Dr. Menahem David Smadja is a well-known author, economist and religious scholar. For the past 35 years, Dr. Smadja has been studying economics and its impact and influence in the religious world — examining their spiritual and material response to the challenges of everyday life.
Dr. Menahem David Smadja uses a strong socioeconomic and microeconomic foundation to develop macroeconomic solutions to address the most significant global challenges of this 21st century. His most recent scholarship brings together social, economic, ecological and theological dimensions to address the pressing issue of climate change.
Where did the idea for your consulting business come from?
After several years in the private sector, working as a senior executive for a leading international bank, I started advising companies in China, governments in Africa and around the world.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I work in three different time zones across three continents. Productivity is rarely an issue, getting enough sleep is.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I am excited by the development of hospitals in Africa that are helping to save millions of people. My recent research has focused on how to apply the concept of the Sabbath (day of rest) to address the climate change crisis. In brief summary, my proposal calls for an international day of rest comprising of approximately 53 days per year and an additional 15 days off where both individuals and industry would refrain from all creative, manufacturing and productive activity.
These 70 days, representing approximately 20% of the year, would help achieve the shared goal outlined in the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) of a 20% reduction of pollution globally by 2050. The impact of a day of rest not only would provide needed relief to our planet and ecosystem, it will also benefit people. If individuals adopt a day away from technology, work and other pursuits, we will also see improved quality family time,
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Listening to classical music.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Working on the financial derivatives of Greece in 2006. I learned that a nation that does not have a sense of sharing and love of country and doesn’t think of others is heading for a fall.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would do anything differently.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Investing, a third in diamonds, a third in his business and keep the last third in cash. It’s the best to overcome all crises.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Investing in the creation of an airbag system installed on the stairs to protect people who fall from the stairs.
What software and web services do you use?
The Internet is a remarkable invention. To carry a library in our pocket and in our hands is a most incredible achievement.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The wisdom of the Bible continues to inform and enlighten, in the darkest of places, in the darkest of times. It is a character study, a book of laws and leadership, a cautionary tale and more.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.