I just came across a nice blog post about raising kids during exponential times by Peter Diamandis. Diamandis, who I have not met yet, is a Greek-American engineer, physician, and entrepreneur known for being the founder of the X Prize Foundation and the co-founder of Singularity University. It is probably fair to say he is more into science and technology than into art.

Now, here’s where it gets really interesting: In his blog Diamandis thinks about what kids should learn and to no surprise he believes in “the near term (this next decade) the lingua franca is coding and machine learning. Any kid graduating college with these skills today can get a job. But this too, will be disrupted in the near future by A.I.”

Think about it; if you are four years old like Diamandis twins are, you don’t need those skills any more when you are fourteen because of technological advancement. So, If you are ninety now it is in fact a good idea to make a living from coding and then retire.

In the long term Diamandis suggests it is curiosity, critical thinking, passion, imagination & grit what his kids should learn. The way he defines the five relevant competence areas are almost identical to what we identified as an artistic attitude. It consists of:

  • Curiosity. A general readiness to perceive, receive and to learn.
  • Position. Holding a personal belief that is articulated with integrity
  • Passion. Pursuing what matters with initiative, determination, courage and persistence.
  • Resilience. Appreciating uncertainty, flexible towards change, robust in conflict and crisis.
  • Transcendence. Ability to surpass limitations of ego and self-interest in order to create something new.

Diamandis mentions at the very beginning of this blog that his wife “may have a different point of view as an artist”. We at Age of Artists are pretty confident they should get along just fine on this subject, especially when adding transcendence to the mix.

Putting similarities and differences aside – a more interesting topic is how kids – and adults – can acquire such an artistic attitude. Not an easy task compared to learning to code since we don’t talk about skills that can be learned through training but meta skills that are shaped by individual, iterative experiences. In recent months we have made some substantial progress in coming up with some answers for Diamandis twins and other kids as well as for organizations and the professionals within.


Picture Source: Workshop of Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606 – 1669), A Young Scholar and his Tutor, Getty’s Open Content Program

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