Wisdom, Technology and Education: Ideagen Talk by Dr. Kiko Suarez

Lumina Foundation’s Dr. Kiko Suarez - Exclusive Ideagen Talk

Dr. Kiko Suarez of Lumina Foundation discusses wisdom, technology, and education

During a recent Ideagen Talk, Dr. Kiko Suarez from Lumina Foundation discussed wisdom and technological changes. He expressed his concern not only about “the skills gap” but also “the wisdom gap.” Dr. Suarez said, “...If you are able to see the patterns in a complex world, then you will feel at ease. And that’s what wisdom brings.” In describing wisdom, he referred his framework as saying, “wisdom is out GPS for complexity.... we are all born with it, we just have to nurture the senses.” After research, Suarez “...came up with eight senses...out of the many that wisdom has. ...When it comes down to data, there are two that come to mind. The rational sense.... and the practical sense.”

Dr. Suarez continued to discuss the way that senses often refer back to outcomes. Aesthetic sense, he described, means “beautiful outcomes,” saying that “learning and equity” are beautiful outcomes. Suarez referred to another sense as well, which he called “timeness”, known as “the perspective of time,” which Suarez said, “we are losing...sometimes.” Timeness, he said, is the “ability to put in perspective past, present, and future.” According to Suarez, this perspective is “the strongest of the dimensions” in the wise people he researches. Timeness “is not knowledge, it is not experience. It is the ability to put things in perspective, in time.”

Discussing Lumina Foundation, Dr. Suarez talked about Lumina’s Goal 2025. Dr. Suarez referred back to his initial interview with Lumina, and how he said “2025 means something to me and my family.” He thought about how he has “little ones. Now, those little ones will be college age by 2025.... it was very obvious that I had something at stake [in Goal 2025].” Suarez then referred to his father, who “when he was 9 or 10, he was boarding one of these trains, and he went to Belgium,” something that Dr. Suarez “cannot imagine myself or my wife going through.”

Dr. Suarez then went on to describe the rapid changes in technology, and said, “...In 1976, in a conversation with my dad, he reminded me that he saw his first ATM.” Suarez said, “In 2001, my dad passed. And the iPod was launched.” Then, in 2007, “the iPhone comes out.... since the iPhone launched, everything has changed.... the Internet is in our hands now, and a lot of things are happening that we couldn’t even imagine.” Then, in 2010, “the first iPad comes out.... And now, it’s all over the place.” Now, “In 2015, Alexa comes here.... a little piece of technology [from Amazon]...similar to Siri....you ask questions, and you address Alexa.” Suarez said, “The first question [my kids] asked was ‘Alexa, can you make breakfast and clean my bed?’”

Dr. Suarez said he looks “at the curve of progression, and it would be a pity if we didn’t take advantage of technology,” and that there “has to be data out there that we can use for good.” Talking again about Goal 2025, Suarez argued that “we live in an era of technology and change, and we are in the business of challenging higher ed,” which needs data added “to the conversation.” Dr. Suarez finished his Ideagen Talk by discussing how income inequality can make it more difficult for less wealthy students to graduate college. He said, “Look at the income level - if you are a wealthy kid, you will graduate.... If you are not, it is not likely that you will.” He added “...if you don’t have any higher education in America.... You stay in the lowest quintile [of wealth].”

These critical insights are essential to the work Dr. Suarez and Lumina Foundation are working to address via Goal 2025 and support of programs across the nation that hold the potential to provide opportunity for every citizen.

09/23/2015 10:36 am ET