What questions about learning are we not asking?
I recently had the good fortune to talk with Marc Mertens, CEO of A Hundred Years. Marc has been connected for a long time to TED, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Bruce Mau's Massive Change Network.
A Hundred Years is unique, in my experience. They help organizations uncover their true purpose by imagining the impact those organizations can have over a 100-year horizon. In an age in which most strategic plans are shrinking from 5 years to 3 years to even 18 months, Marc and his team at A Hundred Years are doing the exact opposite.
But not out of contrarianism. The stakes are too high for that. Regarding schools and other learning organizations, Marc suggested some huge questions that not enough people are asking:
- "If at least 50% of current jobs will be gone in the next twenty years, then what are we doing now to prepare for the world that is coming?"
- "What do I go to school to study in order to thrive in the world that is coming? To put it another way, how do I find meaning in a post-jobs world?"
- "Is going to school a question of setting myself up for financial benefit and fulfilling my human potential?" (vs. having to choose one over the over)
Twenty years (or a hundred years) may seem like an impossibly long time from now, but in an age of exponential change, we need to ask--and try to begin to answer--these questions now.
If your organization’s mission is to remain relevant, what are you and your colleagues doing to prepare learners for a world without many of the jobs that are familiar to us right now?
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