( A three-minute read for all Educators)
I see the movement towards AI and robotics as evolutionary, in large part because it is such a sociological leap. The technology may be ready, but we are not—at least, not yet.
It is widely agreed that education is the most effective means that society possesses for confronting the challenges of the future.
Indeed, education will shape the world of tomorrow NOT TECHNOLOGY.
The changes we have seen in the past 20 years may one day seem trivial compared with those of the coming decades.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries such as health care, transport and logistics, customer service, and home maintenance.
There will be a vast displacement of labor over the next decade.
The most critical question facing the academic world is something far more fundamental THAN OBTAINING A DEGREE:
Our system of education forces students to “qualify” in something.
Although this works reasonably well in service to core professional competencies, this arbitrary structure does little to encourage breadth of education.
Namely, what it will mean to be an educated person in the 21st century.
One of the great challenges for students and our schools, UNIVERSITIES is to evolve beyond the narrow confines of “disciplines” and embrace the chaos and uncertainty of a rapidly changing world, bearing in mind that the “discipline” of today is the forgotten history of the future.
It is for this reason that education is the primary agent of transformation towards sustainable development.
It is also for this reason that society must be deeply concerned that much of the education presently on offer falls far short of what is required.
Improving the quality and coverage of education and reorienting its goals to recognize the importance of sustainable development must be among society’s highest priorities.
The world has changed a lot in the last 150 years, but we humans are driven by the same basic needs as we were 150 years ago, food, sleep, sex, the feeling of being appreciated and loved. Will this change in the next 150 years? No.
Where a notebook and pen may have formed the tool kit of prior generations, today’s students come to class armed with smart phones, laptops and iPods.
Curricula are created as if there are predictable paths to careers, we are basically teaching students to be status-quo oriented. And they will find little supply of status quo in the future.
Will this new generation of leaders be innovators, or followers? Strong, resilient problem solvers, or servants of the status quo?
The answer has everything to do with education . . . or how education is adapted to the realities and wonderful opportunities of the not-too-distant future.
A brand new generation of business and institutional leaders is taking the reins.
The world has continued to shrink and is much, much smaller. Technology has continued an unabated, unchecked progression; what is now futuristic has become commonplace. Complexity is the daily norm, and change the only constant. Opportunities, problems and grand challenges abound.
Sweeping technological changes will effectively change the skill-sets of the future workforce, as well as its approach to work in general.
As a result, societies around the world will need to consider how to make their educational programs to understand the impact of our individual and collective actions on ourselves and on the biosphere as a whole to make the most of these new opportunities.
Today people are more aware than ever of global realities but ill-equipped both to understand or influence those realities.
Education increases the capacities of people to transform their visions of society into operational realities.
Circumstances change and change rapidly, and the career students think they are preparing for today will simply disappear in ten years.
Students need an education that will leave them resilient and prepared to turn on a pin prick.
In a sense all of this can be summarized as the need to teach students to dare, to experiment and to fail with joy.
Leadership: As a discipline, a thing to be practiced and learned, leadership is a woefully low priority in education.
Authenticity: Learning about yourself is perhaps the single most important outcome of a powerful educational experience. Self-awareness can lead to an ever-increasing authenticity, which in turn leads to powerful leadership abilities.
Everyone will have multiple jobs, careers and life experiences and rarely will any one way of thinking or one path to career preparation have a very long shelf life.
Technological innovation, long a hallmark of academic research, may now be changing the very way that universities teach and students learn.
Conformity, and dumbing down by interconnected technology will result in a world where so few will dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of our time.All comments welcome. All like clicks chucked in the bin.