Joao Vitor Antonini






Pulp and Paper


Sep 2018 - May 2020

By Joao Vitor Antonini

Module 5 – down the rabbit hole

Citation. In Oxford citation is important. If you have an academic background this could be natural, but for some of us, who are used to think about business models that we don’t know where they came from, using citation could be a little bit puzzling. There is formal importance to citation, but in essence, knowledge is a collective of thinkers and mankind is at this stage of evolution due to this collectiveness, respecting each contribution its construction. Or maybe, it is easier to explain complex systems using simple rules, those that you may find in children’s books, where a protagonist follows a white rabbit through a journey (CARROLL, 1865).

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. In addition to his works about Alice, Lewis Carroll (formally Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) developed a long relationship with Oxford, living most of his life as a scholar and a teacher. Maybe this is the reason I am able to find so many connections between the EMBA and his works. The rabbit hole is similar to each flight we make to the UK: we are apart from our adult life, breaking free from the cultural/social heritage preconceptions and back again to an unmolded childish brain, asking questions in a tea party, following the white rabbit out of curiosity and realising if you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take (CARROLL, 1865)!

Lectures. Module 5 is a challenge. There is some pressure about complex systems since we have to give a presentation to a board about our assignment on Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford. Also, there are lots of discussions on macroeconomics and strategy, that helps us to make more sense of the nonsensical wonderland of global economy and business. There are also other assignments to be finished; Oxford doesn’t give you a break, and staying in the library after hours or having breakfast in a meeting room becomes usual.

Time to go back to Brazil. Flooding in Sao Paulo could be the first sign that you are not in Wonderland anymore. Nothing is making sense yet, but pushing your way in the real world became easier, preconceptions became more and more irrelevant, and you feel that curiosity is not only a spark but a flame that keeps you exploring a path and learning at each step. At the end of the day, Oxford EMBA is a life-changing experience, and I have been listening to this from everybody around me. But for now I must be grateful to Lewis Carroll for showing me how to make a little more sense and put this journey into some words.

Carroll, L. (1865). Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. Macmillan.

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