1st May, 2018 - Katy Fryatt

Education is broken, Learnit is fixing it

Education is contentious. Anyone reading this post will have received some form of education, and so is likely to have an opinion on it, probably a strong one. So before I share any thoughts, here are some facts.

  1. 400-800 million individuals globally could be displaced by automation by 2030, with women overly represented. (McKinsey, 2017)
  2. 40% of employers globally are struggling to fill open positions (Manpower Group, 2017)
  3. US federal student loan debt stands at $1.4 trillion, and is the largest source of consumer debt after housing. (Brookings 2018)
  4. 1 in 5 children today is out of school. (UNESCO 2018)

Hot debate exists around ways to solve these and numerous other challenges facing education today. We could talk about teacher stress levels, the ever-widening gap between the attainment of rich and poor pupils, the funding ‘crisis’ in education and more.

At Learnit, we believe the tides are about to turn. The driving forces behind this wave of change are technology and people.

Here are a few more facts:

  1. By 2025, everyone on the planet will have internet access (Peter Diamindis, Singularity University, 2017)
  2. 95% of the 400-800 million displaced workers mentioned above could find work in new, higher-income jobs with adequate re-skilling. (World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, 2018)
  3. 90% of new parents today are millennials (Winnie, 2017)

Millennials, the consumer group that drove the growth of billion-dollar, industry disruptors like Uber, AirBnB, Pinterest and Spotify, are becoming parents. As Time magazine says, Millennials are ‘the most threatening and exciting generation…not because they’re trying to take over the establishment but because they’re growing up without one.’ We’re not waiting for politicians, corporations or institutions, we’re driving change where we believe it’s needed. We’re ‘redefining parenting for our generation’ (Google, 2017). Education has a new group of change makers, and we’re stubborn, selfish and outcomes oriented.

Education isn’t going to change over night. There is no silver bullet. Some improvements will be incremental and exist to improve the systems we already have. Some are disruptive and offer an alternative to existing institutions. Learnit will showcase and celebrate both.

At Learnit, we believe that uniting education’s global community and having an intellectually honest conversation about the current state and future of education, can change the world.

I hope you’ll join us at Learnit next January in London.

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