Changing the Game of Education with Thinkers50

January 19, 2017 at Dansk Industri, Industrien Hus, Copenhagen, Denmark

Download summary of keynote: Changing the Game of Education

“Education 4.0” explores the future of education, in particular

  • responding to the needs of “industry 4.0” or the fourth industrial revolution, where man and machine align to enable new possibilities
  • harnessing the potential of digital technologies, personalised data, open sourced content, and the new humanity of this globally-connected, technology-fueled world
  • designing a blueprint for the future of learning – lifelong learning – from childhood schooling, to continuous learning  in the workplace, to learning to play a better role in society.


“Changing the game” is all about learning from the disruptive innovators

  • who are the companies right now who are reshaping their industries, challenging the old rules and creating new ones, new ways of working, new ways of winning
  • in my Gamechangers book I explored 100 of them – they are audacious, harnessing the power of ideas and networks to be intelligent, collaborative, and enabling people to achieve more.
  • taking the principles of how these companies change the game – how can we apply that to the world of education?


“The future of education” is therefore a new vision for learning, starting right now


“Learning from Thinkers50” bringing the best thinkers, best leaders together to share and create better ideas for the future of business

Download The Best Ideas in Business – Summary of the 50 Thinkers and 50 Ideas

Download The New Business Agenda – Summary of the 6 Ideas Curation Projects

How have the rules of business changed? The concepts of strategy and innovation, the ways to engage and lead your people, the most effective ways to organise and deliver, and most of all, how to be the most effective business leader.

It’s probably 20 years (or more) since you went to business school? Think how the world has changed in that time … customer expectations, digital technologies, global markets, millennial mindsets …

Peter Fisk explores what it takes to lead and win in today’s digital, disruptive and dramatically-changing environment … a business world that is being shaped by innovators from Jack Ma to Elon Musk, enabled by ideas from blockchain to gene editing, and delivered by brands as diverse as 23andMe and Xiaomi.

  • Changing the game – how new ideas, new technologies, and new business models are changing every industry – including education.
  • 100 new ideas for business – from industry 4.0 to the 100 year life, collaboration and holacracy, nanodegrees and social progress.
  • Creating the future with Thinkers50 – how the new knowledge hub in Odense, Denmark, can help you change your world

We look back at where business ideas have come from. But then consider which ideas are still relevant, and which are most important in today’s digital, disruptive world:


We will learn from the world’s top ranked business gurus, according to Thinkers50, and focus on what are their best ideas – why they matter, how they connect, and what they means for you.

Peter will also give you a sneak preview of the the incredibly exciting plans for the Thinkers50 European Business Forum coming to Odense in partnership with Deloitte on 9-10 May next year featuring Michael Porter delivering the European Business Lecture 2017, and many more of the world’s top gurus.

More about Education 4.0

In this context, where the new business agenda is driven by Industry 4.0 (the coming together of man and machine, driven by a rapid growth in artificial intelligence to robotics), then what does this mean for learning?

Global connectivity, smart machines, and new media are just some of the drivers reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and how we learn and develop the skills to work in the future. The concept of a “100 year life” becoming the norm, and the majority of that spent studying and working, means that learning will be a lot more important, and different, for the next generations. Most people will have at least 6 different careers, requiring fundamental reeducating, whilst the relentless speed of innovation will constantly demand new skills and knowledge to keep pace, let alone an edge.

Educationalists debate the many ways in which the content of education – at all levels – and the process of learning, will need to change over the years ahead. Disruptive innovation guru Clay Christiansen, for example, points to the dramatic unbundling of education from its current forms so that it can be personalised, repackaging, peer to peer and continuous. Whether it is classroom or workplace, online or offline, structured or unstructured, taught or learnt, standardised or not, certificated or not, then learning is likely to break free from our old mindsets in the coming years.

Among the many discussions, innovations and general shifts in the world of learning – from school children to business executive – there are 9 trends that stand out:

  1. Diverse time and place.
    Students will have more opportunities to learn at different times in different places. eLearning tools facilitate opportunities for remote, self-paced learning. Classrooms will be flipped, which means the theoretical part is learned outside the classroom, whereas the practical part shall be taught face to face, interactively.
  2. Personalized learning.
    Students will learn with study tools that adapt to the capabilities of a student. This means above average students shall be challenged with harder tasks and questions when a certain level is achieved. Students who experience difficulties with a subject will get the opportunity to practice more until they reach the required level. Students will be positively reinforced during their individual learning processes. This can result in to positive learning experiences and will diminish the amount of students losing confidence about their academic abilities. Furthermore, teachers will be able to see clearly which students need help in which areas.
  3. Free choice.
    Though every subject that is taught aims for the same destination, the road leading towards that destination can vary per student. Similarly to the personalized learning experience, students will be able to modify their learning process with tools they feel are necessary for them. Students will learn with different devices, different programs and techniques based on their own preference. Blended learning, flipped classrooms and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) form important terminology within this change.
  4. Project based.
    As careers are adapting to the future freelance economy, students of today will adapt to project based learning and working. This means they have to learn how to apply their skills in shorter terms to a variety of situations. Students should already get acquainted with project based learning in high school. This is when organizational, collaborative, and time management skills can be taught as basics that every student can use in their further academic careers.
  5. Field experience.
    Because technology can facilitate more efficiency in certain domains, curricula will make room for skills that solely require human knowledge and face-to-face interaction. Thus, experience in ‘the field’ will be emphasized within courses. Schools will provide more opportunities for students to obtain real-world skills that are representative to their jobs. This means curricula will create more room for students to fulfill internships, mentoring projects and collaboration projects (e.g.).
  6. Data interpretation.
    Though mathematics is considered one of three literacies, it is without a doubt that the manual part of this literacy will become irrelevant in the near future. Computers will soon take care of every statistical analysis, and describe and analyse data and predict future trends. Therefore, the human interpretation of these data will become a much more important part of the future curricula. Applying the theoretical knowledge to numbers, and using human reasoning to infer logic and trends from these data will become a fundamental new aspect of this literacy.
  7. Exams will change completely.
    As courseware platforms will assess students capabilities at each step, measuring their competencies through Q&A might become irrelevant, or might not suffice. Many argue that exams are now designed in such a way, that students cram their materials, and forget the next day. Educators worry that exams might not validly measure what students should be capable of when they enter their first job. As the factual knowledge of a student can be measured during their learning process, the application of their knowledge is best tested when they work on projects in the field.
  8. Student ownership.
    Students will become more and more involved in forming their curricula. Maintaining a curriculum that is contemporary, up-to-date and useful is only realistic when professionals as well as ‘youngsters’ are involved. Critical input from students on the content and durability of their courses is a must for an all-embracing study program.
  9. Mentoring will become more important.
    In 20 years, students will incorporate so much independence in to their learning process, that mentoring will become fundamental to student success. Teachers will form a central point in the jungle of information that our students will be paving their way through. Though the future of education seems remote, the teacher and educational institution are vital to academic performance.

These are exciting, provocative and potentially far-reaching challenges. For individuals and society, new educational tools and resources hold the promise of empowering individuals to develop a fuller array of competencies, skills and knowledge and of unleashing their creative potential.

Indeed, many of the changes underway call to mind the evocative words of Irish poet William Butler Yeats that, “Education is not about filling a bucket but lighting a fire.”

Technology has become integrated into virtually every aspect of work. And because we spend so much time working, work really is the place where we most directly feel the impact of developing technologies. From collaboration to productivity; from new ways of approaching workspace design to the increasing ability to work from virtually anywhere; and from hiring and recruitment to new skill sets—it is a time of experimentation for companies and organizations as trends in technology converge to change what it means to work.


Download the Envisioning the Future of Education Technology

More useful downloads:

IFTF Future of Work Map

IFTF Future Work Skills 2020 Summary Map

IFTF From Educational Institutions to Learning Flows

IFTF Learning is Earning in the USA Learning Economy

KnowledgeWorks Future of Learning Forecast 3.0 Infographic


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