Let's all be heretics!

That is what disruptors used to be called

I came across this quote, which struck me as being very much in line with 21st century skills, not so new after all!

“I think all the heretics I have known have been virtuous men.They have the virtue of fortitude, or they could not venture to own their heresy; and they cannot afford to be deficient in any of the other virtues, as that would give advantage to their many enemies; and they have not, like orthodox sinners, such a number of friends to excuse or justify them.Do not, however, mistake me. It is not to my good friend’s heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, ’tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of a heretic”. - Benjamin Franklin, in a letter he wrote to Benjamin Vaughan, October 24, 1788.

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Although we talk a lot about 21st century skills as being necessary – and they are – they will bring with them the “heresy” that Franklin talks of.

In our age we talk of the capacity to disrupt – disruptive businesses still being in vogue – but eventually that disruption will affect all aspects of our lives as society reorganises itself to face up to the serious challenges that we all face in climate change and the gradual exhaustion of fossil fuels.

It is our children who will lead this and need the honesty and authenticity to allow them to be heretics of the 21st century.


John Corrigan