Episode 38

STEM, learning languages and innovating (Interview with MIT director Dr Luis Perez-Breva)

episode 38

Do you like science, technology, engineering or Mathematics? Would you like to get better at learning languages? Do you want to know why schools are putting more emphasis on these subjects? Are you considering a future career or even starting your own business in one of these areas? If so, you’re going to love this episode of The Unstoppable Teen Podcast because it’s packed with great advice from a world leader in these fields.

Here’s something you may not know about me; I left school at 16 years of age and never went to university. My guest in this episode, Dr Luis Perez-Breva, took the opposite path; he has an impressive four degrees (that’s not a typing error!) and now teaches at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In addition to his impressive education, Luis is a successful entrepreneur, he speaks multiple languages, and he’s an expert in innovation (he even wrote a book on the subject!). Luis consults and collaborates in countries around the world, which allows him to give us a truly international perspective into what it takes to achieve our goals.

If you have any hopes of one being an entrepreneur, listen in for some incredible insight and information! If you’re interested in a STEM subject or languages, this episode also has some amazing offerings for you; Luis will share some of his personal experiences in these subjects, and talks about future career opportunities in these fields.

Click on the player above to listen now!

“The knowledge you need lies ahead, not just behind you.”
Dr Luis Perez-Breva – Entrepreneur & Innovation Expert

You will learn:

  • Where Luis was born what it was like to live in a country that had only recently become a democracy. (5:37)
  • How Luis got his start in learning about computers and coding. (7:38)
  • Luis’ thoughts on the relation between physical activities (specifically sports) and academic performance and success. (9:27)
  • How Luis decided what to study in college and pursue as his career. (12:44)
  • Why continuous learning and education is so important. (15:29)
  • What Luis does when he teaches at MIT to help his students learn. (18:15)
  • Luis’ thoughts on making “the perfect decision,” and why the concept is bogus. (20:33)
  • Luis’ ideas on learning languages. (27:27)
  • How Luis is raising his children to be bilingual. (32:18)
  • Some of Luis’ experience with business start-ups and entrepreneurship. (37:58)
  • Luis’ thoughts on the idea of specializing in one career. He explains that you don’t need to limit yourself to a specific domain. (41:55)
  • Where Luis thinks artificial intelligence might be going over the next decade or more. (44:00)
  • What is “new literacy” and how does this apply to young people? (47:14)
  • What Luis means when he says that STEM subjects are tools to solve social problems. (54:23)
  • One big mistake that entrepreneurs make when they start their own businesses and what you can do to avoid it. (56:45)
  • That successful life stories take some work to create, and why starting something new isn’t necessarily the easiest path if your motivation is to be rich. (61:27)
  • The core message that Luis really wants people to get when they read his book, Innovating. (64:01)
  • What the difference between “innovation” and “innovating” is, and why it’s important to differentiate between the two. (65:57)
  • What Luis believes it takes to be unstoppable. (71:09)
“The obsession with making a perfect decision is profoundly upsetting.”
Dr Luis Perez-Breva – Entrepreneur & Innovation Expert

Learn more from Dr Luis Perez-Breva


If you like what you hear in the interview, you’ll probably want to check out Luis’ book;
Innovating: A Doer’s Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong.

You can also stay in touch with Luis via his website and social media channels: