Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Do it right and do it first, this decade

The title of this post is referring to a quote from JF Kennedy in 1962, during his speech to continue achievements to put a man on the moon. The quote was heard again during a presentation by Fabrizio Cardinali (chairman of the ELIG) at Online Educa Berlin 2011. It was meant as a wake up call for the e-learning industry. We are moving too slow and should DO things, rather than debate about it and compete with each other. This is why emerging organisations are doing a good job now. Plan – Act – Share are the key drivers to move ahead. Open co-opetition (a blend of competition and cooperation) as the main filosophy to take us to the next step.

Creativity and genius should be nurtured in this process, it is the way to move ahead and survive global competition. According to Cardinali the creative genius can be described in 7 typical habits:
1. Managing ambiguity and change
2. Systems thinking
3. Curiosity
4. Learning from experience
5. Sharpening the senses
6. Whole brain thinking
7. Body-mind fitness

When it comes to creative minds it was good to attend Frank Kresin’s presentation about Fablabs: the user as today's designer of what we can use tomorrow.

Innovation and knowledge are the key drivers to get us out of the crisis (Kroes) and on an individual level an escape from poverty (Weber). The United Nations expect a substantial reduction of poverty in the next four years, which is a remarkable statement when we look at the current situation in the Euro countries. As a consequence of the reduction of poverty it is expected that the need for education will grow dramatically (Nowak) on the one hand. However, on the other hand it is expected that we will be 8 million short of teachers in 2015. Entrepreneurial learning – where people teach themselves – is going to become a reality for many individuals, both in the developed and developing worlds. It is beyond doubt that technology can give us the tools to speed things up and prevent us from lagging behind. Fast growing economies like some of the Arab countries spend up to 20% of their national budgets on education, which means investing billions of Euros. Learning improves business performance (Moehrle), business performance means economic revenues.

Due to the crisis, most European countries are forced to downsize their budgets, including budgets for education which is a serious threat from a long term perspective. Monika Weber from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) stated that the so called developed countries may still be ahead, but African, Arabic and Asian countries are catching up quickly. We have to ask ourselves how to survive the global competition. Things are changing rapidly. It’s not only about manoeuvring in a maze, but on top of this, the maze is constantly changing. It's the one most adaptable to change who will survive (Darwin).

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