This episode builds on last weeks.
Every technology we take for granted today was once considered impossible.
The science fiction novels, comic book, and movies of the past are full of technologies from the imaginations of writers that have since been transformed to science fact and reality by someone who believed, what most considered impossible, to be possible. I’m old enough to remember the phone-like device from Star Trek that only a few years later ended up in my hands branded Startac by Motorola.
Inventions like these just took time, curiosity, dedication, creativity, and grit; built on the foundation of a good education.
However is an education system that was, by in large, created to teach the skills needed to serve the workforce of the past, sufficient for the fast-approaching job reality of the future. That’s why we ask our guest’s what they would do to change the education system to help prepare youth for their uncertain future.
Think about this. Children entering education in 2020 will be young adults in 2035. It’s on us to prepare them to remain economically and socially relevant in a world of discontinuity. Inhabiting an environment full of technologies that have not yet been invented, will require them to solve problems that have not yet been imagined, as they fill jobs that have not yet been created.
The unprecedented speed and an array of technological developments, that promise never before imagined opportunities for human advancement, we need to embrace the reality that change will be the only constant.
Or as our guest, Beth Comstock said we need to learn to be comfortable with ambiguity. That is a lot easier said than done.
As I have alluded in previous reflections, and interviews, it’s our generation’s responsibility to educate our children for this world they will inherit.
What’s the answer?
Yuval Noah Harari in his recent book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, cites educational experts that argue for the need to teach creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.
that we down-regulate specialist technical skills and up-regulate general-purpose life skills
The most crucial being to enable children to deal with change, learn new things, preserve mental balance in the face of unfamiliar situations and prepare them to reinvent themselves again and again.
Personally, living in New York in 2019 I feel this is the world I am living in that reality today
For as the pace of change changes even the meaning of being human will mutate.
To prepare them to overcome adversity and navigate this world of uncertainty, we need to nurture their soft skills of curiosity, creativity, and imagination. They will need more resilience and self-regulation; respect and appreciation for the ideas of others, empathy for the perspectives and values of those unlike them and embrace failure and rejection regularly.
If we are to create a world where we all thrive our children’s motivation must, as the OECD states, move beyond getting a good job and a high income; and extend to caring more about the well-being of their friends and families, their communities and the planet.
To equip our children with a sense of agency, purpose, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will enable them to navigate the discontinuity, change, and instability that will be the reality of life in 2035 and beyond, we must relearn the act of learning, re-educate the educator’s, and end the production line process of education.
It starts with a renewed focus on the timeless wisdom, and the question of who we really are?
It’s the big question at the heart of our guest Shantell Martin’s art and insight that too few of us ever question who we really are and explore who we want to be.
This is important for all of us, regardless of age.
However For children retaining and nurturing their Individuality, and identity is the greatest challenge they face, losing it before it is ever discovered by the manipulation of machines that learn to make us think, act, purchase, and vote based on the autocratic authority of algorithms.
Even today, as we drown in distraction and the flood contradiction and confusing information, the coercion of clickbait is ample evidence of that hacking of our minds, hearts, and humanity is well underway.
It’s time to take back control of the probable future, while it’s still possible.
We will explore educational innovations more in Season 2.
But for now, that’s all folks.
This episode builds on last weeks.