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The story of my book – Chapter 5 and 6: the traditional education pathway is not working!

By December 6, 2019 No Comments

Education must teach creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and improve the social-emotional intelligence.

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The importance of Public Affairs is increasing together with globalisation and with an engaging stakeholder management as critical key successful factor for any company. Artificial intelligence and big data insights are allowing high standard of analysis and delivery of differentiated contents through the new 7-24-365 connected, multi-channel platforms of influence and entertainment. The effects on values and beliefs’ system of the company (corporate identity) and on the brand perception (corporate image) are increasingly affecting the corporate reputation, as well. The digital technologies and the artificial intelligence are opening the doors to very innovative systems, such as the chatbots: the degree of sophistication of the machine learning systems is higher and higher, including the capability to understand irony or how to communicate with empathy. That means the chatbots themselves can become platforms of influence: they act along the consumer journey, and they can influence the loyalty of users.

We have already analyzed two interesting cases as two different faces of the same medal on the pages of this blog:

the #TheFerragnez case, related to Chiara Ferragni, fashion blogger with more than 18 million followers on Instagram, and Fedez, well-known rapper with more than 9 million followers, always on Instagram, who have organised their wedding as a “white event” that showed how the digital platforms can have a powerful influence and how much they can disrupt the traditional communication way: corporate sponsor brands such as Pomellato, Alitalia, Dior, Prada, Versace, differentiated contents, 34 million total interactions on the first September 2018, of which 96% (about 32 million) on Instagram.

the 2016 US elections case, when about 115 million people posted something related to the American election on Facebook, which generated a total of about 716 million likes, comments and shares. The elections showed the power of big data on the digital channels: on Google, the total number of search results by typing ‘Donald Trump’ was 228 million against the 145 million ‘Hillary Clinton’. Trump was one of the most sought-after candidates on Google, as well as on Twitter and Facebook: in the US, there were about 6.4 million interactions on Trump’s election campaign within the first 24 hours after the official announcement of his nomination. These data show how political communication is moving to different platforms of influence, in particular through a user-generated content strategy where the users are the (sometimes) unaware drivers.

However, one of the most disruptive effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is related to how the new emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of Things, are requiring different ways of preparing the future talents. The traditional education pathway is not working anymore. The best way to prepare youth for an unpredictable future is to challenge and overcome the traditional foundations and the mission of higher education. The skills needed to work today change so fast that no education system can keep up with the constant need to reinvent how we work and live together. The solution lies in shifting the focus from learning new skills to enabling the processes that create these skills; in unlocking creativity to approach and improve the problem solving; in embedding empathy; in questioning our own assumptions. This design-led approach to education changes the narrative from the concept of education as something that is received from outside to the concept of education something that is generated by experience. The contamination among different fields, the multiple-stakeholders approach (science, technology, industry, arts, design), the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality are successful factors to improve the learning experience.

Creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, complex communication, social and emotional intelligence must be the foundations of the future education systems. The skills needed to succeed in today’s world and the future are curiosity, creativity, multi-disciplinary thinking and empathy.

The future jobs are more and more social-emotional skills intensive. These skills can be developed at any point in a child’s life, although it can be highly effective to introduce social and emotional skills early and embed it in the core curriculum throughout a child’s schooling. Social and emotional skills can be taught in classrooms or at home, but they should be powerful if developed in both settings. That will require technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, robots, video chats on mobile devices, that allow a less passive and more interactive experience. The education in the digital age should not only bea matter of training but rather of cultural re-evaluation of teaching. For example, it is strange to think that the future of learning lies with Netflix or Spotify as different sources beyond the classroom. The key point is how to reinvent the way we study in order to cover the mismatch between the learning and the learners, and to make learning ‘brain friendly’, engaging, motivating and effective. Since education operates in a world where millennials check their phones more than 100 times a day, e-learning solutions must compete aggressively with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Candy Crush. The problem lies with most educational systems, globally, where the learners strongly depend on teacher, discipline and schooling to acquire new skills.

Technology must have a strong role in reforming the education systems, starting from the children: the concept of unstructured play or the video games can have a strong education power because games leave an impression on our brains that transcends the boundaries of the virtual world.

Policy-makers, educators, parents, business communities, researchers, technology developers, investors and NGOs can together ensure that development of social and emotional skills becomes a shared goal of education systems everywhere. The changes are strongly disruptive, and the new upcoming scenario will require a skill-set as well as a quite different and new way of teaching.

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