Who and what can we trust?
In a time where the phenomenon of fake news is growing and social media enables fake news to reach a larger audience, we will have to be more careful where we gain our information. Last week, I went to a seminar where fake news was the topic and the aim was to discuss what impact it can have and how it can be prevented. The seminar was at the company Narva which is a communications agency. The seminar was in a form of panel discussion where they had invited three persons: Jack Werner, Isobel Hadley-Kamptz and Jonas Nordling. All three are working with journalism in one way or another. Both Jack and Isobel is active on Twitter and it was through Twitter I knew about this seminar.
The first topic was to define what fake news is. As the term “fake news” has grown and it has been used for different kinds of news, the definition has started to become indistinct. However, the panel set the definition to be: fake news is journalism that consists of deliberate misinformation spread via the traditional print, broadcasting news media, or via Internet-based social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically attention. One example is where a letter to the editor was published where both the content and the writer were fake. With further investigation, it was discovered that the writer never existed in the city he/she mentioned to live in. This leads to the questions: who and what can we trust?
One of the main discussion point was whether the reader or the journalists and newspapers should be responsible for fact-checking the sources of an article. Should the reader be better on investigating the source and be more cautious on eye-catching headlines? Or should the news media have the responsible for doing the fact-checking. My opinion is that both sides carry this responsibility, however as a reader you carry the bigger responsibility for your own. One solution that was mentioned by Jack Werner was that you could include a basic journalism class in elementary school to make children aware in young age how content and information is created. This could increase the quality of the newspapers regarding fact-checking as the common reader have a better understanding of the creation of content.
This was only a small part of what was discussed in the seminar and it would not make sense to try to cover everything. What do you think – what responsibility do you have as a reader? Could we as entreprenurs create something to solve this problem?
Last week me and Sofia went to the lecture “The business model is dead” with Terrence Brown at Playhouse Theater in the center of Stockholm. There we met several of our classmates, including Mohit who wrote the previous blog post. As we believe that he summarized the content of the lecture well, we decided to focus on another aspect in this post, namely the networking aspect of going to similar events.
In the row in front of where we sat, there were two guys who started a conversation with us. One was from the Hyper Island University and the other was in the organizing team for Startup Weekend Stockholm. They told us that usually the same people attended Estrad’s events, and that they recognized a lot of people in the room, both from Hyper Island, KTH and SSES.
After having talked to them for a while, they asked “Should we connect?”. One of them came from Rome and had contacts in Trento where Sofia will be moving and told her that he can introduce her to them if she wanted to get involved with entrepreneurial activities outside of school. We realized that in order to get the right contacts one needs to be active in the right place. Attending to these kinds of events, can help you to connect to the people that will be essential when having your own startup.
The lecture was also very informative and we got to learn about why business plans nowadays are replaced by business models, and the pros and cons of this replacement. Some parts of the lecture we recognized from previous classes with Terrence, whereas other parts were more specific for this topic and gave us insights about how to effectively use a business model.
He also mentioned that “a fool with a tool is still a fool” referring to that in order to use the tools given one has to know how to use them. Oftentimes as students, it can be difficult to see the value of learning theoretical knowledge, but if this part is correctly interpreted it is clear that theoretical knowledge indeed is important to learn to be able to master the practical tools later on.
The Estrad lectures are provided by the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research Institute and you can read more about them here: http://www.esbri.se/. Free lectures are given now and then, and we see this as a great opportunity to gain more entrepreneurial knowledge, have a great fika and expand your professional network. Certainly, this was not our last time attending Esbri’s lecture.
// Fanny Chan and Sofia Johansson
Earlier this semester, I joined a mentorship program through KTH which is called Pepp. Pepp has created a mentorship program where girls in high school are connected to female engineering students. The engineering student tries to inspire and give insights about how the school is, why you should pursue a technical education and maybe share their own journey to university. The engineering students also have their own mentor which is a young professional that can give insights how career and life has been after graduation and share job experiences.
Last week I went to an event with Pepp where we went to a company called Cygni and had a seminar about mentorship. We had discussions on what mentorship has meant to us but also the differences of being a mentee and a mentor. I would recommend you to find a mentor if you feel that you need guidance in your future career. Since I joined this mentorship program, I have met other female engineering students from KTH that have shared their stories and dreams. Also, I have met a lot of young professionals that have shared their experiences.
I think it is really good to have a mentor because you create a relationship with a person that can guide you. The mentor and mentee relationship is not the same as the relationship you have with a friend, because you can talk about self-developing, career and other things you might not do with your other friends. The mentor also has the ability to give new perspective to things as she probability already been through the same journey. When having a startup, a mentor can be very valuable and give good support when you need to take big decisions.
You can read more about Pepp here: http://www.blipepp.nu/ (however, it is only in Swedish)