Posted by: Clive | July 16, 2008

Advice to the graduands

Last week I ‘played’ the Bridgewater Hall. A great gig in which I was a very proud member of the platform party watching some very proud parents and friends of some very proud graduates. I would have posted photos but I’m still waiting for some to come through to my email in-box (can I cap them for being late?!). Of course you could watch the video though it seems to take an age to stream.

I enjoy graduation for the faces, the smiles, the pleasure at the past and the hopes for the future. Every year I struggle to make sense of most of the speeches because sitting behind the loudspeakers I only get muffles and grunts. What I do hear though tends toward the platitudinous.

That’s why I wanted to share Howard Rheingold’s acceptance speech for his honorary Doctorate at De Montfort University. Rheingold is the very smart man who wrote Smart Mobs and who has had some radically innovative thoughts over the last three decades.

This is what he said today:

I’ll give you the advice part at the very beginning. Then you can decide for yourselves how much attention to devote to the rest of my very short remarks. My advice is this: Pay attention to irrelevant details and follow intriguing but useless connections.

(read the rest of his short remarks here)

Now that’s definitely not platitudinous.



  1. I wasn’t at the ceremony but it’s great to have been able to watch the video! I don’t think you missed much with the speeches though, Clive. It’s not like we’re all going to follow the advice to be good nurses!

    I like the advice you posted above much better…

    It was great to see my fellow communication sparks walk across the stage though, even just watching the ceremony makes it all worthwhile!

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