(The first paragraph is an extract from the World Economic Forum 2018)
The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another. It is a new chapter in human development, enabled by extraordinary technology advances commensurate with those of the first, second and third industrial revolutions. These advances are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril. The speed, breadth and depth of this revolution is forcing us to rethink how countries develop, how organisations create value and even what it means to be human. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about more than just technology-driven change; it is an opportunity for leaders, policy-makers, academics and people from all income groups and nations, to harness converging technologies in order to create an inclusive, human-centred future. The real opportunity is to look beyond technology, and find ways to give the greatest number of people the ability to positively impact their families, organisations and communities.
This will require design of new school curriculum K-16 to imbue students with the essential skills; foundational, complex, and character development – most of which are not presently incorporated into the standard academic curriculum. These uptake of these skills is predicated on acquisition of fact-based information, blended with long-term project development skills and applications, engaging emotional intelligence skills and developing character traits that are adapted to the new corporate and social expectations essential for managing the fluid and rapidly changing demands of future careers and lifestyle. (Kinsey 2017, WEF 2018)
A national vision of what that new educational model needs become has to occur as rapidly as possible. (New Zealand has already started developing a consensus of need and a national vision for implementation) The ability of the next 2 generations to manage the tidal wave of forces occurring presently and expected in the next several decades (rapid technology implementation , globalization, civil war, natural and man-made disasters, massive population migrations, social and political discord, and economic disruption and inequality of wealth distribution), and the cohesion of stable societies into the future, are dependent on framing this vision. Today’s leaders are obligated to cohere and collaborate on defining and implementing a dynamic and appropriate change in the educational course of study sequenced and scaffolded from kindergarten through graduation from college, to give students time to practice these essential skills so they are embedding in their behaviors and practice to support their future career, life endeavors and societies continuing progression toward maintaining and sustaining liberal (as in liberty), democratic institutions.