to three is before I do another round the world trip, so it’s happening but not in the near future. And I love Thailand and I think I said to you off-air that Thailand has changed my life on two occasions. It’s an incredible country, the Thai people are some of the most beautiful I met, just from a beautiful heart and soul perspective. Man, it’s just literally Thailand has changed my life on two occasions so I'll definitely be back.
Michal: That sounds wonderful I guess you should come sooner so they can go grab some coffee or lunch.
Michael Haupt: There we go.
Michal: I want to be mindful of your time, so maybe you can wrap it up now and possibly have some discussion later.
Michael Haupt: Cool. Well, I really appreciate the opportunity, Michael, I love what you're doing and I have a few confident that we're going to do something together in the future I look forward to that.
Michal: Thanks a lot, it was really wonderful talking to you have a wonderful day.
Michael Haupt: You Too !
Edited by Michal Juhas