For sometime I have been participating in educational foruns, discussing the key issues in the Brazilian context and throughly debating the topic with Fernanda Furia, a consultant in Innovation in Education.
Fernanda has been a child psychologist for a long time and recently have become one of the top Brazilian specialists discussing how to bring innovation to our educational system and how to prepare the youngest generations for life and work. She has explained to me the breakthrough innovations around the world, how the school environment influence children learning, the use of technology in education, the flipped classroom model and the importance of teaching them social and emotional skills.
Listening to her arguments about the need of a new educational system, made me realize that we were talking about the same things, but in different contexts. I was not happy with the sustainability educational structure being applied at Brazilian schools, the schools’ design and kids’ lack of motivation to study. The same was happening in the corporate world where companies were starting to loose interest in sustainability, as they could not see the value and/or the connection with their business.
Moreover, technology evolved, raw materials got scarced and in a extremelly competitive market, companies were getting burst.
So, what was wrong? What to do next?
We are moving towards a sharing economy, a world where technology is everywhere and employment tomorrow will be different from employment today. University students today have no idea what kind of habilities their future job might require. Therefore, one must be educated not only in maths, history, geography and languages, but also be presented with challenging situations to learn how to solve problems, they must understand the meaning of collaboration and learn how to be creative and innovative.
Circular economy requires a systematic change on the way we think, the way companies design and sell products and people’s perception of value and success. Therefore, kids education needs to follow this trend.
We need to prepare youngest generations for life and work and to succeed on this new market place. Therefore, this means modifying the educational system, bringing technology, tools and innovation to the classrooms – if there are any classrooms – and incorporate circular thinking. We must create stronger links with the science and engineering technologies required to address the business challenges.
As a result, Fernanda and I, have created this workshop, which, bring together two equally important subjects – innovation in education and sustainability education – that normally are discussed in completely different foruns. This is the first time, these are going to be discussed side-by-side hoping to demonstrate that future solutions must be developed through multi-disciplinary teams, in a collaborative model and with innovative and circular thinking!!
“This will enable future leaders to contribute to a sustainable planet”.
Felix Preston, Chatham House
Energy, Environment and Resource Governance
(EERG Briefing Paper, March 2012)