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Dmitry Peskov: You Cannot Learn How to Take Risk Living in a Sandbox

Source: Inform Bureau 20.35

The dialogue between Dmitry Peskov and Nassim Taleb that risk is becoming the norm continued at the site of the WorldSkills championship.

At a meeting with reporters, a futurist-economist, Nassim Taleb, and Russian President’s special envoy for digital and technological development Dmitry Peskov spoke about educational trends, work with uncertainty, risk and future skills.

The Special Representative of the President of Russia for Digital and Technological Development Dmitry Peskov drew attention to changes in training:

"If we talk about the skills of modern children, then the school takes 5–7th place in obtaining these skills. Parents, social networks, books that a child reads are much more important rather than what he is taught for several hours in the classroom system. It is more important to understand the rules that shape the landscape than to build the structure itself. Also, the main dialogue is about the rules. For example, all public institutions must be designed with a life cycle, with an expiration date. The last book of Nassim Taleb is just about this. Many of the things that we are now designing according to this logic. After school, it would be nice to learn to take a risk. If risk-taking is one of the future competencies, you cannot learn how to take a risk if you live in a sandbox. Moreover, modern universities are some sandboxes. It's necessary to go into the open sea and keep a sail."

According to the Ntinews portal, at the opening of the business program of the WorldSkills 2019, World Championship Dmitry Peskov and the author of the Black Swan theory Nassim Taleb discussed one of the main trends on the current agenda — risk engineering.

Experts shared their views on what risk engineering is and how its application helps to improve management tools and create a robust competitive economy; they told why traditional risk management, which is used by state bodies and companies today, is useless; will explain why investing in risk is a breakthrough path of development.

Dmitry Peskov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Digital and Technological Development, suggested that the conference participants predict what skills to develop in the future and how to evaluate them:

"On the one hand, we face the challenge of uncertainty. Moreover, on the other — a problem associated with the need to acquire new skills. The world is becoming less predictable; the need for specific skills is declining. Here comes the question: Why do we need the WorldSkills movement? However, the issue has another part: What are skills? What skills do we develop as part of the WorldSkills movement? What is more important to develop: skill as a result, for example, in an exam, or is it about our willingness to work with uncertainty? What do we evaluate in the educational process? Exam scores or cognitive style when you face a particular challenge? What is the reaction to the challenge, the willingness to face it and find the answer?

Nassim Taleb in his speech emphasized that the most valuable skills in life are not the skills of working with the “famous”, but the skills of working with uncertainty, as well as the ability to make money through it.

"The theory does not allow interacting with uncertainty. Theoretical knowledge is inferior to the knowledge gained from experience. In nature, many mistakes are used as fuel for further progress, although most people think that nature is "designed" in this way. This is not true. Nature loves mistakes, but does not allow too high a level of errors."

As noted by Nassim Taleb, Silicon Valley provides an opportunity to develop through trial and error.

"The world as it is now, all these technologies, were created not by academics, but by adventurers. Who, perhaps, did not draw formulas with chalk on the blackboard, did not receive professorships, but took risks. Therefore, today in Silicon Valley, there are a large number of people who dropped out of universities and who create new technologies. Dropping out of the university for them is like a medal for achievements. "I failed only four times." "Really? That means you are nobody at all yet. “For them, the more you make a mistake, the better. California holds on to this and feeds the whole world with its ideas. The largest bankruptcy rate in the world is in Silicon Valley. Here is the trial and error method. What can we learn from this? Science is fundamental. For weekends. However, Monday morning comes, and you need to start doing something with your hands. There is an illusion that rich countries are countries that have 100% of people with higher education. However, no, it is not about the degree of education. It is not easy to describe in the books what led these countries forward. People often think that wealth comes from education. To the contrary, education comes from wealth. Furthermore, in any case, the trial and error method prevails."

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