Imagine Cup winner Zbyněk Poulíček doesn’t consider himself an educator in the traditional sense of the word, but he is undoubtedly a teacher. While still a student, Poulíček, along with his colleages, started GINA Software, a business with global applications focused on protecting people during crisis situations. We asked Poulíček what inspires him and what he would do to improve education in his native Czech Republic.
Why is education important to you?
I believe that educating the others is the best way to use my knowledge and experience. It doesn’t make sense to me to put the effort into activities which bring benefits to nobody but me. I believe the experience has to be shared.
Can you describe the teacher who most influenced you?
He’s name is Adam Herout and he was my teacher and mentor at the university. He wasn’t just providing me with information like many other teachers do; he was showing me how to use the information, which has been very important to me and my career.
Describe the most inspiring day you’ve experienced as an educator.
I can remember a day when I wasn’t an educator yet but rather a student of IT, and I had won one category of Microsoft’s competition Imagine Cup in CZ. During the celebration in Microsoft’s offices, I met the winners of other categories who were much younger than me and with technically lower education levels then me — but I was amazed by their abilities and knowledge. I realized that some people younger than me already have the same or even better knowledge of current technologies, and this gives them a huge potential.
If you could change one thing about today’s “system” of education, what would it be?
At least in our country, the education system focuses on development of academic knowledge of students — which is necessary — but the system doesn’t motivate the students to gain something more from the studies themselves. I’ve heard it many times from students and experienced it myself as well: students are often learning without seeing the purpose. Not until later do they realize the usefulness of what they’ve learned. I think it is important to inspire the students to realize how wide their possibilities are, especially in IT where they need almost zero investment for starting their project and even creating a
For me, entrepreneurship is a way to apply my creativity and to fulfill myself, and I believe this is the best and most efficient way to use anyone’s abilities. Fortunately there are some private companies trying to motivate students to use their knowledge by means of competitions, but it is still not enough. I hope that in the future there will be more and more influencers showing the students that they can change the world. And if they start to believe that, they really can.
About Zbyněk Poulíček
Zbyněk Poulíček is a CEO, entrepreneur, presenter, mentor, open-source developer, student and dancer. He finished his master’s degree in IT in 2010, then, along with some colleagues, started GINA Software s.r.o., focused on solutions supporting security missions and relief work. His current technology focus is on geographical systems and software design for mobile devices.
Birthplace: Valtice, Czech Republic
Current residence: Brno, Czech Republic
Education: Master’s Degree in IT
Websites I check every day: Blogs (PodnikanivUSA.com), Facebook
Person who inspires me most: Haven’t decided who inspires me the most, but there are around 10 people who inspire me every day including my friends, philosophers, entrepreneurs and innovators (John Vanhara, Patrick Meier).
Favorite childhood memory: Sunny afternoons spent at home with my family playing games and having fun.
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Work: Brussels, Milano; Pleasure:Istanbul
Favorite books: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Godfather by Mario Puzzo
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