LRNG and Institute for the Future: Helping Youth Get #FutureFit

By Connie Yowell. This post was originally published by LRNG

What does it mean to be future ready? Better yet, how can learners become future fit? The Institute for the Future (IFTF) brought together thought leaders on the future of work and learning at the Future Skills convening last week to discuss these topics. At the event, IFTF debuted their newly released Future Skills Workout that is aimed at equipping people with skills needed “to live richer and more fulfilling lives in a society that’s undergoing unprecedented change.” LRNG was excited to be an innovation collaborator for the event.

During the convening, LRNG officially announced our partnership with IFTF that will power the creation of a series of playlists and badges to ensure youth develop competencies towards becoming #FutureFit. Partnerships like this are essential because we know that the only way for all people to be prepared for the future of work is by obtaining future ready skills. And while we know this to be true, we also know that many people – particularly young people from underserved communities – are left without adequate access to experiences and opportunities that prepare them with future ready skills.

Prior to each summer I sit with my teenage sons to see how their interests align with what’s being offered in the community. Together we come up with a plan to match their passions with the opportunities that are in, and around, Chicago and they navigate through getting those opportunities in motion. Unfortunately for many young people around the country, this is not their reality. While there are extraordinary assets that exist within many communities, it is often increasingly difficult for low-income youth to find those assets, access them, participate in them and then manage the networks. We seek to provide opportunities for a different reality.

At LRNG we are driven to work with cities and organizations to connect learning experiences to opportunities. Thus ensuring that all young people, especially those from underserved communities, have inspiration and guidance to prepare them for life and work in the modern economy. This drive is one of the reasons why our partnership with IFTF and their Future Skills is so exciting and well aligned. IFTF’s Future Skills have been described as a “workout plan” which help students and workers develop the skills they need to thrive in the future economy.

There are five skills that an individual will learn as they progress through the Future Fit Workout:

  1. Make yourself known: Mastering reputation management
  2. Befriend the machine: Basics of working with artificial intelligence and simulation
  3. Build your tribe: How to build peer-to-peer communities and their importance
  4. Make sense: How to navigate in, and through, complex systems
  5. Keep it going: Reinventing how we think about business

Integral to LRNG’s success is not only the community ecosystem we help develop, but the multi-sided platform which makes that ecosystem possible. The LRNG platform enables young people to access both local and national opportunities from their computer, smartphone, or tablet. The platform allows young people to engage and complete playlists (think of it as a guided path) and badges that then connect them with locally created learning experiences and opportunities including mentorships, job shadows and internships. This seamless ecosystem allows youth to pursue their passions while also acquiring new knowledge and career readiness skills. Our partnership with IFTF folds beautifully within this ecosystem as it will allow their Future Skills workout plan to be integrated with the LRNG platform, allowing young people to develop these essential skills.

There is no better time to focus on preparing young people for the future of work. We look forward to the work with IFTF as we seek to prepare all students with future ready skills so they can succeed in the future of work.

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