English is the language of the business today. Chinese Mandarine is one more language, for the future. Spanish is the third most spoken language on earth, so far.
Said that, I need somebody explaining me why in many regions of the world where they have the luck to speak one of these 3 languages as their mother one, citizens accept to be fostered and sometimes obliged to learn and speak a “walled” local language, going nowhere in the global business world, keeping them “local”, thinking and acting “local”, in a world every day flatter and more global.
I understand (NOT SHARE) the reasons of the local, regional politicians who base part of their strategy in keeping local culture and customs and language as their major asset and message (do some of them have something else to offer?).
Do you want to work for our local government? Be a judge, a teacher, a musician in our orchestra, a public supplier?
YOU HAVE TO learn and speak Catalan, Basque, Quetchua, …. You name it.
Do you want to live here? Your kids MUST learn Catalan, Basque, … as their PRIME language (we will teach phisical education to them in Spanish, do not worry!).
What about talent?
What about having around worldwide experts, innovators, researchers, teachers, whatever professionals? We would not allow Woody Allen to direct our public Cinema program, Steve Jobs to lead our public Storytelling Marketing School, … because they do not speak our local language?
What about condemning our kids to spend a lot of their most creative time learning things devoted to a “walled” (like the language) world, a past world, a distorted version of history, when their future business competitors are becoming fluent in the languages and cultures and habits of the future consumers, innovators, market leaders?
Yesterday we spent a day in Plug and Play, a high tech business incubator in the Silicon Valley: we got a brilliant presentation about business planning by Freddie Seba, a successfull entrepreneur (www.nexxofinancials.com) who teaches at Stanford, while later on our EOI Executive MBA students practized a great “elevator pitch” workshop, on a given enterprise and results were astonishing.
We finished our day visiting “San Francisco Beta” an event held in a loft bar, where entrepreneurs have a space to make demos of their products/companies to anybody interested, a networking event which is beneficial for all stakeholders (investors, people looking for a job, entrepreneurs looking for partners, ideas, etc.).
The “feeling” was great and cool: if we would have measured the “talent per square meter” ratio probably we would have beaten some record: what is astonishing is the mentality, the actitude, the failure acceptance culture, the lack of fear, the will to succeed, the passion to do great and new things, the brutal sincerity and directness you breathe over here.
It woud be advisable for anybody who whishes to change the world to spend some time here: when you want to be an actor you MUST go to Hollywood; if you want to do something in IT, computer engineering, Internet, Software, Social Networks, … you MUST be here.
I come from Tuscany, a beautiful and ancient land, where Leonardo da Vinci, one of the best innovator in the history, was born and of course I speak Tuscan, the language Dante Alighieri udes to write his “Divina Commedia”, the “Volgare”, the language that become modern Italian.
I would be proud if my two kids would speak Tuscan fluently, know our traditions and history, feel proud to descend from Etruschi, of our arts and music, … but this is what I try to transfer to them at home or when they visit my Italian family or they browse in my hometown web page.
I would like they would spend a part of their life learning and living the Silicon Valley atmosfere, pass a semester or two in China, in India, .. opening their minds, taking for granted the world is not walled, full of opportunities to learn and share, making it better.
I would like my kids were part of our EOI group, yesterday.