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  • [Supporting text to be added.] Synthesys Strategic Consulting Pty Limited, Canberra, Australia 61 [0]2 6290 0734 [email_address]

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  • 1. Can Education Survive the Global Marketplace? Sources of Change and Challenge in the Early 21st Century Presented to the AASEA Conference 1999 Brisbane, 26-29 September 1999 By Hardin Tibbs Synthesys Strategic Consulting
  • 2. A Scenaric Viewpoint
    • Scenarios are not predictions, they are attempts to understand and anticipate the future strategic environment
      • based on an understanding of change in the existing strategic environment
    • Aimed at
      • broadening the horizon of thinking
      • appreciating alternative perspectives
      • testing strategic intentions
      • generating new strategic concepts
  • 3. Tidal Forces of Change
    • Shift from manufacturing to service employment
    • Globalization of the economy
    • Information technology and communications
    • Automation of skills and artificial intelligence
    • Emerging knowledge economy
    • Social polarization and fragmentation
    • Technological acceleration
    • Biotechnology and the modification of life
    • Environmental degradation
    • Population growth
    • Global equity
  • 4. Issues and Challenges for Education
    • Illiteracy—half the world is desperately poor
    • Education often not a high social priority
    • Rapid change and knowledge obsolescence
    • Computers as a challenge and opportunity
    • The majority of students experience failure
    • Economic relevance vs. personal development
    • Problem of anticipating future relevance
    • The sage on the stage vs. a guide on the side
    • Entrepreneurialism and self-reliance
    • Demand for “wisdom”
    • The nature of being human
  • 5. Rapid Cultural Change
    • We are living through an unprecedented period of accelerated cultural change
    • This erodes the relevance of the past
      • and demands more effective ways of thinking about the future
    • Fundamental personal and social needs persist
      • but there is heightened social and individual disorientation, uncertainty and anxiety
    • Existing institutions are being undermined
      • creating demands for their reinvention
  • 6. The Fate of Institutions
    • Although the learnings of the past remain relevant, its thinking, processes and practices do not
      • social norms, patterns and institutions are breaking up
    • The cultural infrastructure of the past is dissolving
      • relevance is being challenged through an economic frame which permits the destruction of existing institutions
      • institutions are being challenged to reinvent themselves in an economically justifiable form
  • 7. Market Ideology
    • Market-based decision making is a way of breaking free from the organizing concepts of the past (using the rationale of eliminating inefficiency and inertia)
    • But if education is a market, who is the customer and what is shaping choices?
      • a government allocating funding on the basis of forecast future employment needs?
      • corporations advertising to future consumers?
      • or students responding to their deep aspirations for the future?
  • 8. Self-Reliance and Entrepreneurialism
    • Productivity-driven unemployment is increasing
    • The globalized economy demands ever faster renewal and innovation
    • Jobs, professions and careers are no longer stable
    • Governments are no longer able to sustain welfare systems that induce dependency
    • The concept of enterprise is becoming the basis of activity for increasing numbers of people
    • Self-reliance and entrepreneurialism are becoming key values
    • This is also an expression of the desire for freedom
  • 9. Market Forces
    • Exposure to market forces is amplifying the impact of broader forces for change in society
    • To master its own destiny, education needs to understand and anticipate these forces...
      • to redefine itself in a way that resolves the tension between its long term social function and the short term demand for relevance
      • this will require new strategic thinking and a willingness to innovate and adapt at a fundamental level
  • 10. Information and Connexity
    • Information is expanding exponentially
    • Knowledge is becoming readily accessible
      • to those with the software skills and hardware
    • Information overload and information addiction are emerging problems
    • Skills, jobs and expertise are increasingly automated or informated* (*Shoshana Zuboff, Harvard)
    • Electronic communications are breaching boundaries and hierarchies everywhere
    • Transparency and accountability are becoming unavoidable
    • Privacy is under threat
  • 11. Biology—An Information Explosion
    • Typical US genetics laboratory now generating 100 gigabytes of data a day
    • International repository of genetic sequences (GenBank) now stands at 2.5 billion and doubling every 14 months
    • Human genome will be fully sequenced early in the next decade
    • Web publishing of results and sequence data
    • Impacts can be very rapid
      • GM crops from zero hectares in 1990 to 40m hectares in 1999
  • 12. Genomes on the Internet The Haemophilus influenzae Rd genome is the first genome of a free living organism to be completed. (Published in Fleischmann et. al., Science 269:496-512, 1995.) Full sequence data available on the Internet. Source: The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR)
  • 13. Nanotechnology
    • A technology defined in concept and expected to be emerging by 2010
      • molecular assembly with full positional control of atoms
    • Driven by computer industry investment in microchip fabrication
      • chip fabrication by optical lithography reaching limits of smallness
      • development trajectory of microchips has been very consistent so far (Moore’s Law)
      • by 2010 microchip circuit size scales should be close to molecular level
      • nanoassembly could make a supercomputer smaller than a sugar cube
    • Atomic positional control technology now emerging
      • e.g. scanning tunnelling microscope (SMT)
    • Preparatory concept work by Xerox, IBM and others
      • software libraries of engineering components at molecular scale
  • 14. Dust-Particle-Sized Computers
    • Particles of “smart dust” developed at Berkeley University will soon be small enough to remain suspended in air for hours, moving with air currents
    • Complete with on-board sensors, laser communications and power supplies, they could be used for applications from weather monitoring to espionage • Such computers could soon infuse the human body Source: New Scientist, 28 August 1999, p. 6.
  • 15. Automation of Skills
    • Computers
      • think faster than humans
      • are more intelligent (in limited contexts)
      • have better memories (in limited contexts)
      • are more consistent than humans
      • can be active 24/7 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
      • are being reproduced faster than humans
    • Computers may reach “human equivalent” intelligence by 2020
    • Computer/brain interfaces are being developed
  • 16. Human Augmentation
    • Biotechnology and nanotechnology combined
      • intelligence enhancement
        • genetically engineered memory enhancement demonstrated in mice at Princeton (Joe Tsien, Nature, vol. 401, p. 63)
      • neural probe technology
        • hippocampus readouts show where a rat thinks it is in a maze (Carol Barnes)
      • neural prostheses, chips that replace or repair brain functions (Theodore Berger)
      • in prospect: using the brain as a read/write/erase medium?
  • 17. How Much More Can We Know? Scientific Knowledge 0% 50% 100%
  • 18. Acceleration of Technology
    • Technological development is continuing to accelerate
      • including fundamental advances in physics
    • Science fiction writer Vernor Vinge sees an approaching technological singularity
      • as technological development races beyond human understanding or control
    • Who are we and what are we going to do?
  • 19. Science and Human Nature
    • Through modern physics, materialism has transcended itself (Karl Popper)
      • “ nothing but” atoms and molecules?
      • but atoms are energy
      • leaving us with fields, minds, or souls?
    • Is human identity deeper than mechanism?
      • does the brain generate consciousness?
      • or does consciousness shape the brain?
    • Further discoveries in this area will continue to upset the concepts and plans of biotechnologists and computer scientists
  • 20. The Emergence of Persons
    • “ ...how to counter the encroachment of new, electronic devices and systems upon commons that are more subtle and more intimate to our being than either grassland or roads…. Silence, according to western and eastern tradition alike, is necessary for the emergence of persons. It is taken from us by machines that ape people. We could easily be made increasingly dependent on machines for speaking and for thinking, as we are already dependent on machines for moving.”
      • Ivan Illich, “Silence is a Commons”, 1983
  • 21. Exponential Population Increase
    • 6 billion people this October
    • The underlying population growth rate has been slowing since 1963
      • but the global population is still growing with a doubling time of 40 years
    • Longevity technologies in prospect
      • telomere restoration rejuvenates cells and prevents cell death (Michael West at Geron, Menlo Park)
    • But no new antibiotics since the 1970s, and multiple drug-resistant strains are now proliferating
  • 22. Global Population 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ? ? 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Thousands of Years Billions of People BC AD 1999
  • 23. Global Scenario Framework Business as Usual Crisis Increasing Sustainability Possible Timeframe ? ? 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 Post- Physical Growth Economy Global Collapse Voluntary or Spontaneous Transformation
  • 24. The End of Physical Growth
    • Optimism implies transformative change and a new economic era
    Cyclic economy established 2010–2500+ Physical growth decelerates 2000–2020 Rapid industrial growth 1750–2000
  • 25. A Fundamental Shift in Values Source: Jonas Salk, 1995 Population Time Values in Era A • Quantity • Antidisease • Antideath • Death control • Overcome external restraints • Competition • Selfism Values in Era B • Quality •  Prohealth • Prolife •  Birth Control • Impose self-restraints • Cooperation • Mutualism
  • 26. 1: The Era of Expansion
    • 1750–2000
    • The age of physical growth and expansion
      • “ Take, make, waste” linear flow
      • overcoming scarcity
    • Technological base
      • hydrocarbon energy base
      • linear materials throughput
    • Economic logic
      • people, things, and money are scarce
      • sell materials and energy
      • economies of scale
  • 27. 2: Flipping the Economic Logic
    • 1970–2020
    • Learning from the crisis of success, inverting economic logic
    • Technological themes of transition
      • decarbonization
      • dematerialization
      • priming the loop
    • Economic themes of reframing
      • nature is scarce, not capital or things
      • sell information not mass and energy
      • economics of synergy and systemicity
  • 28. 3: Abundance Without Growth
    • 2010–2500+
    • The age of cyclic renewal and abundance
      • “ waste equals food” cyclic flow
    • Technological base
      • clean high-intensity energy base
      • nano- and bio-technological materials capability
      • global interconnectedness
    • Economic logic
      • economics of interactive cellular autonomy
      • ecosystems are managed
      • sell systems maintenance
  • 29. 21st Century will be Radically Different
    • Population and materials growth will decelerate
    • Major new technologies will emerge
    • Economies will relocalize, but be globally connected
    • Industrial production will dematerialize
      • a cyclic materials economy will be created
    • Sustainable business and economics will emerge
      • social and environmental capital will be highly valued
    • This transition during the next 20 years
  • 30. A New Business Model is Emerging
    • Maximize throughput
    • Labour productivity
    • Value chain
    • Economies of scale
    • Economics of scarcity
    • Physical growth
    • Physical assets
    • Financial bottom line
    • Narrow social role of firm
    • Centralized control
    • Linear hierarchy
    • Dematerialize throughput
    • Resource productivity
    • Value loop
    • Economies of micro-scale
    • Economics of abundance
    • Systems sustainability
    • Intellectual assets
    • Triple bottom line
    • Wide social role of firm
    • Distributed intelligence
    • Networked hyperarchy
    Industrial Growth Model Post-Industrial Development Model
  • 31. Beyond Market Discipline
    • Government policy based on “economic rationalism” is accelerating social and economic change
    • Social and environmental externalities are becoming limiting factors and are being reframed as key performance criteria not costs
    • Leading to “multiple bottom line” approaches
      • balanced scorecard
      • sustainability: people, planet, profit
      • the “Third Way”
    • This approach will reshape political agendas in the early 21st century
  • 32. How Will Education Fit In?
    • A new value-delivery model must be created
      • that ensures economic incentives and business objectives align with social goals
      • and focuses on the creative self-determination of the student in society
    • A future role-diagnostic approach
      • based on individual talent and interest
      • in an environment structured for exploration as well as focused learning
      • enabling the student to experience options and their implications
      • and allowing the student effective choice
  • 33. The Student is the Future
    • Everybody is not good at everything
      • e.g. multiple intelligences
    • There is now too much knowledge to teach everybody everything
      • a selection must be made
    • How and by whom should the selection be made?
      • by referring to an official forecast?
      • or by those being educated?
    • They are the ones who will live in and shape the future
      • they embody the future and should be encouraged to express it
  • 34. Role of Education
    • Education has focused on the teaching or transmission of past human learnings and achievements
      • but a past time orientation is no longer enough
    • A future time orientation is now needed
      • this means getting sophisticated about future thinking
    • The future-alignment must not be based on forecasting
      • speed of change and uncertainty are too great
  • 35. Leadership
    • A key task of leadership is to ensure the future development of the organization
    • Future
      • what can be known about it?
    • Development
      • what should improvement consist of?
  • 36. The Future
    • The future may or may not already exist—from the standpoint of physics (or metaphysics)
      • but from our everyday standpoint, it is a vital psychological space onto which we project our hopes and fears
    • It is truly indeterminate—we cannot predict what will happen with any reliability
      • but this is precisely what gives us the possibility of development
    • Successful use of the future involves both anticipation and aspiration
  • 37. The Future as Psychological Space
    • Seeing the future as psychological (or even psychic) space parallels how leaders develop conviction about the future
    • Leadership uses images of the future to conjure enthusiasm, motivation, commitment
      • “ We will put a man on the moon by the end of this decade”
      • “ We will create an insanely great computer”
    • But this requires sorting out the confusion of cognitive and emotional elements jostling in the future space
      • then creatively recombining them
  • 38. What We Know vs. Who We Are
    • Cognitive dimension
      • what we think we know (our theory of the future)
      • anticipating what could happen (future of fate)
      • a focus on information about the future
    • Emotional dimension (affective)
      • what we are like (not necessarily what we like)
      • aspiring to what could be achieved (future of desire)
      • a focus on self-awareness
    • Dimension of will (conative)
      • developing strategic conviction
  • 39. Two Types of Future
    • “ There are two sets of futures, the future of desire and the future of fate, and man’s reason has never learned to separate them.”
      • Desmond Bernal (1929)
  • 40. Strategic and Visioning Concepts Scenarios (Kahn, Wack, Schwartz, van der Heijden) Competitive forces (Porter) Company vision (Collins & Porras) Creative tension (Fritz, Senge)
  • 41. The Future as a Strategic Framework The ‘self’ journeys across the chessboard to the mountain, which lies in the medium term future The strategic objective: • A compelling, relevant future • BHAG—“Big Hairy Audacious Goal” • A concrete, specific goal • A challenge, but achievable The purpose of the organization • A “future-focused role image” • Not completed or “used up” Strategic identity: • Current reality • Self-knowledge • Strengths and weaknesses • Values • Preferences and experience ‘ The Chessboard’ — Issues and challenges we are likely to face ‘ The Star’ — Our enduring and guiding social role ‘ The Mountain’ — What we hope to achieve ‘ The Self’ — Our values and attributes as a strategic player “ Star, mountain, chessboard, self” image © 1999 The strategic environment: • Strategic implementation and tactics • Threats and opportunities • Actions of other strategic actors • Driving forces • Mapped and understood using scenarios
  • 42. A Sense of Future Self
    • We are living through a period of accelerated cultural change
      • rapid change is creating a psychological discontinuity
    • Present effort depends on a reliable expectation of a desired future outcome
      • but the environment is increasingly likely to change between the effort and the outcome
      • role models do not have enough tenure to remain relevant
    • Lack of future role image threatens sense of identity
      • a “synthetic” future role image must be created
      • to avoid loss of bearings and failure of will
  • 43. Self-Identity
    • Stable sense of self-identity depends to a significant extent on our Future Role Image
      • but now we have to create the future picture from our internal resources
    • Our institutional time orientation must change
      • from past to future
      • e.g. education teaches largely about what was known and accomplished in the past
    • This is a broad social and personal issue
      • speed of change is forcing us into conscious role creation
  • 44. Development
    • Development
      • is an increase in the ability and desire to satisfy one’s own needs and legitimate desires,* and those of others
      • cannot be given or imposed
    • Only self-development is possible
      • facilitated by education, opportunity and encouragement
    * Legitimate desires are defined as those that, if satisfied, do not limit the development of other people or organizations Source: adapted from Russell Ackoff
  • 45. Deeper Psychological Dimension
    • The future is the space in which we become what we can be (the future of destiny)
    • The broader our appreciation for what is happening, the more we see our competitors approaching the chessboard from the same side as ourselves, in a common social and human endeavour
    • Ultimately, the opponent on the other side of the chess board is us
    • Can we master ourselves to accomplish our full potential?
  • 46. Further Information
    • Strategy and scenario consulting:
    • Hardin Tibbs at Synthesys Strategic Consulting Pty Ltd
    • (a member of the GBN Alliance)
    • Email: htibbs@well.com, htibbs@synthstrat.com.au
    • Telephone: 61 [0]2 6290 0734
    • Facsimile: 61 [0]2 6290 0732
  • 47.