learning for the next industrial revolution

Jesse Martin has posted a good article on Learning in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the era many say we are entering. It appears to be an era driven by “cyber-physical systems” . So what will the new learning systems look like in this era?

“I see a learning system that will arise based on the technologies that are forming the basis for the fourth industrial revolution. I believe that learning will play a central role throughout our lives, and the basic foundation will focus almost entirely on the general higher order thinking skills. The skills that teach us how to think, be creative, keep an open mind about what is going on around us, and provide us with the self awareness to know what we need to know and do to succeed.”

Jesse links to another article by Heather McGowan, The Hard Truth About Lost Jobs: It’s Not About Immigration, which includes the image below. Looking at the ‘talent’ required, it is very interesting to note that the widely promoted STEM skills are only good for the last industrial revolution. Even the mainstream latest thinking on education is outdated. If you want to see the future, go to the edges.

When I look at the dominant education systems that came with each revolution, I see the following:

  1. One-room Schoolhouse
  2. Public Education Systems
  3. Mass Higher Education

For the fourth revolution I think it will be an integration of work and learning.

In this revolution we will finally move away from the separation of work and learning. As automation and algorithms disrupt human work, we will all have to keep learning new skills throughout our lives. As I have said for years, work is learning and learning is the work. This will soon be everyone’s reality.

Disciplines like personal knowledge mastery are one way to help prepare for an age that demands: learning agility, adaptability, empathy, and trans-disciplinary skills. As Jesse concludes. “With every industrial revolution, there has been a corresponding learning revolution that, at the time, looked prohibitively expensive. However, the cost of maintaining the status quo in the past was the cost of missed opportunity which, in many cases, was a fortune.”

4 Responses to “learning for the next industrial revolution”

  1. Jorge Vizcaino

    Hi Harold, is true many won´t adapt, so quickly…. How could be possible to absorb and embed so much tech disruption in organisational cultures with their different 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 layers running at the same time? More 4.0 startups? Is our brain prepared for continuous disruptive learning? One thing is to reinvent oneself from time to time, seems that neurons don´t have so much speed and requires lifelong learning. Do you know if there is any info about how many times we could reinvent ourselves along life? Better to test newly digital natives adaptation or to develop AI speed? Maybe that’s why not so many DX consultants are optimistic today as years ago

    • Harold Jarche

      As someone who has and is constantly reinventing his business, I would say we have a lot of potential for disruption and constant learning.


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