When colleague Hamish Duff and I conceived a series of Future of Learning events we had no idea of the ripple effect that would be created. We set out to explore the impact of exponential technologies on learning in its widest sense. We wanted to move beyond the technohype of robots stealing jobs; to support a diverse group of people to understand more about some of the changes we can expect; and to work with self selected individuals who wanted to take action by way of group projects. These are some of the thoughts I have as I emerge from my post-event fog!
The Future of Learning Conference
The Future of Learning conference provided the opportunity for people to consider the impact of exponential technologies on learning and how important it is to understand our role in creating our preferred future. I am concerned that we are not aware of the changes around us. If we are uninformed we are more likely to be ‘done to’ rather than being designers of the world we want to live in. I am definitely not suggesting that technology has all the answers. Check out my blogpost on being Uniquely Human if you have any doubt about the role of community and humanity in learning and living.
People attending the Future of Learning Conference came from diverse backgrounds – schools, tertiary, business, community and government; and ages from 1-mid 80s. This diversity of attendees was exactly what we had hoped for so that the conversation could move out of silos and echo chambers. One of the conference participants, Sue McLachlan, summarised the conference really well in her Future of Learning blogpost so check it out to get the summary of the whole day, complete with links. As Sue says:
There were so many passionate people in that room today and I know I will be having conversations with many of them over time.
You can also explore the sketchnotes of the conference completed by conference speaker Sam Mann: Future of Learning- Sam Mann
The Future of Learning encouraged people to be active participants in leading change and that is always a challenge for people who go to conferences. It is normal to be fired up for a few days then the realities of work hit home. Sound familiar? Action can be as simple as a conversation though! Hamish and I met at the SingularityU NZ Summit and began a conversation. That resulted in the Future of Learning and us working together for the first time.
I don’t know what action you have taken but I like the suggestions that Sacha McMeeking made during our intergenerational panel conversation:
Find a group of four people, two of whom you don’t know, and create an intentional project together. Question your own assumptions about what will be. Take someone who has an opposing view out for a meaningful coffee.
Another idea to get your thoughts into action is by using this simple version of foresight planning:
Anticipate – this phase involves exploring new ideas and scanning the environment in order to anticipate the future landscape. Daniel Burrus refers to Anticipation as: “the ability to foresee growing problems, disruptions, customer needs and new opportunities.”
Collaborate – this phase is the place of seeking opinions and ideas from a wide range of people and places and working with this diversity in ways that connect ideas together. Collaboration involves creating new ideas and meaning in ways that could not have been created alone.
Activate – this is the doing! So what will happen as a result of what you have heard or experienced?
Our next steps have been to reflect on what worked and what could be improved for any further Future of Learning events. If you have any suggestions for events or resources let us know.
Check out some of the photos from #folnz18 and get in touch if you want to be involved in future events.