The Pandemic Lockdown Enabled Me To Reinvent Myself In One Year

Plus: Why I Am Disenchanted With Research and Academia

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash

2020 Was A Year Of Reinvention And Chaos

The last year has been a roller-coaster for all of us. The pandemic has been overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. We have lived through unprecedented and hard times. We have faced systemic changes in our ways of life.

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

I Am Questioning The World of Academia And Publishing

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash
Internet Meme titled “Your Paper Before and After Peer Review”, Image Source

I Am Reflecting On My Legacy And My Mortality

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
  • I want to challenge and develop myself as an artist and as an entrepreneur.
  • I want to share my knowledge and work with larger audiences to expand my impact.
  • I want to experiment with humor, improvisation, and theatre.
  • I want to read hundreds of science fiction novels and fantasy books.
  • To expand my imagination, I want to watch the best movies and series that are on Netflix and Disney+.
  • I want to write my own comic book or a science fiction story.
  • I want to escape to new worlds of imagination.
  • I want to create my own creative assets on the Internet, including Medium articles and YouTube videos.
  • I want to share my work with larger audiences, reaching thousands of people through my blogs, videos, and talks.

I Have Established My Medium Blog Last Year and Published 281 Articles on Medium Since Then

Medium Page, Screen Shot by Fahri Karakas

I Have Become A YouTuber And Created 300 Videos In One Year

During the pandemic, I decided to conduct another massive experiment: I would become a Youtuber and consistently create videos.

My YouTube Experiments: FahriKarakas Channel and H2M TV

I Have Created A New Pedagogical Approach In My Teaching

During the past year, I have created a lot of pedagogical materials following my new formula for innovative teaching: Curiosity + Exploration + Wonder + Passion. My new teaching approach is based on 4 components:

  • I got away from the traditional curriculum based on tired formulas, memorization of theories and knowledge, pure academic literature, and textbook-style templates and frameworks.
  • I transformed both of my modules. Students now create their own creative assets on the Internet, as they unleash their talents as content creators, entrepreneurs, and artists.
  • I have moved beyond the industrial paradigm of teaching (no more textbooks, exams, and memorization). I believe traditional lecture formats and exam-based assessment methods are not compatible with the new requirements of a new age. We need to learn from entrepreneurs and artists to adapt to and thrive in such a disruptive era. I want to act as a change agent and catalyst in the midst of these challenges.
  • We live in disruptive and weird times. Our traditional tools and practices are left behind. We risk obsolescence if we do not reinvent ourselves as academics. I believe universities should be places for imagination and creativity, unleashing the unique talents of our students. We need a lot of blue-sky thinking, writing, R&D, and innovative teaching to tackle current challenges.
  • I do not just focus on preparing students for corporate jobs (which are in decline or at risk) and for the career ladder (which is broken). I encourage students to create their own creative assets so that they move towards entrepreneurial thinking, creativity, financial freedom, and independence.
  • I have stopped ‘sugar-coating’ and ‘spoon-feeding’ students, and instead, challenged them to create their own projects and assets that help them make progress in real life.
  • I have challenged our students to think and act like entrepreneurs — to develop their resilience, ingenuity, originality, resourcefulness, and creativity.
  • I have encouraged my students to create their own creative assets on the Internet and many have kickstarted their YouTube channels, entrepreneurial ventures, or Medium writing journeys. My students have coped wonderfully and I am proud of their resilience and performance.
  • I have tried to gain experience and competence in teaching, writing, and drawing across the areas of arts, creativity, entrepreneurship, and design thinking; synthesizing them with business and leadership.
  • I have started working on my second book, practicing as an entrepreneur and an artist at my Self-Making Studio project.

Fahri Karakas is the author of the Self-making Studio. You can explore more here.

Associate Professor in Business & Leadership at University of East Anglia. Passionate about doodling, imagination, and creativity. Author of Self-Making Studio.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store