Why IBM’s Ginni Rometty has me thinking about the future of post-secondary learning

Last week, we were thrilled to have IBM executive chair Ginni Rometty join us virtually for an insightful conversation with RBC leaders. She’s been a source of personal inspiration for many years, including her work to change the way companies hire, reskill and train talent.

One of the biggest takeaways from our discussion:

Ginni says the half-life of most specialized skills nowadays lasts just five years. That means today, a four-year degree isn’t the end of a graduate’s education journey, but rather just the beginning. And for Ginni, that’s why “propensity to learn” is one of the most critical attributes she believes companies should look for when hiring talent.

She’s absolutely right, and that has me reflecting again about the skills gap challenge we still need to address in Canada’s workplaces and classrooms.

We have an historic opportunity in front of us to take a more progressive approach to lifelong

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The Power of Cross-Disciplinary Thinking

public domain

Source: public domain

Deep expertise is vital. If you’re reading (or writing for) a publication like this one, it’s a good bet you believe that. At the same time, there is a certain kind of thinker whose work sits between or across seemingly disconnected disciplines. There is something about these cross-disciplinary types that has always attracted me, no least of which is their propensity for coming up with creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

Mateusz Grzesiak—or “Dr. Matt,” as he is more commonly known, is one such cross-disciplinary thinker who has decided to apply his creativity to the endeavor of optimizing personal and professional fulfillment and productivity. In addition to pursuing advanced degrees in psychology, law, and economics, he started his eclectic approach to education early, reading everything from Russian poetry to German philosophy.

Today he consults with Fortune 500 brands, writes books, and works with individuals on everything from

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Thinking ahead to December, Abilene ISD opts out of City Sidewalks

COVID-19 has claimed another popular event this year.



a couple of people that are flying in the sky: Assistant Director Tyler Jacks directs the Eagle Band during rehearsal Thursday at Abilene High School Sept. 24, 2020.


© Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News
Assistant Director Tyler Jacks directs the Eagle Band during rehearsal Thursday at Abilene High School Sept. 24, 2020.

Or, well, a significant portion of one.

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Citing a lack of safety from the threatening disease, Abilene ISD officials have decided not to allow student participation in City Sidewalks and other activities surrounding the evening celebration this December.

It’s a Christmas-time experience that has been joyful to me personally since I arrived in 2014. This year, the entire experience may go dark.

While it’s not affiliated with the other two events that night, City Sidewalks has been a real joy to experience, both as a fan of music and the city’s education reporter.

The city’s Parade of Lights, which I’ve participated in twice with Abilene Community Theatre, and the ceremonial Christmas tree lighting, will be without AISD students.

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