Dr. Mathai B. Fenn

Dr. Mathai Fenn Ph.D. IIT Bombay, Ex Faculty XLRI Jamshedpur
Dr. Mathai Fenn

Do you ever feel left-out or overwhelmed by the pace of change in the world today? Do you feel you or your family are not equipped to take on the challenges of the future that is here now? Do you feel that people within your organisation are too complacent and dont spend enough time worrying about how to make the most of the opportunities in the Knowledge Era? Dr. Mathai Fenn is a career/life-coach with a Ph.D. from IIT Bombay and two decades experience teaching at XLRI, IIT, IIM, etc. Call  him for a talk or a small group session (scroll down for more details).

As early as 1970, Alvin Toffler declared that the industrial era is over and a new era was born, the information era or the Knowledge Era. Most economists agree that in the knowledge economy we live in, investment in learning offers the best return on investment. In the past just how much of the family budget is allocated to learning or education? Education is not free of blame either. Our world is changing rapidly, but our education system is still stuck in the past and have not kept up with the pace of change. In the early days of the industrial revolution, mass produced education helped to provide labour for the industry that had a growing need of a workforce with a minimum basic skill set. But since then, automation and now artificial intelligence have increasingly made a workforce with basic skills irrelevant. Where once we focused on programmed responses to predictable scenarios. However with the growing uncertainty about the future, we need to prepare our young people to think and respond creatively to entirely new scenarios that they have not been told about. It is here that we overlook the fundamental difference between education (Buildung) and training(Ausbildung) (link). The aim of education is to build character, it opens the mind and helps us to understand HOW to learn. It is impossible to decide what career choices to make 15 or 20 years ahead of time. Hence education has to help the person, irrespective of his or her chosen field. Training on the other hand focuses on specific skills that help to complete specific tasks in the short to medium term. Clearly both of them are important with education more important for the long term while training helps us to address more pressing issues. While there is a lot of efforts on to make our schools and colleges more employment friendly, there is a growing need to address the more fundamental problems.

Dr. Mathai Fenn Has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology. He did his doctoral studies at IIT Bombay and taught for a decade at XLRI Jamshedpur. While doing his Ph.D. he started working with the advertising and qualitative research industry. He did assignments in advertising research, consumer research and even helped launch a new Market Research company in Bombay. A strong entrepreneurial streak saw him set up The Talk Shop his consulting business in 1996. Mathai has a decade and a half of teaching experience, primarily at XLRI Jamshedpur where he was a core faculty. He also taught / lectured at several institutions like The American University of Armenia, SP Jain Global Business School, IIT Gandhinagar, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIT Bombay, TISS, and other places. A cognitive psychologist from early part of his career, Dr. Fenn’s interest is in how individuals and communities acquire and process knowledge and how to make sense of it all. (To know more, click here)

Contact him for: Public speaking appointments and innovative courses in a number of contemporary topics. The focus of these courses is Learning to Learn and the courses include a comprehensive package that includes career and personal coach services to unlock your learning potential. Typically courses run over three months with two contact sessions in a month to review learning from prescribed readings and exercises. The courses are built upon publicly available information but has a lot of scope for customisation for each group and their needs. For topics see the table below other more specific course can be designed for special needs.

Apart from his favourite topic, A list of possible topics for public speaking. The list of courses can be much more broader, since they are internet-based.

Topics for speaking assignments and for courses