On every university campus there is a mirror. Normally we don’t see it; rushing to reach our next course or to meet our next article deadline, we tend to walk by without noticing it.
When we look at this mirror, we see the same world that we see when we look around; but now we also see ourselves in the world. Hence we realize that we are not those objective observers of reality we believed we were, but people present in the world, and responsible for it.
This academic mirror is not a conventional mirror but a somewhat magical one: It is possible walk right through it!
On the other side of the mirror, we find ourselves in a new academic reality, where we are able to, and indeed encouraged to consciously decide what we do as academics.
Unlimited possibilities for creative work open up on the other side of the mirror. We can design new research methods, new Internet communication tools, new business models, new kinds of information, new concepts, new ways of structuring information… We can erase disciplinary divisions, integrate sciences with arts and instantiate a whole new way of working with information. On the other side of the mirror we can create new ways of understanding and handling contemporary issues such as sustainability, politics, religion, values, democracy, globalization, healthcare, travel, education, marketing and freedom.
Recently I had a chance to talk about this academic mirror, and about the large and manifold achievement opportunities that are available on the other side, to the eSTUDENT student excellence organization at the University of Zagreb; see this eStudent lecture abstract, newspaper article and YouTube video.