KnowledgeWorks released the third edition of its groundbreaking education forecast, which describes where education stakeholders will have greater and easier access to entrepreneurship and capital, where educators will redefine professional roles, and where career pathways will require increased acquired skills and certifications, this week.

Jillian Darwish, KnowledgeWorks’ vice president for Organizational Development and Foresight, said, “The forecast aims to help respond to disruptions of the coming decade with creativity rather than fear to prepare learners for an uncertain future.”  Darwish led the work along with Senior Director Katherine Prince Grimsley.

Forecast 3.0, Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem, created in collaboration with Saveri Consulting and with input from the Institute for the Future, describes five disruptive forces:

  • Democratized Startups: Transformational investment strategies and open access to startup knowledge, expertise, and networks will seed an explosion of disruptive social innovations.
  • High-Fidelity Living: As big data floods human sensemaking capacities, cognitive assistants and contextual feedback systems will help people target precisely their interactions with the world.
  • De-Institutionalized Production: Activity of all sorts will be increasingly independent of institutions as contributions become more ad-hoc, dynamic, and networked.
  • Customizable Value Webs: Innovative, open business models will leverage complex networks of assets and relationships to create ultra-customer-centric experiences across industries.  
  • Sharable Cities: Next gen cities will drive social innovation, with urban infrastructure shaped by patterns of human connection and contribution.

“At KnowledgeWorks, we hold a steadfast commitment to igniting challenging, inspiring, and disruptive conversations as a means of catalyzing new ways of thinking and acting that radically increase the chances for all learners to thrive in our rapidly changing world,” Darwish said.

Prince Grimsley sees teaching and learning as going through a similar transformation as other knowledge-based industries such as publishing and says that it’s important that learning institutions are prepared for change. “We’ll be able to put the pieces together in a new combinations that make best use of what we can do today while ensuring that we meet our collective goal of preparing all learners to thrive tomorrow,” she said.

Chris Tebben, executive director for Grantmakers for Education, said the forecast is a useful tool for those interested in the future of education and wanting to make sense of trends. “This forecast is a wonderful next step in helping serve the field well at this stage in the work,” Tebben said. “The examples provide a clear and compelling picture of the trends shaping the future of learning.”

Education Advocate Tom Vander Ark, who often speaks about the shift to personal and digital learning, said Forecast 3.0 affirms the fact that the future of learning will be more personalized and dynamic.

“KnowledgeWorks is in the forefront of thought leadership around the future of learning, and this latest edition of the forecast will help us better prepare for the dramatic changes in education spurred by how we use technology,” he said.

KnowledgeWorks CEO Brian Ross said Forecast 3.0 is a guide of sorts for the organization, allowing KnowledgeWorks to continue to innovate in education and affect positive change on the ground. He said prior forecasts have led the organization to investigate innovative, more effective learning strategies such as project-based learning and blended/digital learning.

“Since we started examining trends shaping the future of education and learning in 2005, we have seen both tremendous innovation and tremendous challenge.  We expect both to continue over the coming decade.  But we also expect that the degree to which the next 10 years are shaped by innovation or hampered by challenge will largely reflect the choices that we all make today,” Ross said.

For more, visit knowledgeworks.org.

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