Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

The Value of Liberal Arts in a Digital World with Scott Hartley

Air Dates: October 7-13, 2019

For generations, a liberal arts education was the gold standard of preparation for career and a well-rounded-life.  For much of the last decade, however, voices—including those of prominent technology leaders—have warned that the jobs of today and tomorrow require education in so-called STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Not surprisingly, enrollments in liberal arts fields have declined.  Scott Hartley argues that far more than a luxury—the skills and perspective cultivated by a liberal arts education are precisely the skills needed for the modern information economy. 

Scott Hartley is a venture capitalist and the author of “The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World,” a Financial Times business book of the month. It was also a finalist for the Financial Times and McKinsey & Company’s Bracken Bower Prize an author under 35. He has been a Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV), and a Venture Partner at Compound. Prior to venture capital, Hartley worked at Google, Facebook, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and at the White House as a Presidential Innovation Fellow.

On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Hartley emphasizes the value of a liberal arts education and encourages moving away from the transactional expectation of today’s educational experience.  He describes a “crisis of empathy” in today’s society that surfaces when big issues are faced and attributes the capacity for empathy to learning by “standing outside oneself,” a skill that can be sharpened through the study of subjects like history and literature that “put [us] in the mind or time period of another.”

“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 4:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

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