the first European festival on creativity

2014 Programme

Event #14

David McCullough jr.

Kids, You Are Not Special!

Louis Agassiz, the renowned zoologist who taught at Harvard in the mid-nineteenth century, often said the following words to his students: “Look at your fish”, and he would often end it there. The advice he gave them without saying so explicitly was this: be responsible for your knowledge, follow your interests, create your own inspiration, observe, think, discover connections, establish an independent and original relationship with fish…and with the rest of the universe. Today, precisely because the climate we live in too often encourages us to seek results that are startling (and therefore inadvertently also spurred on by dependence, self-referentiality, and an awareness of one’s rights that ends up being paralyzing) young people should look more closely at what they do and why they do it. Hence, the redefinition of education proposed by Agassiz would come back as an echo, but with a new sound.

David McCullough jr.

(Boston, 1958) has been teaching adolescents for almost thirty years, first at the Punahou School of Honolulu, in Hawaii, and since 2002 in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The speech he gave at the 2012 graduation ceremony went viral (garnering more than 2 million hits on YouTube) and has become the heart of so many discussions both in the United States and the rest of the world. This past April, McCullough revised it and published it in a book called You Are Not Special: and Other Encouragements. The book encourages adolescents to worry less about material gratification and focus on the present time, to work hard and study simply for the euphoria that comes with learning. McCullough lives in the suburbs around Boston with his wife and four children.

Interpreter: Marina Astrologo.


All theevents2014


Event #1

Mario Calabresi

Rediscovering Reason in Order to Avoid a Shipwreck

Event #2

Francesco M. Cataluccio

The Epidemic of Immaturity: from Peter Pan to Harry Potter

Event #3

Roberto Esposito

Growing Up Is Hard

Event #4

Philippe Petit

Creativity: the Perfect Crime

Event #5

Emanuela Grimalda

Le difettose (The Flawed)

Event #6

Alessandro Barbero

How Do Wars Break Out? World War I

Event #7

Sofia Bignamini

The Explosion of the Mutants

Event #8

Davide Comazzi, Antonio Piotti, Laura Turuani

Other Mothers, Other Fathers, New Adolescents

Event #9

Peter Cameron, Marco Missiroli

One Day this Creativity Will Come In Handy

Event #10

Mauro Ceruti

Europe Risks a New Self-Destruction

Event #11

Massimo Recalcati

Can One Forgive in Love?

Event #12

Giorgio Diritti

The Discovery of the Birth of a Film

Event #13

Matteo Lancini


Event #14

David McCullough jr.

Kids, You Are Not Special!

Event #15

Silvia Vegetti Finzi

New Grandparents for New Grandchildren

Event #16

Katia Provantini

Surviving Middle School

Event #18

Oscar Farinetti

Lots Can Still Be Done, This Is Why the Future Is Marvellous

Event #19

Paola Mastrocola

The Death of Study

Event #20

Paolo Cornaglia Ferraris, Marcello Massimini

The Secret of the Consciousness and its Measurement

Event #21

Christian Raimo, Michele Serra

All Unhappy Families Are Like One Another

Event #23

Alessandro Barbero

How Do Wars Break Out? World War II

Event #24

Fabio Geda

Absolute beginners

Event #26

Anita Nair

New Identity of the Indian Woman

Event #27

Andrea Boeri, Luca Molinari

A Dialogue on the Spaces (and the Things) We Inhabit

Event #28

Luigi Zoja

Generational Crisis, Male Crisis, Italian Crisis

Event #29

Stefano Arienti, Franco Farinelli

Journey and Adventures in Knowledge

Event #30

Errico Buonanno, Chiara Valerio

My Children, Imaginary Marxists

Event #31

Cesare Moreno

School Drops-Out and Their Antagonists

Event #32

Alfio Maggiolini

From Being Kids “Against” to Being Responsible Ones

Event #33

Chiara Saraceno

Inheritance, Tradition, Generational Changes

Event #34

Beppe Severgnini

Creating Doesn’t Mean Improvising

Event #35

Elena Riva

The Myth of Perfection in Contemporary Femininity

Event #36

Marco Belpoliti

Matteo and His Seven Shirts

Event #37

Salut Salon

The Night of Fate

Event #38

Amedeo Balbi, Antonio Pascale

Matter and Freedom: A Dialogue on Free Will

Event #39

Alessandro Barbero

How Do Wars Break Out? The Falklands War

Evento #25

Daniele Novara

Arguing Is Good for You

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