Today we had great conversations with my 18 year-old son Tom who studies physics at Imperial. It was great to have him over at our home in Madrid for many reasons, but I will focus on one: yes, there is a “payback” time educating your children, and that is when they educate you back. This afternoon I learned a lot from Tom. We spoke about using ultrasound to charge gadgets wirelessly vs using magnetic induction, we had a debate about how sunblock works, Tom told me about a simulation built on Python using object oriented programming of a diamond that receives different beams of light that a classmate did. And this week I also learned a lot about Aura the company that Isabella is working at this summer, and the fascinating work she is doing in biotechnology using viral envelopes to treat cancer. And recently I learned a great deal from my eldest daughter Alexa, who graduated from Columbia and now works in technology and has her first start up, Modabound. While she is in a field much closer to mine I still learn from her because of her academic approach to things, like she went to General Assembly to study programming, something I still have not done. And she has an amazing eye for product so I informally consult with her on a great new product that we are developing at Fon.
So as you help your young kids with homework remember that there is a time when you will learn from them, learn a lot, learn with pleasure, learn back. As I expand my universe listening to my older kids I wonder what my little ones Leo, Mia and David will teach me in the future. Because while it is true that the future belongs to your children, together with them, a part of that great future, will also be yours to enjoy.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars