Born into a lineage of Indian Prime Ministers and raised in a family of Wall Street bankers, Ravi pivoted, became the guitarist of a world-famous band, and pivoted again to help unite cultures and generations.
The first American-born member of the family that created and governed the world’s largest democracy for over 40 years, Ravi Hutheesing is the grand-nephew of Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first prime minister) and the cousin of prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. His father, having grown up in a complex and unstable family environment during their fight for India’s independence, chose not to pursue politics and instead immigrated to the United States and landed a job on Wall Street. In contrast to his two older brothers who also became bankers, Ravi got lost as a child during his parents’ bitter divorce and like his father, pivoted and forged a path of his own.
He fell in love with music at age 11 and by starting a band, building a recording studio, and teaching a handful of guitar students, Ravi established himself locally as an artist-entrepreneur before graduating high school. His worldwide visibility skyrocketed in 1997 when he became the guitarist for triple Grammy nominee, Hanson, whose massive millennial fan base catapulted them to the White House, Madison Square Garden, Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live, and more. The following year, Simon & Schuster published his memoir, Dancin’ with Hanson, and he has since authored over a hundred articles for major magazines. As the Internet rose and the recording industry declined, Ravi began to speak on entrepreneurship at music universities and conventions including Berklee College of Music in Boston, the National Association of Music Merchants in Los Angeles, MusikMesse in Moscow, and Music China in Shanghai.
Following the economic collapse in 2008, he pivoted again and achieved another dream by becoming an aviator. By tapping into his Hanson experience and observations about Millennials, “The Raviator” (his call sign) began giving keynotes on cross-generational collaboration to help reverse the shrinking pilot population. Discovering the strong connection that both millennials and pilots have with music, he created a niche by performing concerts at air shows, becoming the spokesman for products targeting young pilots, and co-designing a signature model folding guitar that fits in the cockpit of any small plane.
Following an inner-ear infection that prevented him from flying solo, Ravi had to pivot again and pursued a global opportunity. After delivering a keynote in Moscow on behalf of the music industry in 2014, he was invited to serve as a cultural diplomat for the US Department of State and returned to Russia to give presentations on arts, entrepreneurship, and youth leadership. In 2016, he went to Indonesia—the world’s largest Muslim population—and created songwriting and cultural entrepreneurship programs that bridged the most severe cultural and religious divides. Ravi created similar programs for the State Department the following year in Iraq and Lebanon which included students from Mosul liberated from ISIS just days earlier, and Syrians from the decimated city of Aleppo. Currently, he is organizing one in Chile.
In 2018, Ravi founded Ravi Unites Schools—a growing network of over a hundred K-12 schools worldwide whose students participate in peer-to-peer global real-time audio-video interactions hosted by Ravi. He believes that such exchanges promote world peace by enabling youth to bond organically rather than succumb to implicit biases formed by institutional agendas. The idea was born out of his ten-year partnership with Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project—a highly successful boarding school in India for the poorest of the poor.
PIVOT (to be released in 2020)
When I began thinking about this book, the world was calm with strong economies and no major conflicts. With technology rapidly evolving and impacting the future of jobs, the education industry was deeply engaged in debates about how to best prepare students for an unpredictable future. As a futurist and keynote speaker who has delivered speeches to thousands of education leaders at conferences including International Baccalaureate Global Conference and AASA’s National Conference on Education, answering this question has been a cornerstone of my message. Creating cultural competence and equity in education, and implementing technology and personalized learning are common themes.
Then, the unthinkable happened. The Coronavirus Disease of 2019-2020 (COVID-19) shattered global economies, flipped education upside-down, and caused all of humanity in unison to make the most significant pivot in a lifetime. The absence of traditional schooling for at least one semester was probably the greatest disruption for most families. 90% of the world’s students found schools closed or were sent home from colleges and universities without their belongings.
Educators went into a panic attempting to bridge a gap that turned into a chasm. School systems everywhere involuntarily accelerated the adaptation to online learning with varying degrees of success. While digital learning has been increasing in classrooms, it quickly became apparent how much disparity it creates without structure and guaranteed access to computers and high-speed Internet.
Just as the world began to find its rhythm, racial tension erupted following the killing of a black man by white police officers in Minneapolis Minnesota USA. Protests over inequality transcended borders like the coronavirus, and much of the world pivoted its focus from a health crisis to social justice.
The time had come for me to complete this book which is for all educators including parents, teachers, school administrators, and students. I believe that education is the solution to all the world’s problems, but to educate the “whole child” and create “lifelong learners,” it must begin as a partnership between parents and teachers and pivot into one between students and mentors. While it need not always be an active collaboration, each must take ownership of his or her role because education is much more than just going to school.
My own pivots from a family of politicians and bankers to the guitarist of a world-famous band to a “flying musician” in the aviation industry to a cultural diplomat for the US Department of State to an arts and education advocate as a keynote speaker has been a journey of lifelong learning. In dissecting my own self-directed education which was a balance of traditional schooling and real-world experiences, these stories provide examples of how ownership of one’s education creates a lifelong learner, and how lifelong learners create the future we need.
My goal has always been to push the education industry to pivot toward a hybrid of traditional and real-world schooling. While I believe that change can be daunting and lead to procrastination, if one instead makes a pivot—a shift in direction while maintaining the fundamental principles or purpose on which one operates—the distance between thought and action is reduced considerably. Whether it is an individual or an entire industry, the ability to pivot is the difference between staying relevant and becoming redundant.
Specifically tailored to address current challenges of racial and cultural biases in society, and how in a post-COVID 19 world we can make the most progress.
Artificial Intelligence will create the most significant disruption to the workforce that we have ever seen. With 40% of today’s jobs about to be automated (source: PwC), we cannot fail to equip all students with the most critical skills of tomorrow—skills that go beyond the current “college and career-ready” focus. Education leaders must re-evaluate the overall goal of education now while committing to teaching the most important life-skills for a global future, including cultural competence and how to continuously pivot. Today’s educators have an unprecedented opportunity and responsibility to not only achieve equity in education, but defeat generations of implicit biases so that all students can develop a healthy curiosity about the world and truly become global citizens.
• Cultivate cultural competence and a pathway to equity in schools and communities
• Use the arts and sciences to overcome implicit biases
• Incorporate a growth mindset in both liberal arts and CTE/vocational/career pathways education
• Convert privilege into leadership skills that can help foster social justice
• How to harness incoming educators’ idealism as they move into leadership positions
Born into one of the world’s most influential families but rejecting the obvious choices presented to him, Ravi uses his own journey as a rock star, entrepreneur, aviator, and cultural diplomat (exemplifying personalized, lifelong, and social-emotional learning) to show how educators can most effectively and equitably transform students into culturally competent lifelong learners. By exploring the elements of a truly holistic education that fosters cultural competence and a globally-aware growth mindset, Ravi will shift your thinking on how public education can put society on a path to equity, equality and ultimately world peace.
How to create lifelong learners with strong leadership skills, cultural competence, and social responsibility.
“How do we prepare students for an unpredictable future?” Ravi believes that educators shape the future based on how they prepare students. With 4 out of 10 jobs to be automated within ten years (perhaps sooner in the wake of the Coronavirus), schools must shift their goals from student achievement to student learning, and teachers must pivot from being the purveyors of knowledge to facilitators of classroom experiences. Creating lifelong learners is the only way to create the future we need, and by empowering students to guide that process within a focused structure, we create lifelong learners. Moreover, as technology transforms the world into a decentralized “sharing economy,” the future we need may not revolve around jobs. Instead, World Peace pivots from idealism to necessity, and education is the greatest force we have to create it.
Armed with eye-opening data and his inspiring stories from around the world, Ravi shows education leaders how to give students ownership over their learning while equipping them with strong leadership skills and a long-term vision. This will not only prepare students for their future, but also create the future that a global society needs—one that has unity across diverse cultures and generations, inspires social responsibility, and ultimately has us on a path toward World Peace.
• The four essential skills that every lifelong learner needs for pivoting
• Teaching cultural competence and identifying implicit bias, and using privilege as a resource
• Creating experiential/project-based learning opportunities from readily available resources
• Recruit and retain qualified culturally-sensitive teachers using a vision and mission that resonates
• Identify and prepare students for the industries of the future which are those that foster social responsibility and sustainable development
BONUS: Get a free student presentation at your local high school with any education conference/convocation keynote.
Solving challenges and exposing opportunities in cross-generational work environments.
Ravi’s perspective is uniquely relevant being “Generation X”—the bridge between Millennials and Baby-Boomers. Having worked globally collaborating across cultures, he reveals just how much we all have in common even though we become paralyzed by our differences. Such insight leads to more effective employee recruitment/retention and enables each one of us to create greater harmony within our companies and communities. In this eye-opening and thought-provoking keynote, discover how to use these commonalities as building blocks for collaboration to create a more empathetic, entrepreneurial, and socially considerate work environments. He also challenges participants to consider how artificial intelligence will impact the workplace, future decision-making, and value systems, as well as how businesses, industries, and society-at-large must adapt in order to navigate this changing landscape.
Ravi empowers Boomers, Xers, and Millennials to successfully collaborate for a more prosperous and desirable future. by learning how to:
• Reduce “generational baggage” that perpetuates humanity’s greatest obstacles including racism, class-ism, and isolationism
• Understand the root of Millennial “entitlement” and use it for positive growth
• Recognize Millennials’ true relationship with technology and how Artificial Intelligence will impact their values and decisions
• Embrace the entrepreneurial mindset and use it to foster proactive employees
• Prevent Millennials and Gen Z from becoming apathetic and disaffected in an environment in which they are particularly vulnerable
How to pivot toward serving humanity and justify it economically to be successful in the age of technology and A.I.
For entrepreneurs, corporations, and employees, the ability to pivot is the difference between staying relevant and becoming redundant in an age where nearly 40% of jobs will be automated within 10 years (source: PwC). Moreover, Ravi shows how focusing on human connection, global citizenship, and economic justifications will not only attract the best employees and customers but will actually foster the global relations required in a sharing economy. By sharing how he created successive opportunities throughout an entrepreneurial career filled with obstacles, he reveals amazing tools for relationship building and global collaboration that build a better world in which longterm prosperity prevails…all while living the words of Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Ravi showcases how focusing on humanity supported by economic justification breeds success in the age of technology by teaching audiences how to:
• Find your pivot points
• Develop a “pay it forward” mentality from which reciprocity conjures support
• Build meaningful networks and strategic alliances that foster multi-cultural and global growth
• Convert every failure into opportunity
• Become life-long learners
How to pursue your passion and rally the needed support to be successful.
In this presentation, Ravi encourages attendees to pursue their passions regardless of preconceptions or obstacles. However, following one’s dream is not about rebelling against one’s parents, school, or traditional values. It is about collaborating with these influences while broadening horizons and being “the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi). A child’s own talents, strengths, and interests often differ from their “predetermined” path. As they become teenagers, those same interests can become aspirations that are then in conflict with traditional expectations of any given family, society, or culture. Ironically, it is this very difference that is most likely to give a young adult an “edge,” enabling him or her to achieve greater success. Moreover, in the age of automation and globalization, the perceived security of a traditional career is no longer the reality.
Using his own story of growing up in a family of politicians and bankers but ultimately pursuing a career in music, Ravi tells the story of how he earned the support of his parents, engineered his own very successful career, and as an adult, made his family extremely proud by not just living his dreams, but also by contributing positively to the world around him.
“The best keynote we ever had.”
“A dynamic, engaging speaker who can charm an audience in seconds.”
“Our members said that Ravi was one of the very best keynote speakers they’ve ever heard.”
“Ravi’s journey is a testament to the positive impact each one of us can make building connections and relationships.”
“The feedback from our members has been overwhelmingly positive.”
“A charismatic, dynamic speaker who captivates audiences from his opening line to his last.”
“The outpouring of compliments regarding Ravi’s words during superintendent’s conference day was over the top.”
“In my 30 years with TACE, Ravi is by far the best speaker that we’ve presented.”
“Ravi was the highlight of the conference. Attendees gave him the highest rating.”
“Ravi was a terrific. He was engaging and his message was powerful.”
“Ravi presented at our state education convention and was phenomenal!”
“An experience of a lifetime. Lives are forever-changed through Ravi’s storytelling.”
“Outstanding! Ravi’s message is powerful, and his purpose is inspirational.”
“Ravi was a terrific. He was engaging and his message was powerful.”