For some time I have been thinking and been inspired by Pepijn Pillen from Kessels Smit about how we create the basis for the new creational society.
I believe we need to change some of our most fundamental mental models from our industrial past and build up broader perspectives.
My generation already knows it. In a globalised world you do not have a chance, if you choose to make a living based upon the success of the past – that is if you continue to believe in the linear problem and optimization philosophy of the industrial society.
We want to cultivate growth – however the learning opportunities are limited. The society is not build to support this development (1).
What is education for the past?
In the industrial society schools and universities deliver education in the form of information to students. Teachers choose the information based upon guidelines from the Minister. The Minister claims – by some magical sense – to know what the student wants – that is to produce an exam.
The same logic is to be found all over the industrial society. The doctor knows what the patient wants, so the doctor produces treatment. The manager knows what the employee wants so the manager produces information about execution. Companies know what the customer wants so companies produce products and provide information to the customer about it.
It is all based upon thought patterns and beliefs focused on replication, optimization of replication and control of replication. It is about clever answers and the wipe out of stupid questions. Choices of the past have determined the direction and based upon this we have become very rich during the last 100 years.
And so what?
I believe it is untenable for the generations of the future that we keep on letting systems and the industrial society choose for us. The customer and you are in the focus “right now”. The strategic basis for you, your family and your country is not to replicate but to create and implement new patterns and ideas together – innovation.
The production factories of the industrial society whether they are educational institutions, hospitals or companies contain very few opportunities for you to develop talent, creativity and innovational power.
The creation of new patterns is left over to a few “crazy” people that in a magical way can do it. You on the other hand are being indoctrinated that it is useless to look into the ceiling as it is in the book you will find the answers! However, it is in the ceiling you find the questions of the future. The ones that drive you forward!
Model Yawn – Society for replication and control
– The system chooses for you
– You are “allowed” to execute
– The system focus on errors (judge by standards)
– You are in-dependent
– Single loop learning
Children and young people are dependent upon the choices parents make on their behalf. For instance the choices parents make to give opportunities for children and young people to develop talent, creativity and entrepreneurship. It is not black and white; however I think it is fair to say that parents screw up the mind of their children. The fantastic part about that, the gloomy predictions and the predictional industrial society is that we can choose to do something different – that is we can choose to create the future!
Model Fun – Society for creativity and innovation
– Systems creates opportunities for you
– You both choose and execute
– Systems ask questions
– We are inter-dependent
– Double loop learning
What is education for the future?
You are your own company. You can choose whether you will offer your hands, time and experience or you want to offer your unique talents to create new stuff.
Education in my eyes thus has to do with developing your unique talents for creating new stuff. This form of education is passion and action oriented – it focus on your talents and opportunities right now. It also focus on supporting you to create connection to and cooperation with the people and resources around you. This also means learning to respect and use a broad spectrum of cultural beliefs and ideas.
Furthermore a different kind of respect – respect for hierarchical structures – will disappear in education for the future. Instead will be respect for mutual attraction. For you it is only attractive to create new stuff together with me and to invest your time in me, if I can make a contribution to your ambitions – and the other way around. Mutual attraction in other words facilitates relations between people in which constructive as well as confronting interaction can happen, while we keep trust in and care for each other.
Therefore education for the future can also be seen as the development and work on mutual attraction. It has to do with expectations about the future creation, each other, our common actions and consequences – it is definitely not like traditional replication oriented group work!
I think the future does not sit around in some waiting room for us to be ready to greet and accommodate it. Constantly new opportunities and threats will reach us in their time – not our time.
In the industrial society people are blind to their own power. They do not feel responsible. In my thinking that is a wilful self-deception that liberates people to focus on efficent execution without caring for the consequence. The human being is guilt free.
A condition for creating the future is to realise that a future initiative is a conscious and intentional action of creation – an action that has a consequence. In other words – you loose your innocence when you accept your responsibility and choose to create the future. On the other hand you achieve meaning and purpose, because you discover that you fully are an active participant in the creation of the future.
What are your ideas on this?
1. Iværksætterpulsen 2005 – Der er vilje, er der vej? http://www.business.aau.dk/ivo/publications/Other/Ivaerksaetterpulsen_2005.pdf