THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION AND LEARNING
WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Education and the exponential future are kindred spirits, both are adventures filled with wonder and awe, but in order to prepare ourselves and our workforces for what’s coming education and training needs to evolve.
THIS CODEX is not some casual academic exercise. It’s a living document to encourage debate and invite critique about how we build vibrant education and life long training programs that unlock human potential, and prepare us all, young and old alike, for life and careers in the exponential future, where the rate of cultural, industrial, and societal change accelerates, and where reality will become increasingly difficult to distinguish from science fiction.
It’s also a Codex that will guide my own children’s’ education in the years to come, and I’m glad to say that after the first edition was published the thinking in this Codex has already been adopted by the Canadian, UAE and UK governments – and we have only just begun our journey.
Today, of the hundreds of powerful emerging technologies that are arriving only 9 are even discussed within schools. We are already setting ourselves up to fail in the future.
As an entrepreneur, futurist, and NED working up to 50 years out I have the privilege of helping some of the world’s boldest and most visionary entrepreneurs and organisations envision and build tomorrow’s world.
Whether it’s building the first generation of biological computers, envisioning the next 20 years of gadgets, semi-conductors, and smartphones, and the things that supersede them all, or mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, in many respects it can be said that I have a front row seat to our amazing future.
Tomorrow’s world will be as amazing as it is uncertain as the pace of technological development accelerates exponentially, and I, and many other parents I talk to around the world on my travels and after my keynotes, are concerned that today’s education systems are at risk of woefully under-preparing students for the great period of cultural, industrial and societal change that lies ahead – some of which is already arriving on our proverbial doorstep.
The ultimate risk here is, of course, that we do nothing and carry on as we are and put our children’s futures at risk, and I for one am not willing to take that risk, so I hope you will join me and help me shape future versions of this Codex.
I would also like to make it absolutely clear from the outset that I fully believe in, support and respect all of today’s educators who are doing their best to educate and prepare our children, including mine, for a future where science fiction is increasingly science fact, and who are working diligently, sometimes against great odds, to help students prepare to become vital independent members of society and life long earners.
The future will be unlike anything any of us have ever witnessed before, from the rise of fully autonomous organisations to the eventual arrival of biologically inspired computing, and beyond, and I’d like to quickly put some of it into context for you. Similarly what I’m going to show you next is, as I describe it, simply the snowflake on the top of the giant proverbial iceberg, and if you’d like to see more of it then I have plenty of additional content and videos I can share with you.
Today’s education system that many people still refer to as an “Industrial Age” education system because of its age and format, is focused on developing students to be specialists whose careers are tied in lock step with the development of specific fields and specific sectors.
However, today, and even more so tomorrow, many careers, as we’ve seen witnessed countless times before, are at increasingly high risk of being automated and dead-ending at faster rates now than at any other time in our history.
Unlike the past though in the future we will continue to see, as we already are today, the rapid automation of both cognitive professions as well as manual ones, with the upshot being that over time the careers technology will be capable of automating, from healthcare to law, and beyond, will continue to expand.
Additionally, when we put that first snowflake onto the tip of our iceberg we’ve also seen the creation of the world’s first fully automated organisation, on Wall Street no less, and for those of you who feel that we should educate students in right brain thinking then, again, we’re already beginning to see the automation of creativity and innovation, something I discuss in later chapters – both areas that just a couple of years ago were thought to be completely out of the reach of machines.
The world is changing, so sit back, grab a decaf molecular coffee and come with me as I explore what the future of education could, or should, look like.