Life in Venice

Dean Javier Quintana draws a comparison between the Metropolitan Tower in New York and the Campanile in Piazza San Marco, Venice.

Back in October when I first spoke about shooting this video of the Dean of IE University’s School of Architecture, Javier Quintana, he said he would like to compare the architecture of Venice with the architecture of New York, more specifically the Campanile in Piazza San Marco and the Metropolitan Tower. Coincidentally enough I had to travel to New York at the end of that month and had the opportunity to film some of the places he wanted to talk about. Then, in November, I joined him on a business trip to Venice. I had a great time, partly because there aren’t many cities that can beat Venice on a sunny day, or any other day for that matter, and partly because he spoke with such passion and knowledge about the two cities that I gained a new perspective of every corner, every square, and every tower.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t fit all the interesting things he said into this video, and he didn’t only talk about architecture, but also about music, cinema, and life in general. So there I had no room left to say anything about either the amazing Schubert or the fabulous Death in Venice (both the film and the book). I decided to focus more on the life side of things. You’ll be interested to know that Dean Quintana is really good company when it comes to looking round shops.

As you might have imagined already, there was only one way this could end and that is with some excellent Bellini cocktails at Harry’s Bar.

P.S.: Don´t miss Martin Rico´s (1833-1908) Venice paintings at Prado Museum. Only till February 2013.

Another Season

Cross-Cultural leadership Prof. John Clendenin talks about wolrd hunger, world peace…and recites Haiku in Saint-Croix, Virgin Islands.

As you probably know, Martini Shot is a Hollywood term that describes the final shot set-up of the day. According to Dave Knox, author of the film industry slang guide Strike the Baby and Kill the Blonde, the Martini Shot was so named because “the next shot is out of a glass”, referring to a post-wrap drink. But we didn’t have a Martini. Instead we had a local specialty, a cocktail named Painkiller with a capital P. I think the name says it all. As if this weren’t enough, Cross-Cultural Leadership Prof. John Clendenin dedicated this Haiku to a friend of mine who is passionate about plants and seeds:


Plant seed within you
to nourish your heart
provide roots…for your dreams

John is pretty impressive in terms of both heart and mind. He was rescued from a life of street gangs when he was a kid, made a start as a yellow taxi driver in New York, and then served in the US marines as a telecommunications officer for years. He represented the US Marines in international competitions in track and field events, wrestling and basketball, and was a sport psychologist with the 1984 US Olympic pentathlon team. He went on to become a professor at Harvard, where he wrote one of the best selling business cases ever. He’s a member of Mensa, and is still a senior sniper instructor, as well as teaching at IE Business School and writing a haiku every day… You get the idea.

P.S. Saint-Croix in the Virgin Islands is a hub for the global crossing fiber optic network, which in plain English basically means that the internet connection there is “just awesome”, to quote Prof.Clendenin.

A Tale of Two Cities

History Prof. Rolf Strom-Olsen meets at the Hay Festivals in Budapest and Segovia Georg von Habsburg and Lucy Kellaway.

Originally from Canada, history Professor Rolf Strom-Olsen is a man of more than one city. But if we stick to two here, it’s only because we must put numbers and limits to everything we do and say.

Rolf is conversant in various languages and has travelled extensively around the world. However,this is not what makes him a citizen of the world. Rather, it’s that, when speaking with him, one senses that he utterly and wholeheartedly believes in certain universal things; he would, I think, even draw the sword for them. Canadians are a bit like Spaniards in this sense, a bit of a crazy bunch.

In this video, he freely and humorously speaks at the Budapest and Segovia Hay Festivals with Georg von Habsburg and Lucy Kellaway. Georg is undoubtelly full of history and knowledge, but what he does best in this particular video is drive Rolf around Budapest. Lucy is quite simply full of life, wit, and anything you believe makes good company, just like that.

By the way, if you have never been to a Hay Festivals, just check when and where in the world the next one is taking place; because if you don’t go, you are missing something, and I mean it.

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imagin-ings, a secret to the heart nearest it! “ (A tale of two cities by Charles Dickens).

Photo Professor Rolf Strom-Olsen in

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