Archive April 2013
There is a well-intentioned neurosis around education that seeks to justify the educational outcomes of the previous generation by imposing the educational standards, rigours and methodologies onto the next generation.
In a past world secondary education most often led to a singular qualification or vocation. This employment choice required pre-employment education and ongoing workplace informal and ad hoc education.
The norm of employment was a single linear career where the employer offered tacit certainty of life long employment and forty years of career progression at the end of which you received a golden watch for a job well done and a pension that took you into retirement and your new life.
In this world culture and society required conformity in its future citizens. It was practical in a more routine world and society to underpin education with the foundational teaching of the three R’s (writing, arithmetic and reading).
The education system of the past suited the needs of the past, but in a future where there is less certainty and rigour, where we may live to 120 years of age, work into their 80’s, have 6 distinct careers and 14 jobs in professions that we do not yet know of doing tasks we yet can’t imagine the underpinnings of education, employment and society will require innovation and invention.
The hypnosis of the future is that the workplace and the 9-5 will disappear. That the need for physical exertion and work will diminish as mechanical devices take over humanity’s chores and that instead people will spend long hours in idleness and recreation is not on tomorrow’s radar.
These are falsehoods.
The core of work and society’s need of it will still remain, but what we need to do to equip tomorrow’s workforce will have to evolve.
The workplace of tomorrow will be global, physical, virtual and digital.
Language and physical location will cease to be barriers to work.
Global qualifications and accreditations will become increasingly important as will the ability to acculturate and collaboratively work in both physical and digital work tribes.
Work will increasingly be done in project and task mode rather than in 9-5 mode and the notion of where we work will be less important than how we work.
All of this will play itself out against a backdrop where the world will add 2 billion to its population in the next four decades; see huge increases in the numbers of well-educated middle class citizens and ironically face the duality of a global skill shortage in an environment of overabundance of available workers.
In this new world of work education’s preparatory role is not just foundational, but transformational.
We must equip tomorrow’s learner s who have already outsourced the 3R’s and other routine memory tasks to external technologies and who are adapt at online research and inquiry with the fundamental skills that will extend these innate skills into vocational purpose, this new educational focus and paradigm should include a liberal dose of the 3C’s – Communication, Collaboration and Creative Problem Solving.
Education’s physical premises will also become less important as we move to multi-modality, multi-site offerings where the viewing of prerecorded lectures, deep and immersive virtual and physical learning resources are common and student-teacher engagement is a blend of physical and virtual.
These core learning instruments will be continuously added to by adaptive learning environments and technologies that constantly search out and learn the students’ preferences, abilities, needs, content being taught, required outcomes to assemble a bespoke set of hyperpersonalised education experiences with best practice learning aids and examples each flexed to the learners preferred learning styles and delivery mode.
This amorphous educational future scaffolding will include an orchestra of educators, academics, educational institutions, industry, professionals, non-academics and knowledge providers, all either physically or virtually coming in and out of the learning environment when and where required to provide real-time learning and insights in varying taxonomies, most appropriate to the learner, the task and the learners preferred style for that specific learning episode.
In this new education frontier students will use a blend of traditional learning tools as well as newer teaching tools including gamification through which they can attend digitally at physical art galleries; attend virtual foreign classrooms to learn language and culture, as well as trial complex scientific and mathematical problem solving methodologies using virtual modeling and prototyping.
The reality is that for digital and mobile natives of today and tomorrow this world already exists. It is the world that they already see and function in.
We must not take them back to a world that enshrines past skills and behaviors, that does not challenge and stimulate them and that does not adequately prepare them for the uncertainty and opportunities of tomorrow’s world. To do this is to condemn us to relive our past when the purpose of each new generation and the education system that nurtures them should be to invent our future.
Robots have long been the stuff of science fiction and many of us have grown up waiting for the day when our dreams might turn into technological reality.
Telemedicine robots allows Doctors to virtually jump inside a moving mechanical device and transport themselves around hospitals and clinics engaging and treating patients along the way. Robotic surgeons use their robotic arms to accurately guide and oversee complex operations often in tandem with skilled physical physician hands. Nano robots are routinely swallowed into our body and then guided around to take internal x-rays and photographs. Robotic limbs replace lost, degenerated and non-existent limbs, as well as provide heart pumps and other life-giving robotically controlled devices.
In our offices and factory’s we see the increased use of teleworkers using robotic Segway like devices that allow executives to be in two places at once by jumping on-board a telerobot and riding it virtually around far away offices to attend board meeting in one country without ever having to leave the comforts of their own offices. Many of these devices cost no more than $250 and use PC tablets mounted on robotic shoulders and free software to see and connect you.
On our roads we can expect to see a fleet of driverless cars who know where you need to be and when, have real-time updates of the road conditions ahead and will chauffeur you to your destination in comfort and safety.
Robots as anthropomorphic, high functioning, independently thinking, self replicating humanoid machines are still a long way off. In theory they appear to be easy to create, but in reality are still beyond the ready boundaries of our capabilities and technologies.
There is much work being done in robotics and the most recent catalyst of this is the growth and convergence of big data, mobile technologies, changing culture and a growing appetite for robot like devices together with a practical and pragmatic future need to overcome a growing chronic shortage of workers in some industry’s.
For now, and the immediate future, we will have to contend ourselves with robots and mechanical devices that provide assistance with life and works more mundane and repetitive tasks.
Robots when they do arrive will bring with them many challenges. They will start and stop careers, industry’s and jobs. They will require us to grapple with the ethics and rights of robots and humans and make decisions that we have never had to make before as we learn to co-exist with machines.
The time to start these debates is now, for we are truly on the precipice of when not if as science fiction turns daily to robotic science fact.
Have a listen to the segment now…
It is so important to “listen to yesterday and speak to tomorrow” and I am thrilled that in this month’s edition of the Think and Grow Rich magazine that’s exactly what they have done.
I was spoiled in this edition by having a number of articles published and the editors comments based around my future thinking, these included the cover story “A Shift in Thinking” (click on the link to download the .pdf of the article)
This month we took a look at robots in our offices, aged care facilities, warehouses, on the road and pretty much everywhere we look, and the heralding of the 3rd Industrial Revolution, the thing that will for ever change the way we see design, prototyping, manufacturing, retailing and every other thing we do and buy – 3D printing.
These horizon game changers need to be on every decision makers radar strategy screen and we must start thinking now how and when they may start disrupting and changing our world and business.
We also stopped off along the way to celebrate the 40th birthday of mobile phones and explore what this little invention has meant to the world and also chat about a couple of great teenagers with incredible innovation skills and what they’ve invented.
Have a look at this month’s webinar (47 minutes) and be sure to join me on Monday 13th May 2013 @ 1.00 p.m. AEST when I begin a series of webinars sharing the how, what, where, who and why of innovation, taking you behind the scenes of my BreadCrumb Innovation program and show you the step by step proven formula of how I bring Innovation and Foresight to an orgnaisation. click here to reserve your spot.
Today Australia boasts nearly 30 million mobile SIM cards for a population of almost 23 million and 60% of the entire worlds population has, or has access to, a mobile phone.
In developing nations the mobile has allowed people to skip the wired computer that they were likely never to have gotten and instead turn immediately to the mobile phone for health, banking, communication and so much more.
We have come so far in the last 40 years, changed our belief and understanding of the world and our place in it that it is often difficult to remember life before this magic little mobile box, but this week David Dowsett of Radio ABC Wide Bay and I took a nostalgic look at mobile phones and a futurist glance at where their headed.
In the not too distant future your hyperpersonalisation needs and creative genius will unite to be able to give you exactly what you want, where and when you want it.
This little genie is heralding the third industrial revolution, an epic adventure we have already embarked on that will eventually become routine and easily produce one-off spare parts, bespoke tailored clothes, designer houses, tricked up cars and even produce our own replacement human organs right in our own homes, offices, hospitals and workplaces.
In this morning’s Melbourne Age there’s a great article on someone who had lost part of their face to cancer and had it reprinted for him and reattached (great story read it here).
This game changer technology, known as 3D printing, will ultimately revolutionise the way we think, design, produce and manufacture and for those that get into it now, it may offer the riches of a new-found industry.
This disruptive technology will change the way you do business. It will offer you invention, innovation and possibilities that until now you may have considered science fiction, but I’d love to show you how it’s all becoming science fact in my FREE 45 minute webinar on Monday 8th April at 1.00 p.m. AEST.
The other major horizon trend we’ll chat about this month is Robots, who doesn’t love a good robot story!
Robots have started to do some really cool things in farming, aged care, education, retail, medicine and even walking around our offices and I’ll show you what to expect from them in the very near future.
As always we’ll stop off along the way to look at what’s new and trending, what’s hot in innovation land and which projects and ideas are getting the global innovation juices flowing this month.
Lots of great stuff this month and as always when we know future, we think future and do future, so…
Last month we had a record crowd online, so please join our ever-growing tribe of Webinar Wisdom Warriors.
All you need is an inquisitive mind, a passionate desire to know what’s over the horizon and a computer screen.