Shifting gears, your passion for art history seems distinct from your professional pursuits. Can we delve into that contrast and explore what draws you to these areas?
It's a great hobby to avoid burning out. If you only ever do one thing, you'll slowly lose your mind. So, for me, it's jumping into another area, absorbing different information, and gaining indirect insights to understand myself better. Ultimately, you can extrapolate most global historical patterns into business anyway.
My mastermind group evolved into a class where I teach art history. We're currently in Rome. For example, the Romans always commemorated victories by building triumphal arches. My students say hey, that's a great idea; we should do that in business, too.
Where did your interest originate?
It's been there since childhood - I always dreamed of becoming an archaeologist. These days, time is usually wasted idly - binge-watching dumb shows and scrolling social media, whereas I want to spend time in a valuable and exciting way.
Besides, as I said earlier, Max and I have our nightly sharing tradition - we need facts to discuss. See, I knocked out several birds with one stone!
By 45, you've accomplished so much. As you look ahead, what's on the horizon for you? How do you envision your legacy regarding how you'd like to be remembered and what you'd like to pass on to your children?
I'm keen to keep exploring the world - that will be endless. What's happening globally now is tremendously exciting - artificial intelligence development. What comes next? How will we as a society change? Can we make communities more creative?
I desire community - people thinking beyond themselves about the city and the future. How can we make this a better place to live later on? My kids will grow up here. What will we be breathing? Will we have water? Will we survive earthquakes? I can't solve those issues alone. Only collectively with others. The good news is that powerful tools now exist to help us unite and act.
As someone who has journeyed through diverse experiences, what guidance would you offer to individuals trying to find their life path?
Don't withdraw into yourself. Nowadays, the search for meaning often involves excessive self-focus. Of course, knowing yourself is necessary, but we are social creatures. To avoid stagnating, you must stay open. Despite being quite introverted, I need community and to engage with people to grow. And you shouldn't fear the world. It is open. It is not hostile. I'm convinced of that. The difficulties we face are problems humans can overcome together. So, find your path in communities and keep an open mind.
Given all your diverse experiences, if you could travel back, what would you tell your 20-year-old self?
There are always new possibilities in any situation at any age. Always. Whether you are 80 or 90, you can always start over and reach some goal.
Finally, if your life was to be encapsulated in a work of art or historical artifact related to your interests, what would it be and why?
The Antikythera Mechanism. It was featured in the latest Indiana Jones film. It was discovered in the Aegean Sea. This bronze artifact had various gears and was an early analog computer when assembled. It could calculate the motions of celestial bodies and predict dates for 42 astronomical events.
Its ingenuity astonishes me - when I discuss ancient history, people think that era was primitive, with almost caveman-like humans. The notion of such an advanced society that far back, at least the Bronze Age, is unimagined. It was a bronze mechanism because things seemed gentler before the Iron Age, with more horizontal structures enabling cooperation. Thanks to that organization, they could construct tools to predict and control situations that were challenging to foresee back then.
Humans always want to know the future somehow, predict it. We're on the cusp of such changes with AI development that synthesizes information. Imagine if there were devices that could assist us to escape petty concerns and venture to explore space, plumb the oceans' depths, and access parallel worlds. It requires a mental and technical breakthrough. So, for me, the Antikythera Mechanism is like going back to the future - that past ingenuity is something I hope can also exist in the days ahead.