Stay young. Stay foolish

That line is now a cliché. But fact is, there is no better way to be. What it implies is: Stay curious. Ask questions. Keeping learning

Founding Fuel

[By Klifton under Creative Commons]

One of the stated objectives at Founding Fuel is to discover new ways to keep learning. Because there is no taking away from that the world is changing at a pace unprecedented in history. Sure, that now sounds like a cliché. But to put that into perspective, consider this: In the 19th century, it took Great Britain 150 years to double its GDP per capita. That number declined dramatically to 50 years for the US in the 20th century.

Now, if we are to ignore all headlines for a moment, China and India will accomplish the same feat in 15 years in the 21st century. The implications of this kind of growth on what policies to frame for the economies and societies we live in are staggering. The issue all of us are grappling with is, we haven’t quite understood where to begin on how to deal with the implications.

Some pointers emerged on what may be possible because the all of us at Team Founding Fuel are riveted by Project Aadhaar, the many debates around it—the most recent one on the future of privacy being a case in point. Just that we may understand it better, we turned to Rahul Matthan, a fine legal mind with whom we have interacted in the past.

Now, there is another cliché that there is much “wisdom in the crowd”. Is there any truth though in that cliché? There was only one way to find out. Try and find out from the real world. Eventually, it turns out, there is.

If there is a fine mind like Matthan who has expended much time and thought on the theme, there are a lot many fine minds out there whom we hadn’t heard of, but who have spent as much time studying the theme and learning as much as they can.

So, what was originally intended to be a conventional Q&A between a few of us at Team Founding Fuel and Matthan was opened up on Slack as a free-for-all. We didn’t know what to expect. The only house rules were that everyone stay curious, open minded, ask questions, and not be afraid to sound foolish.

I write this note to tell you how delighted all of us are with the outcomes. Because the people who converged to converse and ask questions of Matthan on the theme were exponentially more knowledgeable than the few of us on the team put together. What was originally intended to be an hour-long Q&A with a legal eagle turned out to be a day-long affair.

What emerged is a vibrant community in excess of 100 people and the numbers continue to grow. Matthan fielded questions on that day and conversed with people from domains as diverse as user interface design, healthcare, technology and venture capital and media to name just a few. Left to the internal team, we may have looked at it from a far narrower set of lenses.

We’ve put up some snippets of the conversation on Aadhaar Effect, a sub-domain to Founding Fuel. The full transcript of this conversation, which is as good as any authoritative book on the theme, will be made available to registered members of the community as a download.

But equally important are the kind of resources that members of this community have shared with everyone in the form of documents, hyperlinks, pointers to interesting articles, podcasts, compelling thoughts, questions, and vibrant discussions around multiple themes.

Going forward, we plan to make this a regular affair and invite interesting people like Matthan who can help us navigate the world we live in so that we continue to learn—and in doing that, not be afraid to ask foolish questions. Because by now, we know it’s all right. Only the young have the gumption to do that. That is why they stay young and thrive. If you like the sound of this, may I invite you to join the community by clicking on this link here?

And if all this gets your attention, you may want to subscribe to this newsletter and share it with those whom you think may be interested.

My very best,

Charles Assisi

On behalf of Team Founding Fuel

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About the author

Founding Fuel

Founding Fuel aims to create the new playbook of entrepreneurship. Think of us as a hub for entrepreneurs- the go-to place for ideas, insights, practices and wisdom essential to build the enterprise of tomorrow. It is co-founded by veteran journalists Indrajit Gupta and Charles Assisi, along with CS Swaminathan, the former president of Pearson's online learning venture.

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