Giulia Magnani London 30/07/2018
We spoke to Nelson Sivalingam, co-founder and CEO of the Ed-tech startup HowNow.
Nelson is a serial entrepreneur and award winning filmmaker. His previous startup One Minute City has been awarded the O2 Smarta Business of the Year and HowNow has been nominated as one of the top 100 startups in the UK.
He has also been a speaker at Google Campus, an Ambassador for Startup Britain, a Guest Lecturer on Entrepreneurship, and has been recognised by Virgin Media Business as one of the top 30 young innovative founders in the country.
He told us about how he is using technology as a powerful tool to aid the democratization of knowledge across different parts of the world.
“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven”.
As Shakespeare wrote, knowledge is one of the most powerful gifts human beings are provided with, one that can lead to the realization of greater things and the achievement of their greatest potential. His message was delivered almost five centuries ago, so how come we have still failed to receive it today?
Our world is extremely heterogeneous and unbalanced in terms of how knowledge is valued, understood and conveyed from one part to another.
“Knowledge is an asset” - Nelson points out - “and, given the technology we have today, we should do a better job at democratizing it”.
Founded in 2016, HowNow’s mission is to allow people to access high quality learning regardless of where they are in the world. It provides organizations and individual educators with a software that enables them to create and customize their own digital learning space.
Organizations benefit from the service by collecting different kinds of knowledge from their employees and distributing it to everyone, while educators can use it to monetize their knowledge and share it with the entire world.
HowNow is a B2B white label platform, which delivers e-learning experiences based on interactions. This is an essential constituent of learning, according to Nelson and researchers.
He told us that HowNow was developed as a substitute to the previous Learning Management Systems, often used by companies and universities to deliver digital content online. Nelson pointed out that one of the main issues with this product type was the lack of engagement, probably the most necessary enabler of any type of learning.
For this reason, HowNow is designed in such a way that it delivers “learner-centric” teaching experiences based on interaction, mutuality and collectivity.
“We live in a knowledge-based economy, and each one of us knows something others don’t”.
Nelson tells us how he loves to be a part of something that brings people together and creates a collaborative community: a community that grows stronger by delivering, sharing and exchanging knowledge.
He defines EdTech (education technology) as an example of how technology and Artificial Intelligence should not come to replace human beings, rather it should make them stronger by enabling them to come together.
“Always be learning,” - is Nelson’s advice - “have the curiosity and the appetite to read outside of things that you already know and are passionate about”.
Knowledge is powerful. The more it is shared, the more it grows.
HowNow, currently based in over 30 different countries and containing a large variety of courses, hopefully will, by bringing people together, enable Shakespeare’s message to get across after almost five centuries.