nce upon a time, I used to be the youngestprofessor in the Netherlands. To be honest, thereare moments when I still feel so, despite the factthat the University of Amsterdam recently offered me aonce-only double monthly salary, the most tangible proof of my honourable length of service. Time to reflect on my “being in the world”!I truthfully find “professor” the most beautifulprofession on earth: being in a position where at thesame time I can encounter terrifically inspiring peopleand I am supposed to inspire people myself, where I amreasonably uninhibited to give my thoughts free rein and where I can consider socially relevant issues as my natural area for special attention. I consider all theseamong the most challenging presents a person can geton earth.I am a professor in information management but people visiting my website – dedicated to informationmanagement, learning and sense-making and at the sametime making frequent use of poetry, arts and other at firstglance exotic sources of inspiration – quite often ask me:“Is all this about information management?” The answer is,as so often in life, “yes and no”. Yes. For a long period, we identified informationmanagement as the management of information
.The effect is that even nowadays many so-called expertsreduce “information” to what can be stored in acomputerised database. In this vision, a person is, in anutshell, nothing but the combination of name and addressand of, if so desired, some other classifiable attributes. Thisreductionistic view has to a large extent conquered theorganisational world and even reached the highest
convergence vol 8 no 1
Hopefully wiser, but older?
reflects on his silver jubilee as professor at theUniversity of Amsterdam