Thinking Ahead: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of the 21st Century

Delivering sustainable economic growth
Posted Jan 07, 2019 | University of Lincoln

Despite the hugely disruptive impact of the emerging first Post-Industrial Bio-digital Revolution already underway, the university sector in most advanced economies still relies on 20th Century thinking in shaping its future. The University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom has launched #C21stLab, a project to examine the purpose of universities in the 21st Century, drawing on insights from persons not usually heard in the education sector. The first phase of the study is global in intent and culturally and conceptually diverse in its exploration of the social, economic and political impacts of new congruent info-, bio-, nano and neuro-technologies on our social constructs. As technology changes, employment and life are being radically reshaped, with whole categories of work disappearing while others emerge. These will demand new knowledge, skills and creativity to understand and embrace change. As geo-economic shifts and technological disruptions cause anger and frustration among those being displaced, universities must rise become able to develop new forms of knowledge creation and teach new subjects, to embrace lifelong learning and continuous development. To meet this need, the academy must re-imagine its role in society and transform accordingly. 


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