PWN Rome: The Role of Knowledge at PWN Rome 

Every time I travel in New York City (yes, do you remember the good, old days before Covid-19, when traveling was the normal?) I’m always hypnotized by the gilded frieze above the entrance on the Rockefeller Plaza 30 building, that the New Yorkers nicknamed “30 Rock”. The frieze – realised in an astonishing Art Deco style that characterises the entire skyscraper – is accompanied by an inscription that reads: “Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the stability of thy times”. 

Wisdom and Knowledge in NYCAlthough the origin of the sentence is biblical (a verse from Prophet Isaiah), I’m truly convinced that this powerful concept brought to us across the centuries continues to represent an indisputable truth in our modern and disruptive economy and society. Knowledge is the new money. We should always exercise and develop knowledge, and then I believe wisdom will come as consequence. 

In his popular article “The secret to lifelong success is lifelong learning” Michael Simmons (leading entrepreneur and senior contributor for Forbes, Fortune, HBR, and Time) highlighted how leaders like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates use to spend a relevant amount of their precious time immersing themselves in extreme learning.

He writes: “Why do the world’s smartest and busiest people find one hour a day for deliberate learning (the 5-hour rule), while others make excuses about how busy they are? What do they see that others don’t? The answer is simple: learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make. Or as Benjamin Franklin said, an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. This insight is fundamental to succeeding in our knowledge economy, yet few people realize it. Luckily, once you do understand the value of knowledge, it’s simple to get more of it. Just dedicate yourself to constant learning!”

Quoting again Simmons’ article: “Those who work really hard throughout their career but don’t take time out of their schedule to constantly learn will be the new ‘at-risk’ group. They risk remaining stuck on the bottom rung of global competition”.

As the year that will pass into history for the pandemic and the consequent lock-down, 2020 has highlighted even more the importance of individual growth and – in particular – of the ability to adapt, react to stress and changes, become stronger and better prepared for professional and personal challenges, manage emotions and relationships with others, gain expertise or improve business skills.

To support its Members through an empowerment journey, PWN Rome has provided a rich and composite class-training offering, which complements its traditional well-known Mentoring Programme. The classes that have accompanied the members with satisfaction and benefit over the past years have been further developed and enhanced; also, four new Lecturers are joining the team with original proposals of great value. Each of the ten Lecturers show remarkable career tracks, recognized thought leadership and a dedicated focus in their matters towards gender gap themes.

Under my enthusiastic orchestration as Director of Personal & Professional Empowerment at PWN Rome, I’m glad to present and roll-out the 2020 list of the upcoming learning paths, built with the unparalleled contribution of the whole Board of Directors that I wish to gratefully thank.  

All the classes will be held in the timeframe covering October 2020 to January 2021. They will be provided online or in person, according with their nature and with the preferences of the attendees, already collected in a dedicated survey when enrolling. Lecturers of 2020 Edition are the following experts:

PWN Rome Empowerment Lecturers 2020/21On 17th September 2019, we proudly kicked-off the 2020 Edition, holding an event hosted in one of the most iconic educational venues in Italy: the Ballroom of Villa Blanc at the LUISS Business School of Management, a landmark of Rome’s “Great Beauty” and a “temple” itself of the knowledge. 

Villa Blanc BallroomThis event will remain in our hearts and minds as a special one: it was the first “phygital” meeting at PWN Rome, i.e. a mix of physical presence and remote attendance involving more than 80 people and leading us as organizers to new technical, organizational and “rendering” challenges that we brilliantly overcame, setting a standard for the future in case  – but we hope not – social distancing will still remain an ineluctable constraint in our lives. 

As self-made billionaire entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist Paul Tudor Jones used to say, “Intellectual capital will always trump financial capital.” At PWN Rome we deeply desire to enable our Mmbers to develop, unleash and leverage their intellectual capital as much as they can. This will be not only the key for their financial thrive as Tudor Jones stated, but it will surely represent a pivotal asset in reducing the gender gap, following the Polestar of our Association.

One of the new acronyms we have been forced to learn in the last months was VUCA: it stands for the Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity of general conditions and situations; I strongly believe that many of the challenges that this unexpected landscape brought to our lives can be dramatically mitigated by the massive recourse to knowledge. 

The same knowledge that is sanctified day by day upon the entrance gate at my beloved “30 Rock” in NYC… 


Date: Oct 2020
Author: Maurizio D’Ascenzo, Director of Personal & Professional Empowerment at PWN Rome






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