Interview with Somi Arian

Somi Arian (tech philosopher, award-winning filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, and CEO of FemPeak ) will share her knowledge and vision during Human Capital Europe, on February 1st, 2022. She will notably focus on career fear. Don't forget to register here.

You are a tech philosopher, filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, speaker. The list is impressive.Where does your energy and thirst for entrepreneurship and innovation come from?
I was born in Tehran, during the Iraq-Iran war, a time of turmoil and constant change. I also suffered from ADHD and other learning difficulties, something that was misunderstood by both
my parents and the school, who thought I wouldn’t amount to anything in life. My childhood and adolescence were characterized by many traumatic events, brought about by the culture of my country and family. I knew that if I stayed in Iran, I would not be able to cultivate my mind and life as I wanted to, and knew I could. My potential would have been completely wasted. I believe that facing adversity keeps us motivated, failure and hard circumstances in life make us hungry for success. But I also think that there is an equal element of heredity and genetics to it. That’s why they say someone is a “force of nature”. We don’t say she is a “force of circumstances”. We are all a result of the combination of nature and nurture.

You describe your role in society as a ‘Transition Architect’. What do you mean by that?
Growing up in Iran during the war my life was one of constant change, and the only way to survive was to learn to quickly adapt to everything life threw my way. Transition Architecture is a term I first introduced in 2020, in my book, Career Fear. It’s the approach I suggest that best deals with the business implications of these technological disruptions that are taking place today and will continue to take place as technology advances. It aims to provide business owners and company leaders with a roadmap to survive and thrive in possibly the most challenging economic conditions in modern history.
Transition Architecture is the intricate act of balancing the need for continuity with the necessity of change - to reach a state of flow, and my aim is to be a facilitator in this approach.

Can you tell us the story behind FemPeak? Do you think that women still need support and guidance to succeed professionally? What are the main obstacles on their way?
FemPeak comes from the need to see women in the top tiers of business and technology. There are ten giant tech corporations running the world right now, five of them in the USA, and the
other five are in China, and not a single one of them is founded or run by a woman. Technology is shaping the future of humanity and women are being left behind. I want to change that. Through our Think Tank for Women in Business and Technology and the conferences that shaped the FemPeak platform, my team and I identified six pillars that represent the areas thatwomen need support with to reach their peak potential.

- Confidence
- Tech skills
- Financial Literacy
- Leadership & Entrepreneurship
- Women’s health
- Family & Relationship support

FemPeak is designed to provide live mentoring and career development opportunities to women based on these pillars.

Your book, “Career Fear (and how to beat it)”, addresses the future of work and the skills we all need to gain to survive and thrive in the age of Artificial Intelligence. In your opinion what skills will be required in the future? What would be your advice for the new generation?

To survive what comes next in the future of work in the age of AI, we, as humans, need to cultivate these four unique human skills:

- Emotional intelligence
- Critical thinking
- Contextual creativity
- Mindfulness

These four uniquely human skills are what machines cannot replicate (at least not yet), and are what will keep us ahead of the machines in the near future. My advice for future generations is to start working on these skills now, in addition to learning technical skills.

In your opinion, what makes a good leader?
A good leader is always working towards developing the uniquely human qualities mentioned above in themselves - namely, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, mindfulness, and contextual creativity and is able to support others in their journey to cultivating them. 

Discover Somi's keynote speech "Career Fear: How to beat it" next February 1st during Human Capital Europe. 

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