“A real stance for a democratic education”
Roberto Costantini is always looking for new ways for students to improve themselves.
What drove you to 42?
At my age, it’s not very easy to do something really new, exciting and that you never did before in your life. 42 Roma is a fantastic opportunity to do something refreshing. Every “old” person tries to find something to feel younger: me, I’ve got 42.
What have you done before to seek this opportunity?
I am a mechanical engineer, I graduated in ’75 in Rome. I worked for General Electric, then in consulting for EY for 25 years. After that, I longed for something different. I started writing thriller books which are now sold internationally, and I joined LUISS to manage the national relations, the summer schools, and the creation of startup hubs, and then: 42 Roma.
42 Roma is also part of a university, LUISS. Is there any exchange between the two of them?
42 Roma provides a very integrated program with LUISS. Our students are not only 42 students, they are part of an overall system with 10,000 other students. A lot of courses are offered to them for free. Last year for example, they learned marketing, negotiation, and even theatre!
What do you think the future of education will be?
At the moment, I am actually doing an interesting experience at LUISS on this topic. Online universities already existed before the pandemic, but they were discounted as not being so good. When you work alone and online, you need to activate much more of your brain than when you are in class because no one is teaching something to you. The teaching has to be based on activating concepts in the mind of the student, that they will use to teach themselves. The problem with “traditional” online education, to put it bluntly, is that it’s very boring, especially with the asynchronous part of watching a recording of a teacher. So that’s why we are going to teach through entertainment. We are translating the teaching to a short sitcom show, like The Big Bang Theory. Each episode serves a purpose that can then be discussed in the synchronous part of meeting together.
What do you like the most about the common values at 42?
What I really like about 42 is that it’s a real stance for a democratic education. The education here is only based on capacity and merit: it has nothing to do with titles or what you learned before. In our modern world, that is fundamental, and that is what I appreciate the most at 42.