Get to know your Professor : Meet Manoj Fenelon

October 9, 2018


1. What do you look forward to when you get out of your bed every morning
Practicing on my trumpet

2. Sustainability for you in one word is….?
Respecting life

3. What is the most thought provoking book/article you have read recently and Why? What would you want readers to take away from the writing? 

Dispelling Wetiko – Breaking the Curse of Evil, by Paul Levy

We see that the world we live in is f*#%ed up in so many ways, but we struggle to understand the roots of this condition and to do something about it. This book helped me see evil as a kind of psycho-spiritual ‘mind-virus’ (which Native Americans have called “wetiko”) that works covertly through the unconscious blind spots in our collective psyche to produce external conditions that symbolically reflect our troubled inner states. It is guiding me on a path to heal the world by healing myself.

4. Who do you think are the most influential people to follow in the strategic design field and Why? Name three.

Jonathan Haidt – is a professor of ethical leadership at NYU-Stern who researches and writes about the emotional foundations of morality.

Katryna Dow – is the CEO and founder of Meeco, a data-independence platform that guarantees individuals choice and data sovereignty rights in the way they interact in the digital world and with the Internet-of-things.

Ricardo Semler – is the CEO of Semco, a successful company known for its radical embrace of democracy in the workplace. He was twice voted Brazilian businessperson of the year proving that the best kind of management is no management.

5. How do you stay on top of the latest trends in your field? Are there any events in NYC that you are looking forward to this month?

I don’t have a field (I’m not a donkey, as the German scholar Max Weber once quipped). I read widely – everything from tabloids to policy papers and everything in between. You never know what you will learn and from where.

I’m looking forward to attending ‘What Makes Things Sacred’, a talk by representatives from the Lenape people (the original inhabitants of Manhattan) exploring how our perception of the world makes places and objects sacred.

6. What is your mantra of life? If you could offer one piece of advice to the SDM community, what would it be?

(borrowing, with respect, from Oscar Wilde) Be yourself; everybody else is taken. In our complex, interconnected world, the task of an educated person is not to solve problems or provide ‘right’ answers, but to ask good questions.