The always enlightening Thomas Friedman interviews Harvard Education Specialist Tony Wagner in this important NY TImes Op-Ed. Wagner posits that our K-12 and college tracks are “not consistently adding the value and teaching the skills that matter most in the marketplace.” It’s not a new conversation, but one that is indeed becoming more frequent.
What you know matters far less then what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate–the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life–and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge.
If you can overlook the use of the word “synergies” throughout the first paragraph, there is some interesting fodder here from Frog Design’s Robert Fabricant. Fabricant discusses the value in working across sectors (public/private, social/commercial), the problems with labeling oneself a “social designer,” among other things.
Thanks to Amanda for sharing.
A recent blog post appeared on Good.is written by Andrew Benedict-Nelson of Insight Labs. I’ve read it twice now to ensure that I’ve actually and accurately gathered the point. And the point, insofar as I understand it, is this: Want to make a difference in the world and in the lives of others? Good. Great. Just don’t expect a/any career path to guide you towards such a pursuit. Astonishing.
The mark of the New Year has brought with it the luxury of time—that is, a good number of uninterrupted days whereby I’ve been able to hunker down, catch-up on reading, research, writing etc. Last year, I came to learn about the Helsinki Design Lab, a Finnish innovation unit working to advance the use of strategic design as a way to re-think old systems.
The always insightful Dan Pallotta gives us some more valuable fodder on the change-the-world sector, suggesting that this new “era of limitless,”—that which began in the post-war era with the likes of Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Freedom House and formation of the United Nations, and President Kennedy’s talk of a “new world society,” and continues today with entities like the Peace Corps., Americorps, and the proliferation of a sea of new do-good sectors (social enterprise, B corps., design for good, public interest design, human-centered design, etc)—may in fact be limiting the imagination of the young people it attracts. Pallotta warns that by placing an increased emphasis on the change-the-world sector, we run the risk of obscuring any young person’s real and natural calling, stifling their potential to truly contribute to a better world.