Freedom brings responsibilities
Last week I wrote that creative Turks would have great potential if the government and society only let them be themselves. What better way to prove my point than to write about a successful technology entrepreneur who is only 18-years-old and a high school student?
The first time I got to know about Kaan Göksal was when I read an article by Burcu Aybat, the educational technology coordinator at Robert College in Istanbul.
He is working on the “Internet of Things.” This is how he describes the concept in his blog: "The IOT (Internet of Things) is an internet/hardware based platform in which everyday objects have network connectivity that allows them to be smarter, more efficient and more intractable. For example, Nest’s (a company owned by Google) smart thermostat, is an IOT product that allows the user to adjust their home’s heating/cooling remotely via their mobile phones/computers. The smart thermostat also optimizes the fuel consumption for heating with the help of smart algorithms and its sensors. In the near future, 2020 Intel foreshadows that we will have smart cities that have every component connected with IOT. Public transportation infrastructure, energy infrastructure, water management, communications … with the help of IOT, massive amounts of optimization will be achieved and efficiency will be increased drastically."
Not only does he work in the area, he has established a firm and already has a product. This is from his blog, too: “We are an IOT company producing smart devices that connect to the Internet and optimize your life by any means! This is our flagship product. ThinkThing Wire! It’s a smart-plug that you can control from your smartphone, PC or wearable. It is connected to an AI that helps you to save energy. Also, it has some fun features, like when Elsa texts me, my desk lamp goes crazy, indicating I should answer back ASAP! :)”
An 18-year-old high school kid who is involved in high-tech stuff and who already has a firm and a product is something that you can see in the U.S. more often than in Turkey.
I am also a proud alumni of the same school, so I'm familiar with his background.
Robert College is celebrating its 150th anniversary and there are many graduates from the school who have made remarkable contributions to society. It is good to see that each generation is growing up with the necessities of their future.
How does Robert College manage to do this? The answer is simple. It is a school where they teach you to think freely and take responsibility for your own actions.
One of my teachers always said this: “Freedom brings responsibilities.” I believe that in our educational system in Turkey we desperately need to say this more often rather trying to curb young minds into our own world vision.
I believe that if the government chooses to believe in students and let them be as they wish to be, they would find ways to be more innovative, creative and better human beings.
I believe that only a generation of free thinkers can uplift Turkey technologically with startups just like Kaan and his peers.