Access to knowledge is access to opportunity. Inclusive learning opportunities are essential for ensuring that all people develop skills that enable flourishing at work.
Education needs to prepare children to be lifelong learners
Continuous learning has become essential in most professions
Young people must become self-motivated, lifelong learners
Access to knowledge is access to opportunity. The Quest for Meaning in the Future of Work goes hand-in-hand with the United Nations Global Goal for quality education to: “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Our Wisdom Weavers believe the future of work is fertile ground for learning and that work can and should be a continuous learning process, which is cultivated through education.
As our Wisdom Weavers point out, the future of work is going to look very different than the present. New industries and new opportunities will emerge out of human imagination and ingenuity. When imagining the future of work, our Wisdom Weavers spoke to the significance of education and continuous learning.
Learning is at the heart of the future, and we may need new methods for envisioning the educational challenges that lie ahead
Wisdom Weaver Viviane Mansi believes that the future of education requires new ways of seeing:
One thing is today we are trying to learn something from the last century to solve problems for the next one. So we are still focusing on something that we can put our hands on. But the future may ask us to learn from beyond what we are seeing right now. So maybe the role of art, the role of understanding the whole, not just the part, will be critical for the future.
Wisdom Weaver Dr. Dana Ardi questions how we will prepare for the future:
How do we retool not just the world of work, but the world of education, the world of community, the world of responsibility to one another…how are we going to teach humans other skills, other opportunities to find meaning?
Our education systems need to prepare young people for the future of work while also teaching them to be lifelong learners
The ability to continuously adapt and thrive in a changing world will become an essential skill.
As Dana suggests:
We have to start looking at children and helping them to identify their skills and talents, giving them the tools to acquire knowledge because jobs that we may have in twenty five years may not be the jobs you envisioned in 50 years. So how do you continually become a learner and re-skill and then take responsibility?
Dana also cautions us to understand the ramifications of failing to prepare:
If we don’t start to reskill and retool and think about our education system and all of the ecosystems that come together to build our future, then we really will be in trouble.
Quality education also means helping young people understand how to find meaning, purpose, and well-being at work.
When people think about work solely as a means to economic gain, they fail to realize how multi-dimensional positive workplaces can be.
People want to find that purpose and meaning in their work. But again, it takes a long time to have that dialogue. And we should be starting that dialogue at a much earlier point in time and providing opportunity for people to learn about careers. I find so many people [high school and college graduates] they don’t have even the faintest idea of what they could do or how the world of work operates.
For Wisdom Weaver Arlen Solodkin, enhancing well-being means:
Learning more about our own character strengths and our own values, because that really gives purpose to the way that we use our qualities and abilities at work and in life in general.
Arlen believes there is a fundamental misunderstanding about the purpose of work:
Work was created to serve humanity. It was not the other way around. It was not humans being created to serve work or serve organizations…one of the main tools that we need to do to teach is that of self-discovery and of learning about, you know, personal well-being.
The United Nations Global Goal of Quality Education includes targets that ensure equal access for women and men and that emphasize quality, affordable technical, vocational, and university education
The issue of access to ongoing learning opportunities, especially those that enable people to participate in technology development, was important to our Wisdom Weavers.
Dana advocates for technology training:
There’s still a lot of people who can’t play in the digital economy, because they’re not computer literate, how could you survive the last year if you didn’t know how to turn on a computer, you couldn’t be connected using technology? And there were lots of people that didn’t have that skill set.
I think going digital is good because we open doors for people outside of the learning process today. If we are able to bring in more people, give them some opportunity to learn different things, they will have more talents in the future.
Education can also help people become aware of biases and learn to welcome diverse perspectives
Arlen believes that everyone can learn to be more open-minded:
“I think that one crucial element for what we should learn and become better at is that of increasing our perspective and overcoming our own personal biases. We sometimes don’t initiate a conversation with people who think very differently from us. I think that’s really bringing about a conversation about many different topics and including opposing views with the aim of building something new together.”
Wisdom Weaver Donna P.A. Eiby adds:
“To think of the whole of humanity we have to welcome conversations, even if they are hard ones, and we have to respect the kind of transdisciplinary needs of other people if we’re going to foster and cultivate meaningful lives for everybody at work.”
Coaching Empowers People
As lifelong education and learning become critical for keeping pace with change, people will benefit from coaches who help them embrace a positive view of learning. A coaching approach to work supports the learning process by helping people on their journey to discover their purpose, developing knowledge, both personally and professionally, and taking responsibility for their actions.