Stephen Sayers - Beyond Current Horizons


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Stephen Sayers' presentation at the EJC Innovation - youth media and next generation classroom conference on 15 and 16 October 2009

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Stephen Sayers - Beyond Current Horizons

  1. 1. Beyond Current Horizons EJC Innovation Conference 15 October 2009 Steve Sayers Director of Operations
  2. 2. In a nutshell <ul><ul><ul><li>The future is the decisions we make now, not a bubble waiting to arrive. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trends in society and technology should: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>inform those decisions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>allow more people to take part </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To help make the future you have to take part in making the decisions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We need literate people in a legible world </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. A brief introduction to Futurelab
  4. 4. Futurelab <ul><li>What we are </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent Research & Development Laboratory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not for profit (charity) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on education, innovation and technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadly liberal, 21 st Century outlook </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Futurelab <ul><li>How we work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desk research, prototypes, trials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grounded in reality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful and practical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exciting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rigorous </li></ul></ul>Some examples...
  6. 6. <ul><li>Computer Games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on games in education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple projects over 8 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produces advice and research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enquiring Minds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enquiry-based learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed curriculum & resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produced ‘Guide for Teachers’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create-a-Scape </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of Futurelab’s free resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative project with technology and media organisations </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Is about... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our ability to think about the future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible, probable, preferable futures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making decisions now </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is NOT about... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Making predictions </li></ul></ul>Beyond Current Horizons
  8. 8. <ul><li>Science </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify & understand key trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 60 new papers analysing trends </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Output in a form that is useful now </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> and scenarios </li></ul></ul>Methods <ul><li>Society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify what people want for the future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizen’s council, online tools, interviews </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Population Ageing </li></ul><ul><li>By 2030 in Western Europe: 50% aged over 50 25% aged over 65 15% aged over 75 </li></ul><ul><li>Climate Change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By 2030 we assumed a 2ºC global rise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More extreme weather </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased conflict over natural resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact on poorer countries – increase in refugees </li></ul></ul>Assumptions
  10. 10. <ul><li>The cloud </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant connection to people, resources, tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals ‘wrap’ their information landscape around themselves </li></ul></ul>Familiar Trends <ul><li>Information denser, deeper, more diverse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cheaper storage, digital tagging: know more, about more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Driven by social trends for accountability and security </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Living with machines more normal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Embedded entities, machines in social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical tensions around dependence & autonomy </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>People need to keep learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adult-child relationships change – care up as well as down generations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New technologies continue to arrive and challenge life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning and re-learning happens later in life – health and wealth inequalities </li></ul></ul>Less Familiar Trends <ul><li>Distance matters less. Geography still counts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People more used to working & being ‘together apart’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geography still drives access and regulation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Face-to-face retains importance for specific interactions </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Decline of the ‘knowledge economy’ as utopia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global communications put any work in any location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ageing population needs lots of caring for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work more polarised – small elite vs majority in low-paid jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search for a new economic model – virtual, green? </li></ul></ul>Challenging Trends
  13. 13. So what? <ul><li>From these trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital is becoming normal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inequalities remain – and grow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To influence a preferred future you will need to take part in a digital world </li></ul></ul>Educators need to focus on digital participation
  14. 14. Digital Participation Literacy & Legibility <ul><li>What do we mean by literacy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional – operational skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural – interpret in context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical – perspective, transparency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative – producing, audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative – communicate, interact </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digital literacy is like conventional literacy with bonus features: immediacy, novelty and network potential </li></ul>
  15. 15. Why is it important? <ul><ul><li>Opportunity to learn, work, be social, contribute to society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate fully and safely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge and question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables you to help shape the future </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Digital Participation <ul><li>What we know </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most young people are not good at internet search and evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology is not magic for learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of information does not ensure quality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What we wrongly assume </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology exposure implies competence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Young people are ‘digital natives’ </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Digital Legibility <ul><ul><li>Lack of transparency in digital media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Originators, editorial, provenance </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content vs adverts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interface design – accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulation, safety </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusion <ul><ul><li>The future is being made now </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in society & technology can be steered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If young people are to take part in that then </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Schools need to address digital participation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Media industry needs to address digital ‘legibility’ </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Thanks to the Futurelab team in particular Ben Williamson, Richard Sandford, Sue Cranmer Thank you [email_address]