The Future of Learning in Preparation for Life in 2020+

A foresight scenario planning investigation into the future of learning for Europe’s second biggest educational publisher Sanoma Learning and Literature.  This global scenario planning and foresight process brought business leaders from 5 countries together and looked outward to innovation in learning across the globe from China, India, Japan, to the United States and Europe. How has education been organised over the last 200 years, and how would it change in the next 20?  

How will we match the formalisation of learning or education as we have come to call it to a rapidly changing society driven by digitisation, globalisation, resource constraints, climate change, etc in a context of slow institutional renewal.

In facilitated discussions, creative workshops and innovation accelerators the executive team created a shared language and perspective to build a robust strategy and leading initiatives for different futures. Immersive video interviews with more than 40 remarkable people across the world brought critical insights from diverse sectors:  a sushi oykata (master) in Tokyo, ministers of education in Asia and Europe, hi-tech firms in San Francisco, computer pioneers, innovators in Virtual Reality and others. This combined with desk research totalled just over a 1000 pages of work, which was then reduced to the one page executive briefing, and overview diagram is shared below.

Scenario Outline of the Future of Learning: Not School, New School, Old School

The scenarios opened a fresh vista for a new strategy for acquisition and innovation as well as become the template of the seven innovations and the digital transformation strategy of Sanoma Learning and Literature. In the following year the strategy was adopted by parent company Sanoma as its own digital transformation strategy.

Visualisation of the inspirational Brewster Khale’s Thinking of the Future of Learning

Visualisation of the exceptional Doug Engelbart’s Thinking of the Future of Learning
Visualisation of Jaron Lanier’s Thinking of the Future of Learning

A small section of the people we interviewed for the future of learning scenarios

Below listed some of the remarkable people we interviewed for 2-5 hours for the process and their titles at the time of the interview (names in no particular order):

Martha Kanter – Under Secretary of Education USA

Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division(PISA study), OECD Directorate for Education – Paris

John Seely Brown – Board Amazon, ex Chief Scientist Xerox, Head Xerox PARC

Uffe Elbaek, Minister of Culture, Denmark

Katarzyna Hall, Polish Minister of National Education – Warsaw 

Ovid Tzeng Former Minister of Education of Taiwan and Neuropsychologist -Taipei

Shinnosuke Honjo, Ex-Vice President and Founder Rakuten – Tokyo 

Doug Engelbart, Personal Computing Pioneer– San Francisco

Jaron Lanier, Computer Scientist – San Francisco

Tim O’Reilly – Founder O’Reilly Media

Alan Kay, Computing Pioneer – San Francisco

Cathy Casserly – Head of Creative Commons

Arie de Geus, Former Director Planning Unit Shell – London 

Marshall (Mike) Smith – Former Under Secretary Education USA

Neeru Khosla – Fonder and CEO of CK-12

Lisa Petrides – Founder of ISKME

Peter Brantley – Director Internet Archive

Jeff Shelstead – CEO of FlatWorldKnowledge 

Edith Ackermann, Professor of Developmental Psychology at MIT – Boston

Stephen Heppell, Former Head Ultralab – London

James Bradburne, Director Next Generation Foundation – London

William Calvin, Neurobiologist University of Washington – Seattle 

Eiji Sato, Sushi Oykata (Master of masters) – Tokyo 

Brewster Kahle, Director of the Internet Archive – San Francisco

David Cavallo OLPC, Co-head of the MIT Media Lab’s Future of Learning group – Boston

Yogesh Kulkarni, Executive Director of Vigyan Ashram – Pune, India 

Christine Loh, Founder and CEO of Civic Exchange – Hong Kong 

Jim Daly, Editor in Chief of Edutopia Magazine – San Francisco 

Joel Garreau, Head Garreau Group, Editor Washington Post – Washington

Obie Greenberg,YouTube Strategic Educational Partnerships – San Francisco

Anne Jones, Professor Learning, Founder MD of Lifelong Learning Systems – Stratford on Trent

Timo Lankinen, General Director Department of Education Finland – Helsinki

Hugo Letiche, Professor at the University for Humanistics – Den Haag

Peter Leyden Director of the New Politics Institute– San Francisco

Bernard Margolis President ofThe Boston Public Library – Boston Masu

Masuyama, Manga Writer/ Content Producer – Tokyo 

Jerry Michalski, Former Managing Editor Release 1.0 – San Francisco

Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Chief Creative Officer Q Entertainment- Tokyo

Masato Murakami & Yoriaki Kanada, Deputy President Sony Disk & Digital Solutions & General Manager Technology Planning Department Sony -Tokyo 

Mitchel Resnick, Director of Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT – Boston
Johan Roos, Director of Imagination Lab Foundation – Geneve 

Chris Shipley, Co-founder and Chairman Guidewire Group – San Francisco

John Thackara, Director Doors of Perception – London 

Jeff Ubois, Digital Archivist – San Francisco

Riitta Vanska, Head E-learning Manager Nokia – Helsinki