Build your own dream, otherwise some body else will hire you to help build theirs. — — from Knowmad Society
What’s Knowmad Society ? You ask.
“Knowmads are nomadic knowledge workers –creative, imaginative, and innovative people who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere. Industrial society is giving way to knowledge and innovation work. Whereas industrialization required people to settle in one place to perform a very specific role or function, the jobs associated with knowledge and information workers have become much less specific concerning task and place. Moreover, technologies allow for these new paradigm workers to work within a broader options of space, including “real,” virtual, or many blended. Knowmads can instantly reconfigure and recontextualize their work environments, and greater mobility is creating new opportunities.” — from Knowmad Society
Knowmad Society explores the future of learning, work and how we relate with each other in a world driven by accelerating change, globalization, and the rise of knowmads.
Nine authors from three continents, ranging from academics to business leaders, share their visions for the future of learning and work, and provide insight into what they are doing now to help drive positive outcomes. Key topics covered include: reframing learning and human development; required skills and competencies; rethinking schooling; flattening organizations; co-creating learning; and new value creation in organizations.
From them, a free ebook explores knowmad society in terms of socioeconomic evolution from industrial, information-based society to knowledge-based society, to a creative, context-driven Knowmad Society. Educational and organizational implications are explored, experiences are shared, and the book concludes with a powerful message of “what’s it going to take” for nations and cultures to succeed in Knowmad Society.
Change is naturally frightening for humans, and living in Knowmad Society implies that the “securities” that we enjoyed in the past are obsolete (e.g., lifelong employment at an organization, the promise of retirement, steady streams of income). Indeed there are many challenges, and they can be construed as opportunities for knowmadic workers and policy makers to co-create new solutions. We instead choose to focus on the positive features of Knowmad Society – and how to generate positive outcomes.
In our approach, we differentiate little between learning and working. Knowmadic thinking and individual-level entrepreneurship exposes the fuzzy metaspaces in between each, opening new opportunities for new blends of formal, informal, non-formal and serendipitous learning.
The paradoxical co-existence of “Education 1.0” in “Society 3.0”
True motivation has to do with what people want to achieve; what they really want for themselves.
…. in a traditional school, even in a Waldorf or Montessori school, the development of talents and capabilities of a child depends on so many factors that are not childrelated. Metaphorically speaking, this is like placing your child in a big, black box. No matter the innate capabilities and talents, what comes out of the box after so many years is molded by numerous influences.
Skills needed for a future enveloped in rapid change and ambiguity include: creativity, flexibility, and open-mindedness. This requires students that are naturally curious, not afraid to make mistakes, and intelligent in ways to quickly learn new knowledge and skills. Other traits include being a “self-starter,” and showing initiative and entrepreneurialism, with the confidence to identify goals and make good decisions as to how to realize them. This includes the development of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-restraint to get to chosen goals. Finally, students need to be able to create new networks that are not dependent on physical borders or hierarchical structures (Hannam, 2012).
Most of the educational renewal concepts are still designed around a standardized curriculum. The curriculum fixes “what” to learn and minimizes the scope for “how” to learn. The standard control systems are kept in place; compulsory tests and evaluations on “what” has been learned. In fact, focusing on testing takes away the opportunity to learn what is in my opinion the most important skill: being a creative problem solver. Creativity is nurtured in situations of freedom, play and joy, and in situations where people face their own challenges by addressing real life problems without predefined outcomes.
John Holt (2012) states:
No human right, except the right to life itself, is more fundamental than this. A person’s freedom of learning is part of his freedom of thought, even more basic than his freedom of speech. If we take from someone his right to decide what he will be curious about, we destroy his freedom of thought. We say, in effect, you must think not about what interests you and concerns you, but about what interests and concerns us. (p. 179)
Schools today make use of new technologies and have adjusted their curricula around them, but the basics and purpose behind the schooling system are still to force children to learn and develop within certain predefined parameters (Gatto, 2002). Power resides within the government or the school, and not within the learner. Children are the slaves of this system; they still have to obey the orders of teachers, educators and parents who were also products of this system. As Staes (2011) argues, our education systems are breeding lambs.
Albert Einstein said “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” The enablers of the 20th century are the disablers of the 21st century. Can we reset ourselves first? There are clues in the book.
A Message from 2038 – Help Education!