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Big Think Interview With Kevin Clark
Kevin Clark is the President and Founder of Content Evolution LLC Worldwide, formed in 2002 to manage the rights to Clark's written works and public appearances, and now a global consulting ecosystem designed to meet selected client needs in the brand, customer experience, and business strategy and transformation, using integral practices and proprietary techniques.
In early 2009 Kevin retired from IBM with 30 years of service. He is Program Director emeritus, Brand and Values Experience, IBM Corporate Marketing and Communications - responsible for discovering and creating new ways for people to experience IBM, and the global IBM Brand Experience Community Leader; he created the community in 2001.
Topic: Maintaining a brand
Kevin Clark: Companies need to stay true to their core relevance even during times of economic distress. You find the ability to oscillate between surviving and succeeding. They're both forms of innovation, and brand innovation needs to follow the context of that relevance in an economy when it's booming; you need to be prepared for great opportunities to grow. And then when things are less so, you need to be able to project that relevance to be able to survive and be sustainable so that when things start to pick up you're well positioned to grow in both share and to have captured customer loyalty during the time when you made their dollar go further.
Topic: The transforming customer
Kevin Clark: Customers are using slightly different strategies. There are things that they choose to continue to do. It might be very important to, you know, the type of automobile you drive. Or it might be very important to maintain the kind of eating habits that you might have had in the past. So there are certain luxuries that people will continue to invest in while they cut back on other activities. We've seen that even some of the most affluent customers are going to big box retailers to cut back on certain types of discretionary spending and to make their dollar go further. So I think that the appropriate strategy to pursue as a brand-oriented organization is to think about the experience being delivered to customers and to maximize that experience in both good times and bad and to provide some continuity between both environments.
I don't think that customer loyalty is a thing of the past; although, measures which talk about lifetime customer’s value and lifetime customer loyalty, I think that you have to earn that loyalty again and again and again. It's not a given. You have to be able, at every step, to manage the experience that you're having with that particular brand so that people want to return and want to be part of that. The repertoire can be as fast and as narrow, as laundry detergent, where you're buying it on a fairly regular basis or something that's more considered. I spent ten years of my life as the brains behind the IBM ThinkPad Notebook computers. That was before the Lenovo transaction. In the more considered purchases, you need to be able to stack up because the ownership experience that you had was so powerful, was so salient that you limit your consideration set back to not which notebook would I like to buy, which ThinkPad would I like to buy.
I think that that's exactly what happens in the Apple franchise, alright, for people who are part of the more creative class. They don't think about now which notebook computer or which computer will I buy, they're thinking about which Apple will I buy next?
Question: Which companies are branding well?
Kevin Clark: Well, there are examples of companies -- take Bank of America, for example. Bank of America was at one time NationsBank in Charlotte. They went through and acquired Bank of America. Note that the company that did the acquiring was NationsBank. And they went through and wanted to find out, well, what is the best strategy that we might have for a new name for the combined entity? And it turns out that Bank of America tested very strongly, so they had the maturity to go ahead and adopt that name and use it across their new combined network in the United States.
Question: Rebranding the fallen
Kevin Clark: Simply renaming a company or an entity is not the first thing that you have to do. You have to start with what are the fundamental processes that we have to change that will make the business more viable, more desirable to our customers? And then perhaps a name change that matches to the new positioning, to the new vibrancy of the organization, would be appropriate. An example of a company that had very good marks in terms of brand strength was Enron. But Enron -- even if you renamed Enron, right? The legacy of how the company behaved would have followed it even with the new name. So naming itself is insufficient. You have to start foundationally at the positioning, the behavior and the experience, and then the appropriate name can follow.
I think if you look at what has just happened, Ford Motor Company has done an extremely good job of getting through this, gaining market share and it didn't require any additional funding from the government to maintain its visibility in the marketplace. The overall umbrella of the American auto industry versus the audio industry in general. I think that there's been a wakeup call and that wakeup call is about innovating on a set of axis that will be important to customers and that you're inventing things that they will need in the future, as opposed to simply fulfilling current wants and needs in the present which can change pretty rapidly; we've seen that.
So I think that the auto industry is taking a point of view that we need to provide leadership in terms of showing people paths forward in terms of transportation that will be useful, not only in terms of personal ownership but they're also starting to experiment with things like what you see with Zip Cars; “Can I own a portion of a car in a community and get the kind of car that I need for that particular day?” versus personal ownership. You're starting to see that in urban settings, and I expect those kinds of trends to continue and that the auto manufacturers will be fueling that and being part of the conversation going forward.
Topic: Be intentional
Kevin Clark: “Be intentional” is a very short statement that sums up one of the most important things I think that people need to understand about branding and customer experience. You need to be fully connected to the intent of the business. The business needs to know why we're here, what we do, and why that's important. And then once you have that and you're fully grounded in the business's strategy and intention, now you have the basis to make a promise. A promise is exactly what a brand is: it's a very short thought about what people believe and what they expect from a brand. And then that finally needs to be connected to the experience that's actually delivered. So intention connected to promise connected to what the business actually does, creates the strength of very, very strong and enduring brands. And we find that those that are doing this extremely well are the ones that are growing fastest on the Interbrand survey that's published annually.
My former employer, IBM, is doing an extremely good job of this. It's reflected in both their financial performance and the ability to continue to grow and maintain that growth even during this kind of economy. It's reflected in the stock price. I think that one of the companies that people generally look to as a customer-based franchise that's very good with design, which is regularly cited, is Apple. Apple is something that is very, very well thought of and they have an extremely good grasp of how to serve their customers and do that extremely well across a number of different categories. I might finally mention a company in the business-to-business category like Caterpillar, which makes heavy industrial equipment around the world has extremely good reputation with its customers in its ability to serve them, not only at the front end, but when those devices and heavy equipment needs service, they provide an extremely high level of service, and they talk about being able to keep that equipment running better than anyone else in their category.
Topic: The Nokia Effect
Kevin Clark: If you look at the top ten brands around the world, eight are based here in North America, one is in Japan, and then one is in Europe. And the single European brand is Nokia. Nokia was basically a dry goods and forestry products company in its early era, and it decided it wanted to grow and go into some areas that are new. And as Nokia became a global telecommunications presence, mostly for customers who were buying wireless handsets around the world, that single company put the country of Finland and its culture on the map. I think that that effect -- what I call the “Nokia Effect “-- is something that will likely be replicated in other emerging economies around the world. If you look at the top 100 brands, most of those are North American and European today.
I think that the next 10 to 15 years will start to see portfolio rebalancing take place. This is what I call Globalization 3.0, where new brands will start to emerge in Asia and in places like Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, there will be a single brand that will raise those cultures up onto the world stage. And an example I would use is, look at Fiji water. Single company that is making, you know, the Fiji Islands visible in places around the world.
Topic: Sustainable investments
Kevin Clark: The closer the category itself, where green is relevant, such as a Prius car or marketing solar technology for people to use in their home where it might supply electricity or heated water, there you can make a very direct connection between the category and the purchase and how the company is behaving and its characteristics in driving a green movement.
Now a little bit further afield, we see that companies that are doing a good job of managing resources and talking about it -- General Electric, for instance, with their EcoMagination campaign was one of the first to talk about this across their portfolio of offerings. It's a little bit more difficult to make the direct connection to what I bought in green, but I would point out to the work that's been done in cradle-to-cradle. Not cradle-to-grave, but the notion that I can design something that at end of life can actually be reused, the components, is now driving awareness to a new level of not just sustainability but thrive-ability. Something that is more important than simply getting by but cradle-to-cradle is about being able to do something that is positive, that has momentum in the future. So when I think about green, I think about green in terms of being thriveable.
Question: Do all brands peak?
Kevin Clark: No, I don't think so. If you look broadly at what is a brand, one of the first organizations that had a structure that we might consider similar to a contemporary company -- is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has been around for a long time. You can talk about what kind of a brand is that, but it's a fairly salient persistent organization. In terms of commercial activity, there are department stores such as a Daimaru in Japan that are almost a thousand years old. We wouldn't think of them in contemporary terms as brands that change.
The oldest brand probably in your kitchen is Kikkoman Soy Sauce, the symbol of the turtle that's highly stylized goes back to the Kikkoman family making soy sauce all the way back into the 1200s. So that's a very old brand. It's been very pervasive and persistent in delivering quality that was appropriate in Japan and is still appropriate in your kitchen today.
Topic: Social networking
Kevin Clark: I think it's extremely important for companies to engage, but I want to remind people that online is not the only way to do it. If you have known someone personally, in person, I think the quality of online engagement is so much stronger when I've had a face-to-face meeting or I've known you for awhile. The pure online world is relatively flat without the personal engagement and face-to-face relationships. So what I want to remind companies is that as you make these investments, online is -- it's a miracle what we can do today in terms of connecting with others, but it's just that much stronger and the emotional ties really come from the face-to-face personal engagement that we have with others. So we need to blend both the physical world and the virtual world together to have the most powerful impact.
Question: 30-year career
Kevin Clark: Went very fast. Thirty years went much faster than many people would imagine. You know, some people to achieve variety in their career will move from one company to another and find that what they're doing is their asked to do the same thing that they did at the previous company, do that again for us. During my 30 years, I had the ability to have at least seven or eight separate distinct careers because I would master something, decide that that was great but I'd like to try something else. The IBM company is diverse enough and interesting enough and flexible enough that if you express that interest, they let you go take it.
In the last 20 years out of a 30 year career, I actually never took another person's job. I stopped looking for jobs and started to create roles; roles that I would be interested in and that's kind of the dirty secret of Kevin's career at IBM is that they were kind of paying me to do what I like to do anyway. Now I'm continuing to do that on my own.
Question: What’s one mistake you made?
Kevin Clark: One of the mistakes that was made -- and I was just talking about this at lunch with someone, in fact -- was not taking full advantage when we reorganized after the chaos. Sometimes you would land in another area and you would have had the ability to maybe make a different kind of change and you didn't really act fast enough to take advantage of the chaos. Sometimes you would end up reporting to someone that you didn't know. Almost every time that I was discouraged in my career, it was because I was working with someone where we had a little bit of friction. I kind of agree with the phrase, "People don't quit companies, they quit managers." Those are the times when I should have acted a little bit more quickly to get into a good situation. I started to get much better of that later in my career than I was earlier.
Question: What’s the worst advice you’ve received?
Kevin Clark: I guess the worst advice that I received was you need to become extremely deep in one thing and become good at that and stick with it forever. Although, I have developed some areas of expertise where I'm known, really the strength of my background and career is through the diversity of things that I'm interested in, that I continue to learn and I never considered my education to end. I actually have started a group where we teach each other; I knew that my executive education days were over and professional education, so I have started my own professional education self-help group.
By looking at many, many things and continuing to include and transcend known categories, it keeps me fresh, it keeps me interested in what I am doing, and makes me more valuable to the clients that I serve and just keeps me energized for waking up and tackling the day.
Question: Who was your best manager?
Kevin Clark: I remember several managers that were quite good. We had just gone through one of the reorganizations that I talked about. This particular gentleman sat me down and said, "I don't know who you are, or why you're reporting to me now, but I just have a few things that I want to share with you early on. I have every confidence that you're going to do fine here because we hire great people in this company; however, I've got two relationships with you. The first one is professional, the second one is personal. In our professional life, you're either going to do great here and I'll appraise and rate you accordingly or, if not, I'll let you know. Then on the personal side, we are either going to get alone and we're going to be friends or I'm not going to like and that's alright because if you're doing a good job and I don't like, you'll still get the raises, you'll still get the performances, but if I do like you and you're not doing the work, you'll get that signal too."
So I thought that was a very clear three-minute description, or less, of what it was going to be like, what his expectations were, and it just imprinted on me. I still remember those first few minutes with him and thinking how clear that was. I immediately stole it and used it as I became a manager and I had four other people who came to work for me.
Recorded on: August 25, 2009
A conversation with the president and founder of Content Evolution, a branding strategy think tank.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Want help raising your kids? Spend more time at church, says new study.
- Religious people tend to have more children than secular people, but why remains unknown.
- A new study suggests that the social circles provided by regular church going make raising kids easier.
- Conversely, having a large secular social group made women less likely to have children.
Be fruitful and multiply<p>Scientists in the United Kingdom collected data on more than 13,000 mothers and their children. Most of them were religious, but 12 percent were not. The data included information on their church habits, social networks, number of children, and the scores those children achieved on a standardized test.</p><p>In line with previous findings that religious women have more children than secular women in industrialized countries, a connection between at least monthly church attendance and fertility was confirmed. However, religious parents showed they could avoid the pitfalls that having more children can bring. </p><p>Typically, more children in a family leads to reduced cognitive ability and height in each <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/37/6/1408/729795" target="_blank">child</a>. Some studies find that children do less well in school for each <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13524-016-0471-0" target="_blank">additional sibling they have</a>. This makes a kind of intuitive sense, as parents with more children would have to divide their time, energy, and resources among more people as families expand. One would expect that the larger families would also lead to things like lower test scores. </p><p>Despite the expectation, the children of religious parents didn't have lower scores on standardized tests. There were small positive relationships between the size of the mother's social network, the number of co-religionists helping out, and the children's test scores. However, this association was small, didn't show up in all of the testings, and was unrelated to other variables. </p> These effects might be explained by the size and helpfulness of the social networks around the more religious. Women who went to church at least once a month had more extensive social networks than those who never go or who attend yearly. These social networks of co-religious people mean that there are more people to turn to for help with child-rearing, a point also demonstrated in the data. The amount of aid women got from their fellow churchgoers was also associated with a higher fertility rate. <br> <br> Conversely, an extensive social network was associated with fewer children for secular women. This finding is in line with <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1207/s15327957pspr0904_5" target="_blank">previous studies</a> and suggests that the social networks comprised of co-religious individuals differ from those found elsewhere.
So, how quickly should I join a local religious group?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="6RrmYM8M" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="9eb4740a7d1e10108a75fd2ed627a90f"> <div id="botr_6RrmYM8M_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/6RrmYM8M-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/6RrmYM8M-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/6RrmYM8M-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The study is not without its faults, and more investigations into the relationship between fertility, childcare, ritual, and social networks are needed.</p><p>These findings all show correlation, not causation. Though it might be said the results point towards causation, various alternative interpretations of the data are apparent. The authors note that most religions are explicitly pro-natal. It is possible that religious women have internalized these values and simply choose to have more children than secular women do.</p><p>This idea is similar to a potential interpretation of why large social networks have the opposite effect for secular women. The authors suggest that, in some cases, these more extensive social networks are associated with work and exert an anti-natal influence. Again, the people who build such networks may be people unlikely to have large families under any circumstances.</p><p>However, the researchers' hypothesis endured. The help religious women get from their church-based social networks allows them to have larger families than those who lack these support systems. In some instances, these support systems also prevent the adverse effects of larger families. </p>
The community religion offers<p>As we've mentioned <a href="https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/what-is-secular-humanism" target="_blank">before</a>, religion offers a community, and a community provides social capital. As religion continues to decline in the West, the social bonds of faith communities that used to tie social communities together begin to decay. However, as has been noted by a variety of observers for the last few decades, fewer and fewer new organizations appear ready to replace religion as a source of community in our lives.</p><p>While many different organizations might offer social support that religion once provided the whole of western society, this study shows that different social circles can differently affect the people in them. This finding must be considered by those trying to find new communities to join or the authors of future research. </p><p>The community offered by religious groups provides real benefits to those who join them. As this study shows, having the support network religious community offers allows some parents to avoid pitfalls that bedevil those lacking similar support. It suggests that previous studies demonstrating that group ritual offers benefits like increased amounts of <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797612472910" target="_blank">group trust</a> and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1069397103037002003" target="_blank">cooperation</a> are onto something and that those benefits have a variety of applications. </p><p>While this study is not without its blind spots, it offers a strong starting point for further investigations into the nature of ritual in our modern lives and how local support networks remain vital in our increasingly globalized world. </p>
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
A neuroscientist argues that da Vinci shared a disorder with Picasso and Rembrandt.
- A neuroscientist at the City University of London proposes that Leonardo da Vinci may have had exotropia, allowing him to see the world with impaired depth perception.
- If true, it means that Da Vinci would have been able to see the images he wanted to paint as they would have appeared on a flat surface.
- The finding reminds us that sometimes looking at the world in a different way can have fantastic results.
The study<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODc3Mjc2NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTA4MDg2NH0.T-98YvLjS9mUCQkgqHyV43Q7h_JIiubrev-Fp_0j4Pg/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C38%2C0%2C579&height=700" id="58346" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="674799ba34e115a2e9a3e94c366bfc26" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The Virtuvian Man. Christopher Tyler suggests that Da Vinci used his own image as a template for the face in the drawing.
Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo da Vinci created c. 1480–1490<p><a href="https://www.city.ac.uk/people/academics/christopher-tyler" target="_blank">Professor Christopher Tyler</a> of the City University of London's optometry division analyzed six pieces of Renaissance art by or held to be images of Da Vinci, including the famous <em>Vitruvian Man. </em>By looking at the paintings, drawings, and statues and applying the same techniques optometrists use on patients, Tyler was able to conclude that the eyes of the men depicted were misaligned.</p><p> He concluded that, if the images he analyzed were truly reflective of how Da Vinci looked, that the great artist had a mild case of exotropia. </p>
How would this have helped him paint?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b221010aa7688734d4d6a41f0df5933f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/j6F-sHhmfrY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><a href="https://shileyeye.ucsd.edu/faculty/shira-robbins" target="_blank">Shira Robbins</a>, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of California at San Diego, who was not involved with the project, explained to <em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/10/19/leonardo-da-vincis-genius-may-be-rooted-in-a-common-eye-disorder-new-study-says/?utm_term=.d3f44ed91c16" target="_blank">The Washington Post</a> </em>how individuals with exotropia often turn to additional information to help understand the world around them:</p><blockquote>"What happens in some people is when they're only using one eye . . . they develop other cues besides traditional depth perception to understand where things are in space, looking at color and shadow in a way that most of us who use both eyes at a time don't really appreciate." </blockquote><p>Dr. Robbins agrees that, if the artworks analyzed accurately depict Da Vinci, then he probably had exotropia.</p><p>If Da Vinci did have a mild form of the condition, which would allow him to focus with both eyes when concentrating and with one when relaxed, Tyler asserts that the famed artist could have viewed the world in two or three dimensions at will, showing him the world exactly as he would need to recreate it on a flat surface. Quite the superpower for an artist.</p>
Does this mean Da Vinci would have been a hack if he had normal eyesight?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODc3MjY5NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjYwOTgxOH0.eSu3YBpCuaDj59-4lzSeZ1WgwtV2ETGiWHqczzW3how/img.png?width=980" id="9c323" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="edd4e9e9d9c1156a53242df6288d7cc0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A graph showing the difference in where each eye is focused for each painting, drawing, and statue used in the study. The larger the difference, the more pronounced the exotropia is in the image.<p>Not at all. What Dr. Tyler is suggesting is that the tendency of people who have exotropia to rely on using one eye to see the world and thereby lose some depth perception allowed Da Vinci to understand better how the three-dimensional objects in the world could be translated into a two-dimensional image on a canvas. This could account for some of Da Vinci's skill in depicting shadow and subtle changes in color, since he would have relied on these details to understand the world. <br><br>His polymathic brilliance extended far beyond art, and nobody is claiming that his ideas for flying machines, tanks, or <a href="http://www.da-vinci-inventions.com/davinci-inventions.aspx" target="_blank">other inventions </a>were at all influenced by a vision problem.</p>
How can we know this? He has been dead for five hundred years.<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c26fc51b0aebbcd6905593015fec79e5"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LRAptNtN9-A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>There are reasons to be cautious anytime we make claims about people who are long dead. In this case, we have the bonus problem that we aren't 100 percent sure that the images used are supposed to look like Da Vinci. </p><p> That is the major caveat of the idea; all of the images used as evidence of his condition are assumed to look like him. While some of the images, like the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_(Verrocchio)" target="_blank"><em>David</em> by Andrea del Verrocchio</a>, are generally agreed to be based on Leonardo the other pictures are claimed to be reflective of him based only on his statement that "[The soul] guides the painter's arm and makes him reproduce himself, since it appears to the soul that this is the best way to represent a human being." </p><p>Tyler also argues that the portraits he claims are based on Da Vinci share similarities with the images generally accepted to be portraits of him; including similar hair and facial features. This lends weight to the idea that the artist incorporated his own traits into his artwork, including his vision problem. </p><p>Leonardo da Vinci was undoubtedly one of the greatest geniuses of all time. If he had exotropia, then it was merely a minor addition to his artistic skills. It does, however, give us a literal example of how people who look at the world differently can use that vantage point to their advantage to create things we all can appreciate. </p>
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.