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The Future of Education in the 21st Century

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In the 20th century, the school as a factory metaphor appeared.

Our schools are, in a sense, factories, in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned into products to meet the various demands of life. The specifications for manufacturing come from the demands of twentieth-century civilization, and it is the business of the school to build its pupils according to the specifications laid down.

Ellwood Patterson Cubberley

The school as a factory metaphor was working for the past century as education was mostly linear: get an education, get a job, retire. Information was at a premium and scarce. It was perfectly logical for schools to cram information into children’s brains with notions about mathematics, literature, geography, history, biology, etc. 

In the 21st century, we are drowning under the crashing waves of information, disinformation or misinformation. Wikipedia, MOOCs, Ted talks, podcasts, videos, we have access to information for a few lifetimes.

Access to information is much easier now, but getting an education doesn’t guarantee a job. The global automation trend has already started. Any job that is rule-based or process-based can and will be automated. Think of ATMs, self-checkout machines, automatic car park payments, vending machines. 

What will not be automated then? As John Oliver remarks in this video“series of non-routine tasks that require social intelligence, complex, critical thinking, creative problem-solving.”  

In his book Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella, the Microsoft CEO, identifies a few skills that “future generations must prioritize and cultivate. To stay relevant, our kids and their kids will need”: 

EMPATHY: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another, allowing us to build nourishing social connections and regulate our emotions. Empathy is an exceedingly difficult skill to replicate by writing code, and thus “empathy will be invaluable in the human-AI world.” 

EDUCATION: As our life spans will increase and birth rates will decline, some might say that investing in education might decrease as well. Nevertheless, people from my generation switch careers at least once. Skills that were in high demand just a decade ago are considered obsolete today. Our children’s generation will only see a further increase in career switching. To adapt and survive the harsh economic competition and volatile job markets, we will have no choice but to become effective life-long learners. 

CREATIVITY: As Satya Nadella writes, “machines will enrich and augment our creativity, but the human drive to create will remain central.” For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic stroke, medical systems were brought to their knees by the delays in COVID-19 testing: take somebody to the hospital with an ambulance, disinfect the ambulance afterwards, then go to the next patient. South Korea had the genius idea with their drive-through testing that other countries implemented as well. In Romania, they started to have drive-through vaccination centres as well.

JUDGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY: Even if we accept computer-generated medical diagnoses or legal decisions, we still expect humans to be accountable. This can be difficult when we as a species still seem to struggle with our own biases.

There is the dreadful danger that companies produce algorithms that contain the companies’ biases embedded into code: bias against women in Amazon’s AI recruiting tool, discrimination based on gender and race stereotypes in Facebook’s ad deliveryGoogle’s terrible facial recognition disaster, Google’s unprofessional hair search result algorithm, racial bias in healthcare algorithms where algorithms reduced the number of black patients identified for extra care by more than half, etc. One of the most vocal people to highlight the gender data gap is Caroline Criado Perez. I highly recommend subscribing to her weekly newsletter or reading her book, Invisible Women.

Children starting school this year will have their first jobs in mid-2030. These children will retire, if current laws still apply, in early 2080. As the COVID-19 pandemic showed, we can’t precisely predict what can happen one year from now. And yet, schools and parents are preparing children for jobs that will either become obsolete, automated or are not yet invented. 

The unpredictability of education in the 21st century is quite extraordinary. 

We need a new metaphor for the school in the 21st century as the factory metaphor is no longer relevant in this new era of information and automation. It will not be the strongest or the smartest who will withstand, but like Darwin said, the fittest. We will need to reinvent ourselves every few years if we want to remain relevant.

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.

Alvin Toffler

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New Media Partnership

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Announcement:

Ethical Markets is pleased to announce a media partnership with The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

A global initiative to phase out fossil fuels and support a just transition.

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FAFN

Ethical Markets is pleased to announce a media partnership with First Affirmative.

Exemplifying ESG Leadership Focused on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) Investing.

Our associates, investment managers, industry groups, and influential communities of economists, researchers, advocates, thought leaders, and change agents help magnify our impact worldwide.

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Strategic Forum- Planning for Transformative Change-Hazel Henderson guest speaker

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The First

Strategic Forum –

Planning for Transformative Change

The pandemic and other threats like climate change pose an existential challenge to organizations everywhere, and they have made it clear that the present global order is not sustainable. The World Economic Forum called for  “A Great Reset” in all spheres of society. Leaders in business, government and other institutions need to plan for transformative change – NOW.

The TechCast Project draws on its leading research to bring authoritative studies on the crucial issues of today to a broader audience. See our work on  Global ConsciousnessThe Coming InternetRedesigning CapitalismForecasting the Presidential Election, and AI versus Humans.

Complimentary Admission 

Anyone with an interest in strategy, foresight, future studies and related fields is encouraged to attend. 

Conference Begins at 2000 UTC (coordinated universal time) and ends at 2130 UTC

Wednesday, June 30, 2021
1 pm PDT (Los Angeles, San Francisco)

4 pm EDT (New York, Washington, DC)
9 pm daylight time (London)
10 pm daylight time (Paris)

Thursday, July 1, 2021
6 am standard time (Seoul, Tokyo)
7 am standard time (Sydney)

PROGRAM
Conference Host

Limor will open the conference by welcoming participants, introduce speakers and their topics and direct questions through the chat function to speakers.  She is a skilled facilitator and will ensure that the proceedings are productive and transparent.

Limor Shafman

Limor Shafman
President of the Keystone Technology Group
And a Frequent Speaker

Limor is co-founder of  TIA’s Smart Building Program.  She works with PropTech startups on market strategy and business development. She leads the NIST – Global City Teams Challenge Smart Buildings Super Cluster which is releasing its Smart Buildings Blueprint. As an international corporate attorney, Limor draws on her understanding of the digital environment from her work in the theme park, video game, mobile communications infrastructure, and other technology sectors. She has led technology-oriented organizations, serving as President of the World Future Society DC Chapter and Co-founder, Chair Emeritus of the IPv6 Forum Israel Chapter. Limor is also an international speaker, moderator and has been a show host for several online media outlets.

Forecasting Global Transformation: 
Most Likely Scenario for 2030

Bill draws on his work at TechCast to provide forecasts of 50 emerging technologies, 30 social trends, and 25 wild cards.  Results are aggregated to provide a macro-forecast of the “Most Likely Scenario for 2030” —  Sustainability Arrives, Green Transportation, Infinite Knowledge and Intelligence, Mastery Over Life, Threats Across the Spectrum and Higher-Order Values.  We conclude with the theme of  Prof. Halal’s forthcoming book, Beyond Knowledge: Digital technology is now driving a shift to an “Age of Consciousness.”

Wiliam Halal

William Halal
The TechCast Project
George Washington University

Bill is Professor Emeritus of Management, Technology and Innovation. He is founder and director of the TechCast Project and a thought leader in foresight, strategy, forecasting and related fields. For more, see www.BillHalal.com

State-of-the-Art in Strategy and Foresight: Constant Change from the Bottom Up And the Outside In

Jess and Bill summarize results of their recent survey of strategic foresight practices to outline how strategic foresight is changing to cope with the technology revolution. The study’s main conclusion is that organizations should develop “constant change from the bottom up and the outside in.”

Jess Garretson
CEO, The Cognis Group

As leader of this life sciences consultancy firm, Jess provides leadership for the company portfolio that includes IP research, consulting and strategic partnering services, Pharmalicensing.com and FutureinFocus.com–an online subscription services curating foresight reports on technology and innovation trends driving the next 10-20 years.  Many years of experience in both corporations and consulting provided a multi-faceted perspective for driving solutions most critical to brand and business development.

William Halal
The TechCast Project
George Washington University
(See bio above)

Keynote Speech:
The Time For Transformation Is Now

Hazel Henderson draws on a lifetime of work in future studies to suggest what families, organizations, nations, and all of us can do to actually create transformative change.  How do futurists and strategists get their attention? What strategic “processes” do we recommend? How can this Strategic Forum provide leadership?

Hazel Henderson
Futurist, Author, Speaker, Consultant
President, Ethical Markets

Hazel Henderson is a global futurist and her eleven books and current research continue to map the worldwide transition from the fossil-fueled Industrial Era to the renewable circular economies emerging in a knowledge-rich, cleaner, greener and wiser future. Ethical Markets Media Certified B. Corporation, which Hazel founded in 2004 after 20 years advising the Calvert Group of socially-responsible mutual funds, continues the work of reforming markets and metrics to guide investors toward our long-term survival on planet Earth. In the 1960s, with the help of a volunteer ad agency and enlightened media executives, Hazel organized Citizens for Clean Air to inform New Yorkers of the polluted air they were breathing. They showed the late Robert F. Kennedy, then running for his Senate seat, all the sources of this pollution and why they were campaigning to correct the GDP to subtract, not add, these pollution costs.  Kennedy’s speech on the GDP problem at the University of Kansas became a rallying cry for reform of this obsolete indicator, still too often quoted as a measure of national “progress“!  In 1975, Hazel joined Lester Brown on the founding board of the World Watch Institute, and again, she was forced to face up to this Global MegaCrisis at every board meeting, as the human effects on planetary ecosystems deteriorated. For more, see Hazel’s recent presentation at the Family Office Forum in Singapore, March 5th.  Hazel can be reached at [email protected]

Following Executive Workshop

($195 Admission)

The Workshop begins 30 minutes after the Conference ends (2200 UTC).

This Executive Workshop follows the above Conference to assist leaders, planners and other professionals in drawing on the presentations to develop a more powerful strategic posture. In this workshop, you will review the presentations of the previous speakers and assess the impact on your current strategic posture. In a small working group of your peers, you will discuss needed adjustments to account for the anticipated changes. Each group will report their key findings to the entire group. You will come away with a comprehensive set of insights and actions that you can take back to your organization and bring your overall strategy into greater alignment with the transformative changes that lie ahead.

Art Murray
President/CEO, Applied Knowledge Sciences, Inc.
Assisted by Limor Shafman and Bill Halal

Dr. Art Murray is co-founder of Applied Knowledge Sciences, Inc. where he has served as CEO for over 27 years. Since 2005, he’s been the Director of the Enterprise of the Future Program at the International Institute for Knowledge and Innovation. He’s the author of “Deep Learning Manual: the knowledge explorer’s guide to self-discovery in education, work, and life,” and “Building the Enterprise of the Future: Co-creating and delivering extraordinary value in an eight-billion-mind world,” and KMWorld magazine’s popular column: “The Future of the Future.” He holds a B.S.E.E. degree from Lehigh University, and the M.E.A. and D.Sc. degrees from the George Washington University.

Small group breakout discussions and reporting.

Readings:

  • Updating Strategy for a High-Tech World: Constant Change from the Bottom Up and the Outside In
  • Through the MegaCrisis (Awarded “Outstanding pape of 2013” by Emerald Publishing)

Register Here for the June 30 Conference

Offer Donations to the June 30 Conference

Register Here for the June 30 Workshop

To clarify questions about the program or other issues, email Prof. Halal at [email protected]


Second Conference of the Strategic Forum
July 28, 2021

Foresight Lessons From the Pandemic:
Implications for Strategy Formulation and Response

Ideally, foresight precedes strategy formulation, but in moments of crisis normal order must be abandoned and foresight and strategy inevitably unfold together in real-time.  We will offer a set of lessons learned from conducting a major Delphi-based scenario foresight project during the darkest days of the unfolding pandemic and reflect on the long-term implications for how foresight and strategy can more effectively blend in the face of deep uncertainty.

Jerome Glenn
CEO, The Millennium Project

Jerry is the co-founder of the Millennium Project with 67 Nodes around the world. He is also lead author of the State of the Future reports, co-editor of Futures Research Methodology 3.0, designed and manages the Global Futures Intelligence System. Glenn led The Millennium Project team that created the COVID-19 scenarios for the American Red Cross and lead-author for Scenario 1: America Endures, the baseline, surprise fee scenario.


Theodore Jay Gordon
Futurist and Management Consultant


Ted is a specialist in forecasting methodology, planning, and policy analysis. He is co-founder and Board member of The Millennium Project. Ted founded The Futures Group,  was one of the founders of The Institute for the Future and consulted for the RAND Corporation. He was also Chief Engineer of the McDonnell Douglas Saturn S-IV and S-IVB space vehicles and was in charge of the launch of space vehicles from Cape Canaveral. He is a frequent lecturer, author of many technical papers and several books dealing with space, the future, life extension, scientific and technological developments and issues, and recently, co-author of books on the prospects for terrorism and counterfactual methods. He is the author of the Macmillan encyclopedia article on the future of science and technology. He is on the editorial board of Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Mr. Gordon was a member of the Millennium Project team that created scenarios for the American Red Cross. Ted was responsible for the negative scenario that depicted a bleak but plausible future; this scenario contains many assumptions about the unknowns, but in the end seems endurable and plausible.

Paul Saffo
Forecaster

Paul is a Silicon Valley-based forecaster who studies technological change.  He teaches at Stanford where he is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Engineering and is Chair of Future Studies at Singularity University.  Paul is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University.

Readings:

  • Three Futures of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the US,  January 1, 2022.

Register Here for the July 28 Conference

Offer Donations to the July 28 Conference

Register Here for the July 28 Workshop

To clarify questions about the program or other issues, email Prof. Halal at [email protected]


Coming Speakers

The Emerging Global Consciousness

It is increasingly clear that a major shift in values, beliefs and ideology is needed to make sense of today’s turmoil and to grasp the outlines of the emerging global order. This session presents a vision of global consciousness developed by TechCast’s study to resolve the Global MegaCrisis.

William E. Halal
The TechCast Project
George Washington University
(See bio above)

Story Thinking

A strategic organizational posture that balances collaboration with competitiveness requires a deeper understanding of common ground, and that understanding is found in stories. Beyond storytelling, story thinking provides the visualization of story structure as the holistic business, learning, and communication model. The foundational shared mental model of “process” which was adopted in the Second Industrial Revolution must expand into a shared mental model of “story” to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, given it is based on intelligence, not electricity. Carl Jung said, “You are IN a story, whether you know it or not.” Operationalizing this quotation is the goal of story thinking, and is the key to thriving within transformational change.

John Lewis
Coach, Speaker, Author, Story Thinking

Dr. John Lewis, Ed.D. is a consultant, coach, and is speaker on the topics of human capital and strategic change within the knowledge-driven enterprise. He is the author of Story Thinking, which is about the major organizational challenges related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and ways for visionary leaders to begin addressing them now by rethinking traditional views of change, learning, and leadership. He is also the author of The Explanation Age, which Kirkus Reviews described as “An iconoclast’s blueprint for a new era of innovation.” He is the current president of EBLI (Evidence-Based Learning Institute) and holds a Doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California, with a dissertation focus on mental models and decision making.

Keys to Open Innovation

Many of the world’s most successful business models, companies, and products were born from the synthesis of necessity and collaboration. “Open Innovation” is not a new concept, but rather one that demands increasing attention and robust implementation in the rapidly accelerating technology innovation lifecycle. Despite the success stories, many organizations have not yet fully embraced the concept of leveraging external innovation, as internal stakeholders often mistakenly perceive threats and underestimate opportunities that may arise from partnerships. This discussion will explore the careful balance that must be achieved and maintained between legacy internal processes and the augmented capabilities of external resources.

Anthony Cascio
Director of Research & Engineering
The Cognis Group

Anthony Cascio leads the Cognis team responsible for intellectual property analytics & landscaping, technology scouting, and partnering search engagements. For over twelve years, Anthony has consulted with clients ranging from the Fortune 500 to startups in a broad array of high technology industries related to both the life and physical sciences. He provides unique insight alongside validation to help guide each client’s strategic direction and identify new technology-related business opportunities. Anthony studied electrical engineering at the University of South Florida while conducting research in electronic materials characterization and electrospray deposition of macromolecular structures.

 

Staying Safe in a Digital World

Each day the news is filled with stories about computer crime and hacking which affect our financial institutions, banks, small businesses, large corporations, hospitals, retail stores and threatens to steal even our own identity. Cybersecurity refers to the practice of defending computers, networks and data from malicious attacks. We will provide an overview of aspects of cybersecurity including viruses, phishing, social engineering, identity theft and personal privacy as well as threats to the Internet of Things and physical security and provide tips on how to protect yourself and your organization from these threats.

Steven Hausman
Futurist  and Speaker
 Former Administrator, National Institutes of Health

Which data, what data, what futures: cybersecurity from the cloud to the brain cloud

We live our existence in a space we see, smell, hear, touch, and taste. However, for the last 10 years, this is not just all the space our existence is lived. We spend an ever-growing part of our time in cyberspace, in a global domain within the information environment where our digital life carries on — but for which nature did not equip us for sense-making. In this talk we will explore the strategic structure of cyberspace and its implications, to then broaden our aperture looking at trends for both near future and deep futures.

Gabriele Rizzo
Visionary Futurist and Enthusiastic Innovator
Former Advisor to the Minister of Defense for Futures

Dr. Gabriele Rizzo, Ph.D., APF, holds a PhD in String Theory and Astrophysics. He is the NATO’s Member at Large (“world-class expert drawn from academia, industry or government from the Nations”) in Strategic Foresight and Futures Studies, and the former advisor to the Italian Minister of Defense on Futures. He is a member of the Strategy Board of the European Cyber Security Organization, a PPP worth $2B.  Dr. Rizzo’s works inform $1T (one trillion USD) worth of Defense planning, some were evaluated “important pillars of strategy and implementation of R&I” by the EU, and others shape industrial investments in Research, Development and Innovation for more than $20B in 2020.

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AI

A Brief Intro to the GPT-3 Algorithm

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image

Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) embraces and augments the GPT-2 model architecture, including pre-normalization, modified initialization, and reversible tokenization. It exhibits strong performance on many Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks.

GPT-3 is an auto-regressive artificial intelligence algorithm developed by OpenAI, an AI-powered research laboratory located in San Francisco, California.

It is a massive artificial neural network that takes help from deep learning to generate human-like text and is trained on huge text datasets with thousands of billions of words. It is the third-generation AI language prediction model in the GPT-n series and the successor to GPT-2.

In simple words, OpenAI GPT-3 was fed inputs the ways how billions of people write and also was taught how to pick up on writing patterns based on user entry. Once few inputs are offered, the model will generate intelligent text following the submitted pattern and structure. It is also the largest AI language algorithm that produces billions of words a day.

GPT-3 working process

This artificial intelligence algorithm is a program that can calculate the word or even the character which must appear in a text given in relation to the words around it. This is called the conditional probability of words. It is a generative neural network that allows out a numeric score or a yes or no answer. It also generates long sequences of the original text as its output.

The total number of weights the OpenAI GPT-3 dynamically holds in its memory and utilizes to process every query is 175 billion.

Examples

•noun + verb = subject + verb
• noun + verb + adjective = subject + verb + adjective
• verb + noun = subject + verb
• noun + verb + noun = subject + verb + noun
• noun + noun = subject + noun
• noun + verb + noun + noun = subject + verb + noun + noun

The stream of algorithmic content in GPT-3

Every month over 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages, and users publish around 70 million posts on WordPress, which is the dominant content management system online.

The main specialty of OpenAI GPT-3 is the capacity to respond intelligently to minimal input. It is extensively trained on billions of parameters and produces up to 50,000 characters without any supervision. This one-of-a-kind AI neural network generates texts at an amazing quality, making it quite tough for a normal human to understand whether the output was written by GPT-3 or a human.

Training of the GPT-3

The training of the GPT-3 artificial intelligence algorithm has two steps.

Step – 1: It needs to create the vocabulary, production rules, and the various categories. It can be achieved by offering inputs in the form of books. For each word, the model predicts the category to that the word belongs, and afterward, a production rule should be built.

• Step – 2: The development of the vocabulary and production rules for each category takes place. This can be achieved by offering the inputs to the model with sentences. For every sentence, the model will be predicting the category to which each word belongs, and after that, a production rule should be built.

The model consists of a few tricks that allow it a provision to boost its capability to generate texts. For example, it can guess the inception of a word by understanding the context of the word. It also predicts the next word depending on the last word of a sentence. It can also predict the length of a sentence.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of hype for the GPT-3 AI algorithm right now. One can say that in the future, it will be offering more beyond the text that includes pictures, videos, and many more. Many researchers also predicted that GPT-3 would possess the capability to translate words to pictures and pictures to words.

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