Season 5 of For What it's Worth with Blake Melnick


Well here we are - Season 5 of For What it's Worth. We are now 100 episodes in since the start of the show in 2020 - I milestone worth celebrating!

I'm really excited about the topics for this season and the list of guests we have coming on the show. We are going to kick off this season with a very special guest. 

I have been thinking a lot about the concepts of the "Renaissance" person and the Poly Math,  as it relates to the "Mindset for Innovation" and whether or not these individuals are born into "genius" or whether they became experts by developing the mindset for learning.  -  seeing the connections between domains of knowledge; By learning how to effectively transfer knowledge from one domain to accelerate learning in another, by engaging in knowledge building discourse which allowed these individuals to become proficient in many disciplines.

The Renaissance Man & Polymath

The Original term "Renaissance Man" emerged in Italy in the 15th century, and was believed to be coined by Leon Battista Alberti’s. Alberti stated that “a man can do all things if he will.” 

This ideal embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance humanism, which considered man the centre of the universe and led to the belief that people should try to embrace all knowledge and develop their own abilities as fully as possible. 

Alberti was also said to have coined the term "Polymath"  -  an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems - it's The Greek word for it is polymathes, "having learned much," with poly meaning "much," and manthanein meaning "learn."

When people hear the term Renaissance man or polymath they tend to think of Leonardo DaVinci - a scientist, Artist, Mathematician, Philosopher. 

It is likely the concept of the "renaissance man or person" influenced the creation of Liberal Arts Education. 

When I was young, I recall my father often extolled the virtues of a Liberal Arts Education as a means to acquire different types of knowledge leading to being a "well educated" person, capable of both understanding oneself  and the world at large, as the best means for opening up a variety of career options and possibilities.

I recall him telling me, when he graduated from University with a General Arts degree, he had his pick of jobs. Of course that was partly the result of the time period - post Second World War, when nations were rebuilding; Capitalism was in high gear; It was the height of the industrial revolution;  Jobs were plentiful with not enough people of working age to meet the labour demand.

Seemingly these days a liberal arts degree is not nearly as valued as it was when I was younger. The answer as to why is still a bit unclear, but certainly it has to do with the influence of business and the desire for specialized skills - a greater focus on productivity and profit, than on learning or broad-based knowledge. 

Industrialization led to a re-design of schools and curriculum to reflect the industrial line and meet the demands of business and the world of work.

However the world of work has changed. largely as a result of the advent of information, communication technology and now, robotics and AI, so we need to take a long hard look at the skills, experience, knowledge and mindset required to prepare students and employees for the challenge of "working with knowledge that doesnt exist; using practices that dont exist; in jobs that dont exist? 

What's in Store for Season Five

This season of the For What It's Worth podcast promises to take listeners on a captivating journey through the realms of artificial intelligence (AI), music, and social issues. Season 5 will feature a myriad of engaging guests, thought-provoking discussions, and inspiring stories.

The first guest, John Mighton is one of Canada's great innovators. His contributions to the field of Mathematics, Literature, Drama and Social Innovation, is nothing short of extraordinary. John's work through his charity organization, Jump Math is revolutionizing the teaching of mathematics while  addressing  the hierachy which exists in schools, as a result of tightly held misconception there is a "Math Gene" and some people are born with it, while others are not.

Eric Montiero, a renowned robotics engineer and author, is set to share his visions of a world governed by Artificial Intelligence. Through the lens of his novel, Alma, Eric paints a fascinating picture of a society shaped by generative AI. His insights are expected to challenge the listeners' perception of the future and trigger conversations about the implications of AI in our day-to-day lives.

As the season unfolds, the podcast will tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time - the affordable housing crisis. The goal is to dissect this complex problem from various perspectives, fostering an environment where listeners can understand the intricacies of the issue and contribute to finding potential solutions. The discussion aims to steer clear of sensationalism and unfounded assumptions and instead provide a platform for honest, well-researched conversations.

The season will also highlight the powerful role of music in society. It will feature the extraordinary story of musician Douglas Cameron and his cherished Gibson guitar. The guitar, lost and then found, became the centerpiece of One Guitar, 100 Hands, a project initiated by George Tierney. This initiative celebrates musicians, instruments, and their history, showcasing the resilience and unity inherent in the music community.

Another notable guest is Edwin Morris, the founder of Pioneer Knowledge Services. His discussion will revolve around the importance of knowledge management in non-profit organizations. As the head of the first not-for-profit knowledge management firm in the United States, Morris's insights promise to offer valuable strategies and methodologies that can help organizations navigate the challenges they face.

The upcoming season of For What It's Worth serves as a reminder of the power of innovation, resilience, and music in addressing social issues. Whether it's a glimpse into a future governed by AI, unravelling the mysteries of housing affordability, or celebrating the unifying power of music, the podcast is all set to engage, inspire, and challenge its listeners.

In conclusion, the upcoming season of For What It's Worth is shaping up to be a rollercoaster ride of insights, innovation, and inspiration. So, stay tuned, get ready to be part of the conversation, and join the podcast next week for an exciting kickoff to Season 5 of For What It's Worth.

Discovery Links

Season 5 Trailer 

For What it's Worth Show Facebook Page 


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