Repositioning The Sun

Our world has shifted…

For a long time we were the sun.

The center of the learning universe.

And the world revolved around our learning institutions.

Allowing those institutions to exert influence out and across our system and society.

But that is no longer the reality…

Our learning institutions are no longer the sun.

They are no longer the center of the learning universe.

That gravitational pull has slowly become diminished and disrupted.

For learning no longer stops and starts at those very same doorsteps.

Which is neither good nor bad, as it just is…

This shift does not lessen the importance and impact of our learning organizations in society and our world.  However, it does require deep reflection on how this shift changes the way we must do business in the future.  And the quicker we understand and come to grips with this shift, the better prepared we will be to equip ourselves with the knowledge and learning to better serve those who step into our learning institutions each and every day.  The better prepared we will be to carve a new and better path forward.

And it’s not just that the idea of learning and education has shifted…

Society as a whole is experiencing tremendous upheaval as the world has been pulled closer together through the dizzying speed, intensifying advancements and expanded capabilities of technology.  And it is not just technology that is scaling up a much more dynamic and changing world, as  we watch our industries and workforce skill-sets and abilities rapidly expand and evolve to keep pace, as this transformation bleeds out and across the entirety of society.

Our economy is slowly being pulled away from the control of large, monolithic companies and organizations as we begin to see a proliferation of start-ups permeating the workforce landscape.  Especially as technology has not only effectively closed the global communication and access gap, but in the same process disrupted and displaced many of the jobs and positions that were previously necessary of human skill to fill.

Which necessitates better…

Awareness of how unlimited access has expanded the learning landscape.

Awareness of how society has and is shifting and changing, both nationally and globally.

Awareness of how there is a growing demand for more creative and innovative thinking and problem-solving.

Awareness of how understanding these trends and shifts are going to be paramount to better preparing our children, our students, to meet the demands of a shifting society and an exponential economy.

Burying our heads and feigning lack of awareness will truly be a disservice to our youth and their ability to be effectively prepared for the future.  This is not to say that we live in a world of diminishing possibilities for our children, rather it is a world of new and often unexplored possibilities.  This creative, innovative and entrepreneurial reality is gaining momentum, becoming a driving force of our current economy.  Not understanding or recognizing this trend diminishes our ability to prepare our students appropriately for these societal shifts.

As Bruce Nussbaum shares in Creative Intelligence, “Schumpeter, the father of ‘creative destruction,’ saw a version of capitalism in which entrepreneurs were the central, disruptive energy sustaining economic growth.” And it was not just Schumpeter, Peter Drucker foretold of “the emergence of the entrepreneurial society may be a major turning point in history” in the mid-80’s.

As educators, as educational learning institutions, it is imperative that we become much more aware of the trends and shifts that are affecting the myriad of ways that learning and society is shifting and changing.  That awareness is integral to better serving and preparing not only our children for a very different world than the one we walked out into, but the teachers and administrators that must do this very important work of preparing them for that world.

“Change almost never fails because it’s too early.  It almost always fails because it’s too late.”  -Seth Godin

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