What great questions must thriving schools ask?

In our age of exponential technologies...

  • One person can instantly put the world on red alert with a tweet.
  • A team of surgeons can use virtual reality to discover and navigate a deadly condition that would otherwise result in death on the operating table.
  • Data are the new oil of the economy--which means that if you're not paying for the service, then you are the product being sold.

Amidst such rapid and non-linear change, we need time for deep thinking about the big questions that shape society and the individual. As David Rothkopf writes in The Great Questions of Tomorrow,

"[O]n this rapidly shifting ground, we are literally acting before we have the time to think. We are enshrining into law or promulgating as regulations views that have profound impacts on the nature of our societies without benefit of public debate or, perhaps more troublingly, of the intervention of philosophical reflection."

Look again at the examples at the top of this page of "rapidly shifting ground." It seems worth asking:

  • What should leadership look like in the age of Twitter?
  • What might a Hippocratic Oath for immersive technologies articulate?
  • How should we define and enforce privacy within an "Internet of Things" that will capture exponentially more data than is currently imaginable?

In the future, schools that thrive will devote attention and time to exploring the big questions behind those technologies.

They may also have R&D cultures to explore the edges of what's possible with exponential technologies.

And if they're really smart, their exploration will be guided by a spirit of pluralism.

Our attention and our time are our two most valuable resources, in that order. Is your school aligning those two resources to the great questions of tomorrow?


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