Joseph Pistrui


Where did you grow up?
Detroit, USA is my “hometown,” but I grew up in a small village just north of the city.  A great mix of “the motor city” and the agricultural countryside of Michigan.

What do you teach?
I don’t really teach anymore (long ago I concluded that my “students know as much as I do”) but I facilitate learning around the identification and development of new forms of value—mostly financial value for businesses creating new ventures but occasionally more social oriented value that helps make people’s lives better.  Both matter.  I do this work in Master programs, executive education programs, and anywhere else I get the chance.

What do you wish someone had told you in graduate school?
Slow down and take it easy-what you are doing is far more important than you realize.

And your favorite spot in Madrid?
My favorite watering hole in Madrid is the Rincon de Jaen—simple but delicious Andalusian food.  My favorite place in Madrid (providence) is la sierra and the surprisingly beautiful landscape, fresh air and hiking trails.

The book on your nightstand?
The Apps Generation: How Today´s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy and Imagination in a Digital World, by Howard Gardner

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A baseball player

Is there someone who has inspired you?  
Roberto Clemente.  He was a hall of fame baseball player when I was growing up, and he died in a plane crash at the pinnacle of his career flying a humanitarian mission to Nicaragua after an earthquake.

What is your favorite quote?
The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one. – Seneca

Professor Joseph Pistrui was interviewed and photographed by Kerry Parke (July 2014.)