Onwards. Always Onwards.

Dr Stephen Harris shares his reflections on a turbulent year and challenges us to view VUCA as a solution, not just a challenge.
Onwards. Always Onwards.

Wow. 2023. What a year!

If we thought the pandemic, continuing climate challenges or the conflict in Ukraine were enough to demonstrate that the concept of a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world was spot on, then the 2023 additions – the game-changing realms of generative AI, alongside further devastating conflict in the Middle East, definitely slams this reality home.  

The glaring inadequacies of current school systems have never been more exposed. By failing to transform the goals, purpose and experience of learning, we are fundamentally failing this generation.

Let’s flip our perspective - with a different VUCA as the solution, not just the challenge. There’s a 2.0 version of VUCA that reframes it as Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility.

Without any doubt, we need leaders who can demonstrate each of these qualities. However, I offer an even more evolved VUCA 3.0 version as a way forward – Vision that is Unifying, Creative and Active. 

Imagine a future where learning equips individuals to be continuous and autonomous learners, embodying resilience, adaptability and ethical integrity.

They learn to grow a self-transforming mindset. In a world of accelerating disruption, and where the future impact of AI on education, along with the role of teachers, is in reality still an enigma, adherence to a rigid curriculum is no longer tenable.

The emphasis must shift to cultivating robust autonomous learning capabilities, empowering individuals to navigate and adapt to any future learning or career path.

Recognising lifelong learning competencies as the foundation of any education is now essential – and it's just the beginning.

We must infuse this journey with recurrent opportunities to actively foster resilience, adaptability and ethical integrity in every learner.

These should be the levellers and measure of success. Not international comparisons and increasingly irrelevant and meaningless examinations. 

Here lies the challenge for every community: to co-create a powerful vision, that unifies the community, catalyses creativity and is focused on action.

VUCA 3.0. If we are to thrive into the future, this equation has to be the starting point. How can we look at a newborn child of 2023 and not do everything and anything possible to ensure they will still be thriving in 2123?

This reflection was written by our Co-Founder & Chief Learning Officer, Dr Stephen Harris, and originally published on his website.

You can read more of Stephen's reflections here

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