This episode is for everyone: corporate executives, entrepreneurs, men, women, young, old – all.
Rana Dajani is a teacher turned molecular cell biologist specializing in stem cell research and the epigenetics of trauma. A visiting professor and fellow at several universities, she established the stem cell research ethics law in Jordan and is one of the most influential scientists in the Arab world. She’s won many awards, including Global Changemaker of the year from Fulbright.
Rana is also an award-winning social entrepreneur for her work on getting children to read for pleasure. Rana’s program “We love reading” started in Jordan and is now a social movement across 55 countries.
We talked about the definition of success from a scientific perspective and what practical steps can we take to change it. But first we discussed stem cell research – what it is and what it means for us everyday people. Rana shared her personal story about how her lifelong dream to be a scientist only came true much later in life. We discussed reading for pleasure and how crucial it is for so many reasons, that lifelong learners are in fact lifelong readers. So how do we create these hungry readers? Not by buying them books, it turns out. We talked about the butterfly effect, and the impact that even one person can have.
My two favorite quotes were:
- her response to someone challenging her ability to change the world “Who do you think you are, you’re just a drop in the ocean…”. Her reply: “what is the ocean but millions of drops?”
- “reading for fun is so important…. For the development of cognitive skills, for the imagination, for learning about other people, so that you’re more empathetic and better at communication”
You can find Rana at her website https://welovereading.org/ or on Twitter as @Prof_RanaDajani. And this is her book: Five Scarves: Doing the Impossible – If We Can Reverse Cell Fate, Why Can’t We Redefine Success?