Education As The Bridge Between Eras

In the mid-1800s, when operating steam-driven machines required a skilled workforce, education helped the working class emerge from a period of stagnation. Later, high school helped ease the transition from the farm to the factory and office. We find ourselves straddling two eras again. The world economic forum estimates that sixty-five percent of children today will end up in careers that do not exist yet.

Our goal is to double the world’s GDP. That’s a very audacious goal. But education is the only thing that has ever done it in the past. It can jumpstart entire economies

Sebastian Thrun – Chairman and co-founder of Udacity

So here we are again. Education must emerge as the bridge between eras. It must ensure that those educated embody the qualities and competencies essential to life in a society different than our industrial past.

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Innovation In The Education Space

A great video describing innovation in the education space. Special thanks to April Harris for pulling together another impactful video! Join the conversation on this and other topics by visiting the Reimagining the Future YouTube Channel.

From Sage On The Stage To Co-Creator Of Learning

20th century education was based on the assumption that the teachers have the answers and that their job is to impart those answers to the students, as the “sage on the stage.”

By contrast, 21st century education is, or should be, based on the assumption that the answers are already available in the digital world. The purpose of education should be to inspire the students to ask the right questions and discover those answers for themselves and start applying the answers in their own lives

Steve Denning

That quote says it all and this short video captures the thinking from an earlier post on an Education Revolution. A number of interviews with educators can be found at the Reimagining the Future YouTube Channel.

A New Post K-12 World and A Future Capability Profile

Education is a common thread that flows through posts like this one on Poker and an earlier one on Robot Artists. Steve Denning said it well when he said: “There could hardly be anything more important for the future of the country than the strength of its education system.” This short video clip looks at aspects of an emerging Education Revolution.

Robot Artists And Musicians

I’ve asked this question before: Is Creativity the Sole Domain of Humans? As each day passes, the answer becomes clearer. One of the most impactful videos I use captures a conversation between Sophia the robot and Jimmy Fallon. As you watch their interaction, you quickly lose sight of the fact that Sophia is a robot. It’s easy for humans to be threatened by a robot that seems to encroach upon the characteristics that make us distinctly human. However, the other side of this discussion represents the potential for a positive human outcome. One example is the introduction of Companion Robots that help deal with the challenges of loneliness and isolation. Another is the role of robots in healthcare and elderly care.

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An Education Revolution

There could hardly be anything more important for the future of the country than the strength of its education system. 

Steve Denning

I read a great Article on education the other day written by leadership thinker Steve Denning. My passion for the future of education is expressed in frequent Posts on the topic – so the article struck a chord. As a leadership guru, Mr. Denning focused on the management of education and provided some fascinating statistics. For example, in 2006, only 43% of school personnel in the US were teachers, while in other countries, that percentage was 70 to 80%. Seems that this imbalance is driven by a compliance focus that has employees trying to monitor and comply with federal and state requirements. Mr. Denning believes that lost in this period of industrial-era bureaucracy is the purpose of organizations involved in education. He describes a current corporate revolution in management and leadership that he believes needs to take root in education. There are two very critical points made in the article that speak to a need to Think Differently.

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We Live In A New Era – Our Institutions Need To Catch Up

The world is in a state of transition and has been for a while. Across multiple domains from society and geopolitics to the economy, the future looks very different. Driven in part by societal shifts and rapid advances in science and technology, the foundation of society is changing. However, the institutions that support that society are not evolving or changing fast enough. I call this phenomenon Institution 2.0 and track it as a future scenario.

One of those institutions is Education. Learning – and the role it played throughout history – is key to managing through periods of transition. This YouTube Channel contains a series of interviews that we conducted on the topic. This video teaser describes the role of education in this emerging era.

COVID-19 Impacts University Enrollment

A recent Study found that the number of students enrolling in college immediately after high school plunged nearly 22% this past fall over last year. The future of education is a big discussion topic, as the pandemic is threatening the viability of education organizations and models. Key findings include:

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Education In Transformative Eras

I had the pleasure of joining RegalixTV recently for a session focused on education. Host Dheeraj Prasad and I discussed the importance of education in transformative eras, how digital learning experiences are evolving, why there needs to be a shift in focus with respect to skill sets and a whole lot more on Knowledge-Centered Growth.

Tune in to watch the full Interview. I have focused a great deal on education recently. You got explore the topic via my earlier posts.

Capturing The Future Of Education Via Infographic

The Future Of Children

The Future Reimagined

Rethinking The Future Of Higher Education

Capturing The Future Of Education Via Infographic

I’ve dedicated many of my last several posts to the topic of education. I recently joined a Future of Children event and participated in what they set up as a shark tank segment. The pitch was to focus on a the future of education. The message I delivered is captured in the infographic below. At the end of the post you will find links to my other recent education posts.

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The Future Of Children

With a continued focus on the Future of Education and our need to Rethink it, I want to share a video from a great event that I had the privilege to participate in. The Children at Risk organization serves as a catalyst for change to improve the quality of life for children through strategic research, public policy analysis, education, collaboration, and advocacy. This event focused on education and learning.

Special thanks to Alexandra Whittington for inviting me to the event. As we gaze upon what is likely the most Disruptive decade in history, children and their future is something we should all rally behind. Enjoy the session.

The Future Reimagined

Over the course of the last several years, videos shared on YouTube have allowed for various forms of story telling. Stories about the future help us visualize possible paths. Recently, new team member Kevin Benedict launched a TV series on the Channel focused on the future of business. He has had several fascinating guests covering a variety of topics. Now, Kevin is moderating a new series where I am joined by various guests focused on a future reimagined. Our inaugural session was launched last week.

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Rethinking The Future Of Higher Education

I mentioned last week that I would spend time on education and our critical need to rethink it. To start that journey, fellow Futurist Alexandra Whittington joins our future of business show with host Kevin Benedict. Listen in to their wide ranging conversation about futurism and the rethinking of higher education.

The Future Of Jobs

Data gathered by LinkedIn, Coursera and the World Economic Forum was captured in a Future of Jobs Report recently published by The World Economic forum (WEF). A good summary is provided by senior writer Kate Whiting in her recent Article on the WEF website. Report content is showing up in varied places, with key findings like those below widely shared:

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We Must Think Critically And Differently

It was late 2013 and I was thinking about the transformation that digital would eventually drive. In a Series of Posts on transformation, I laid out my early thinking about forcing functions and related enablers. One of those enablers was Thinking Differently. In this Article authored by Jeff Haden, he describes the viewpoints of best-selling author Simon Sinek:

“These are not unprecedented times. There are many cases — lists of cases — where change, or something unexpected, has put many companies out of business, and made other companies come out stronger and reinvent themselves. The invention of the Internet put many, many companies out of business. The ones who could not reinvent themselves for the Internet age but rather doubled down on the old way they did business.”

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The Emerging Future of Education

I had the pleasure of discussing the future of education recently with Nick Burnett, Co-Founder of LearnTech Lab. Their mission is focused on a topic that I find critical to the future of society. From their website:

OUR MISSION IS TO CONNECT THE IDEAS, PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES WITH THE SCHOOLS WHO ARE REIMAGINING THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION.

They describe the challenge this way: education is entering a period of exponential change where there is a great need for learners, teachers and leaders to learn, unlearn and relearn faster than ever before. Traditional approaches to learning and teaching are no longer sufficient in the new era. Technology and Learning combined stand to have the boldest impact on deepening and accelerating learning, teaching and leading in schools. We invite you to come and join us on the journey.

Here is a video of our discussion.

What Skills Do You Need To Outsmart Robots?

What job skills do we need for the future? A popular question that comes up a lot. In a Recent Post, I listed several: emotional intelligence, creativity, flexibility, adaptability, data literacy, and technology savviness. This Tweet of a World Economic Forum video adds complex problem solving, critical thinking, people management, working with others, and decision making to the list.

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Connecting our Brain to the Internet

In a world of knowledge abundance, there are so many things to consider. Knowledge has always been the engine that drives human development – and it has been throughout history. Knowledge expanded in the hunter-gatherer days with the invention of fire. In those days, a human obtained all its food by foraging. Although the source of food did not change, fire allowed humans to cook food and consume more calories. The human brain expanded with this caloric increase, and soon we invented language – the first in a series of innovations that drove the growth of knowledge. All that followed – from agriculture to the great inventions of the second industrial revolution – enabled us to advance as humans. I explored that progression Here.

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Jobs will be very different in 10 years

As many focus on the future of work, various different perspectives are presented. A common theme is emerging: Jobs will be there, but they will be very different within the next decade. This recent Article draws three conclusions:

  • In 10 years time, 50% of jobs will be changed by automation – but only 5% eliminated.
  • 9 out of 10 jobs will require digital skills.
  • Young, low-skilled and vulnerable people – all need help with up-skilling.

Several critical points are made by the World Economic Forum article:

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Our Ultimate Job is to be Human

After posting this Article on Education and Learning, colleague and fellow Futurist Gerd Leonhard made me aware of his recent video. In his short video, Gerd describes why our ultimate job is to be human. Enjoy.