Annotation: Howard Gardner, 2007, ‘Minds Viewed Globally: A Personal Introduction’ in Five Minds For the Future, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, ch.1.

Gardner comes from a background of psychology and science, and uses this to predict what ‘minds’ we might need going into the future, and what will be important traits to have going into the coming eras in order to be in control of your own life and become successful in what you’re doing.

She lists five minds: the discipled mind – meaning we must specialise in a skill or area and know how to constantly develop these skills; the synthesising mind – meaning we must have the ability to absorb and process information more efficiently than ever before; the creating mind – meaning we must be creative and continue to build, question and improve on ideas in order to stay ahead; the respectful mind – meaning we must be respectful of all groups of people and understand differences in a way that connects us; and the ethical mind – meaning we must know how to decide when is best for us to serve the collective whole, even when at detriment to ourselves, and when is best to serve our own interests.

She uses science, history and sociology to explain these minds and reinforce their importance, and I have to admit, I don’t really have an opinion. I don’t disagree with her, I like reading about the way she sees the perfect individual and what traits they would have that would better them coming into a potentially adverse future. However I also feel like the world is not so simple as to have a checklist of skills and qualities that will make an individual succeed above others, and I certainly don’t believe schooling around these ‘minds’ will allow for a better society by any noticeable parameter – luck and personality are far too overlooked in this respect, and I feel like those two things also have a lot to say about how you will succeed in your life’s endeavours.


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