Recently, Teodoro Luque one of my best students, resumed his experience in an intensive online week program about marketing fundamentals in the following way:

“Firstly, the SPEED (“festina lente”, or “make haste slowly”) of intellectual endeavour. The need of balancing two time dimensions: time of Mercury (representing immediacy), achieved by means of patient, meticulous adjustments (it is the “Vulcan” time).

Next, EXACTITUDE, designing a work that is well defined and calculated, evoking a clear, incisive image (“icástico” in Italian). “O scrittore con quali lettere scriverai tu con tal perfezione la intera figuratione qual qui el disegno? (Leonardo)

Then we have VISIBILITY: opinions, post, videoblog….

And then MULTIPLICITY, referring to diversity, and connections between facts, between people, between issues of world interest and topics pertaining to our particular field, from the conceptual to up-to-the-minute, innovative subjects.

And then COMMITMENT to society and to the university.

And, finally, LIGHTNESS, not in the sense of denying its opposite quality, but rather for the value of looking out on the world through another lens, with a different logic, with different approaches to knowledge”.

I love these concepts contained in the speech Italo Calvino prepared for the 1985-86 Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard, before death intervened early that same fall. He never went to give his marvellous lecture.

Please find attached the Harvard Press portal to get further information about this great conference:


Teodoro touched a very sensible fiber for I used these 6 words in the speech I gave at Olivetti in 1987 when I tried to resign, in a story sometimes I tell my younger students or start-uppers I share some dreams with.

That decision changed my life for good and Calvino´s advices allowed me to survive with dignity to a moment where my braveness were superior to my emotions control. I was young and with nothing to loose but a mediocre boss, a mediocre salary and a life I did not like any more.

This is why I think the best moment to change your life, to innovate, to execute and initiate something, is when everybody says to you it is impossible. And when you have nothing to loose if you are wrong, if you take the wrong bus or misleed your direction.

Impossible is nothing.