Right now we are training college students for jobs that will no longer exist 10 years from now. We are preparing a generation for the past. Not the future.
The solution is not creating better schools or universities.
The solution is building something I call Multiversities.
A Multiversity stands for a life long education. It starts at the age of 5 – as soon as we enter kindergarten – and continues through our primary school, secondary school, college and beyond.
A Multiversity education is not just offering better knowledge.
A Multiversity education is setting the conditions in which talents are fostered, essential skills are developed and ambitions may come to full fruition.
So, how does a Multiversity do this? By focussing on three essential skills that our current education system fails to address:
1. Curiosity: Allocate at least 20% of a student’s time to the discovery and development of their own unique academic, scientific or artistic talents. Einstein developed much of his theories because his (admittedly not too exciting) job as a clerk at a Swiss patents office allowed him lots of time to think about theoretical physics.
2. Creativity: Allow multitalented, multicultural teams of students to tackle challenges they feel are important. Humans being are surprisingly creative: especially when they are working on issues they care about. For young kids this could be the lay out of their playground, for university students this could be issues on a much more academic level.
3. Connectivity: Immerse students for at least 20% of their time in an educational environment in which Chinese, Portuguese or Arabic are being spoken. To truly teach students to connect and collaborate in a global village we should create environments that challenge them cross barriers of language and culture and interact.
Let’s move in this direction.
For starters education will become more interesting and fulfilling. I also believe that the future of our kids, our economies and even our culture will become much more interesting and fulfilling.
I belong to a generation for whom university was a great once in a life time experience. That was back then. I hope that my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter will be able to enjoy a life long Multiversity-experience.
This speech was delivered by Bastiaan van de Werk at the Deloite & Touche Leaders of Tomorrow side-event to TEDx Rotterdam on the 13th of October 2012. It was the result of a very short short brainstorm session with Ronald van der Heijden, Inge van Bogerijen, Maartje Neggers.
What are your ideas? What skills or talents should a Multiversity offer that I have missed? Or should we stick to what we’ve got?