Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Education & Training in 2050


We all ought to take some time to consider what the world in which we live will look like in 2050 and beyond. I know I try to, especially since my kids, grandkids, and maybe some great grandkids will not only be around then - but will be around well into the 22nd century.

The following is an extensive brainstorming list of new technologies, needs, processes, projections, and predictions about the field of Education & Training come the year 2050. You might find it interesting and may want to add some thoughts of your own.

The list of expected changes below was extracted from numerous recent interviews, articles, reports, and studies by various groups around the world focused not only on the education and training industry, but on the future of society in America and around the world.

So here goes! Expect some of the following technologies, processes, scenarios, and predictions to become the reality your kids and their families will be dealing with in the coming decades.
Image result for education technology

Technologies

Technology will have a tremendous impact on the future of Education & Training. However it will take a decades to more fully develop, test, evaluate, and integrate the many new technologies into the field of Education & Training. Right now we are just at the beginning of major changes. Think about the following technologies and the impact they will have on educational institutions, educators, students, publishing houses, governments, ...

Televideo
Mobile technology
Wearable systems
Implantable systems
Brain Interface Technologies
Social Media & eLearning
Virtual Reality
Virtual Classrooms
Augmented reality
Artificial intelligence
Robotics
Telepathy
Language Translation Technology
Multimedia educational materials
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)
Learning Companion (AI device)
Free & Open Source Software
Free & Open Access Textbooks


As these new technologies evolve and are woven into the field of Education & Training, what will the impact be on educational institutions, educators, trainers, administrative staff, support staff and more?

  • Teachers will become experts in new technologies and how to best use them in different settings.
  • The role of teachers will shift towards becoming education coaches, mentors, career counselors...
  • 'Personalized education' programs tailored to individual needs and capabilities will develop.
  • Accelerated learning programs for students with advanced capabilities will increase.
  • Students will be equipped with some form of artificial intelligence device that will serve as a 'learning companion'.
  • People will have a lifespan of 100 years, a work-span of 80 years and the reality of at least 6 careers and 14 jobs in this time.
  • Life-long learning will be needed by all humans to adapt to the global economy of the 21st century. 
  • Education and training programs will need to be developed and tailored for all age groups.
  • The education system will be redefined, including the mission, purpose, structure and funding of schools.
  • Fully accredited cost-competitive private, online schools and universities will dominate the education landscape by 2050.
  • Global education and training institutions will serve students around the world.
  • Human illiteracy will be largely eliminated around the world by 2050.
  • Intelligent classrooms will largely occur in virtual space.
  • Home schooling and distance learning solutions will dominate the landscape. 
  • Most 'brick and mortar' campuses will be local commuter campuses allowing for face-to-face learning opportunities when needed.
  • Free and 'open source' education software and tools will be available to all.
  • Free and 'open access' to most of the world's knowledge and information will be available to everyone.
  • Use of 'open access' textbooks and journals will dramatically lower the cost of education.
  • Accelerated learning programs will let motivated students complete their education at a pace best suited to their capabilities and needs.
  • Higher education will drastically rethink their curriculum, focusing more on critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills than a specific concentration.
  • All education programs will include research activities that take advantage of 'open data' resources.
  • Ongoing, lifelong vocational training will be made available to those in the country's workforce.
  • Teacher compensation will change as the importance of their role, level of expertise, and range of skills increase.
  • Individuals will receive credit for life experience and receive certificates of expertise in lieu of college degrees.
  • Institutions will be forced to collect and share data on quality of courses, course completion rates, costs, student hiring...
  • Governments will subsidize and/or provide free education for all citizens, including college courses.
  • Student loans and debt will become a thing of the past.

  • In addition to going global, by 2050 interplanetary education programs may begin to emerge as colonies begin to be established on the moon and Mars.
  • Local commuter campuses will provide students with access to sophisticated hi-tech learning environments when needed.

What else do you think will happen by 2050? What else should be added to the list of brainstorming ideas, projections, and predictions about changes in the field of Education & Training across the US and around the world?




Friday, August 14, 2015

Investing in Big Oil and Fossil Fuel Companies in the 21st Century


* Editorial: The end of the “Age of Fossil Fuels” is fast approaching. More leaders are speaking out against the use of fossil fuels as scientific data mounts showing it is leading to destructive global climate change. Fortunately, competitive alternative energy sources and new technologies now exist that can be used as the world starts to phase out its use of oil and coal to generate energy.

Another clear sign that the end of the “Age of Fossil Fuels” is now upon us can be seen in the growing movement by individuals and large organizations to divest themselves of stock holdings in “Big Oil” and other fossil fuel companies.

To support these claims, check out the following news and information published over the past two months:


As you can see, “Big Oil” keeps lobbying hard and pushing ahead with their attempts to keep us all hooked on fossil fuels for as long as they can, no matter what the cost to our planet.

As the 'Age of Fossil Fuels' slowly comes to an end, oil companies are racing to drill for oil in every sensitive environmental location on Earth they can find while they can - off the Carolina coast, in the Arctic ocean, at the North Pole, off California's coast, near sensitive underwater reefs...

One would thing that if “Big Oil”companies want to survive in this 21st century, they would be trying to invest heavily in the growing alternative energy industry - solar power, hydro-electric, wind energy, fuel cells, nuclear power... Unfortunately, that doesn't yet appear to be happening. Their focus is still on the short term, driving the cost of oil down, and keeping the world hooked on the use of costly, polluting fossil fuels.

Fortunately, we now know that strategy will fail over the long term and more and more individuals and companies will continue to divest themselves of stocks in these companies if they don't change. What do you think? Give us your feedback on the Future of Energy in America.






Thursday, July 30, 2015

Are Secret Corporate Investors Now Holding Cities and Countries Hostage


Editorial: Over the past year or two I have been watching some disturbing news stories from around the world that seemed to have some common traits. Have you noticed it too? Think of Detroit, Argentina, Greece and Puerto Rico as prime examples of what I have been observing.

These cities and countries were all loaned money by big banks, hedge funds, and other wealthy investors. Even though they were risky loans, these investors continued to lend money long after it was obvious the cities or countries could never repay them. Why?

The investors deliberately continued down a path that would ultimately bankrupt the cities or countries. Keeping their identities secret, the investors hid behind the cover of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or other powerful organizations like the European Union (EU), they continued to lend money while simultaneously driving these governments further into bankruptcy.

Their goal appears to be consistent. Drive the governments into bankruptcy, take control, and then loot everything that isn't nailed down. Buildings, land, works of art, pensions, the treasury and more. These investors, or their legal agents, then typically proceed to lay off workers, raise taxes, shut down schools, ignore voters, and proceed to carry out their many other evil designs - all under the cover of the law.

It has worked in numerous other instances. Eventually you start to see the pattern repeating itself with more and more frequency. What cities and countries are the next targets? Do these investors really believe they can remain secret and continue to run amuck? Apparently they do. Unfortunately, it all eventually becomes exposed and leads to all sorts of other destructive behavior.

Am I the only one seeing this pattern? Is this part of the future we want? Big investment banks, hedge funds, and wealthy billionaires openly replacing our governments. I don't think so. Share your thoughts on this topic with our readers.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Manned Inter-Planetary Space Travel Now Becoming a Reality


It appears manned inter-planetary space travel within our solar system is now becoming a reality. The world has been sending unmanned spacecraft and space probes to other planets and bodies within our solar system for several decades. This doesn't mean I may live to see it, but my kids and grandkids will.

You know its going to happen as the list of countries with space programs continues to grow, e.g. U.S., Europe, Russia, China, India, Japan... Meanwhile, numerous private companies are also pushing and shoving to get into the race to conquer space, e.g. SpaceX, Boeing, Virgin Galactic, Google, Northrop...

* See Manned Spacecraft versus Unmanned Spacecraft Missions

Reading the latest NASA news briefs, we know that they are developing the most advanced rocket and spacecraft ever designed for the manned Mission to Mars, planned for sometime before the end of the next decade. Read more about NASA's Orion spacecraft that will carry four astronauts and provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit.

Just this past week, the BBC reported that the European Space Agency is actively discussing building a village on the moon. China is also actively moving forward with their lunar exploration program. Russia, India, and others are also planning other ventures that are sure to be unveiled in the near future.

As I've written before, we are currently in the process of transitioning from a Type 0 Civilization to a Type 1 Civilization. Some of the characteristics of a Type 1 Civilization include the capability of interplanetary spaceflight, interplanetary communication, and interplanetary colonization. For more detail, on the future of civilations, read Redefining Our Purpose as Civilization Keeps Evolving

Again, the race is now on to launch manned inter-planetary space missions and begin the first phase of a long process to colonize the planets in our Solar System. There's going to be some exciting times ahead for our children and grandchildren.


The planets of our Solar System currently include:

* For more on Space Exploration, visit Wikipedia or do your own more extensive search on the Internet. You might also want to read some of the latest news articles on Human Spaceflight at Space.com

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Is It Time to Redefine the Mission and Vision for Mankind - Again


So what are the really big issues facing humanity and the world today. I'm talking the really really big issues. If we held a brainstorming session what would we come up with? How about the following:


  • Over Population
  • Climate Change
  • Energy Needs
  • Food Shortages
  • Scarcity of Water
  • Mass Migrations or Displacements
  • Human Rights Issues
  • Womens Rights
  • Distribution of Wealth
  • Terrorism
  • Regional Conflicts
  • Global Conflicts
  • Religious Conflicts
  • Educating People
  • Access to Information Resources
  • Health & Healthcare
  • Need for Jobs
  • Need to begin Colonizing our Solar System

These are some of the many big issues, but I'm sure this list is far from complete. What else should be added to the list?

Once you look at the list, you start to see patterns. Many of the issues are interrelated and a number of them can also be grouped together.

But the question I keep asking is - What are we going to do to address these issues or solve these global problems?

For those who haven't heard me say this before, I keep coming back to the fact that I believe we are in the process of transitioning from a Type 0 Civilization to a Type 1 Civilization. Read Redefining Our Purpose as Civilization Keeps Evolving

A Type 0 civilization extracts its energy, information, raw-materials from crude organic-based sources (i.e. food/wood/fossil fuel/books/oral tradition); pressures via natural disaster, natural selection, and societal collapse creates extreme risk of extinction; it's capable of orbital spaceflight; societies that fail to improve social, environmental and medical understanding concurrently with other advancements, frequently accelerated their own extinction.
A Type I civilization extracts its energy, information, and raw-materials from fusion power, hydrogen, and other "high-density" renewable-resources; is capable of interplanetary spaceflight, interplanetary communication, megascale engineering, and interplanetary colonization, medical and technological singularity, planetary engineering, world government and trade, and stellar system-scale influence; but are still vulnerable to possible extinction


As we make this transition, we need to revisit and redefine the purpose of Humanity - What is our Mission? What is the Vision we have for our future? I'm talking the need to think at least 100-200 years out!

Again, lets do some brainstorming. Here's the type of questions that immediately come to my mind when I think about the future:

  • Is our mission to procreate, colonize, and inhabit other planets in our Solar System and nearby Galaxies? Or do we simply stay focused on life on Earth?
  • Do we continue to compete for 'individual' wealth and power? Or do we learn to become a society that collaborates and shares wealth and power?
  • Do we proceed with human augmentation technology and solutions that allow people to achieve 'Singularity'? Do we focus on solutions that will allow people to live forever in some new form?
  • Do we declare an end to the 'Age of Fossil Fuels' immediately and aggressively pursue unlimited, low cost alternative energy sources?
  • Do we want to ensure everyone has access to free education and information resources that will enable them to be more productive and achieve their full potential?
  • Do we set a cap on the total population on Earth? Do we want to cap the number of children people can have?

What type of questions spring to your mind?

Can society reach some consensus on where we think Humanity should go? How it should change? What specific 'big' changes must we agree to tackle and collectively make?

We have to actively think about, discuss, and reach consensus on the future of Humanity and Earth - now!!! We've been avoiding or dancing around the issues for quite some time. It's time to 'fish or cut bait'!!

It's time!!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Government and Society in the U.S. and Around the World by 2050


We all ought to take some time to consider what the world in which we live will look like in 2050 and beyond. I know I do, since my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will hopefully be around then and well into the 22nd century.

The following is a brief collection of predictions about Government and Society in 2050 that you might find interesting. These predictions were extracted from multiple reports and studies by groups around the world focused on the future of America and this planet.

So here goes! Expect the following predictions and/or future scenarios to become a reality over the next few decades:

  • The vast majority of countries will have adopted some form of democratic government.
  • The U.S. will learn to work more closely with new partners around the world to reinvent regional and global governance systems.
  • Building leadership in government and business that can be 'trusted', that is not corrupt, is citizen-centered, and not built on greed and the quest for money and power... will continue to be a major challenge for society.
  • Many Non-State actors will take the lead from government in confronting global challenges, e.g. global business conglomerates.
  • Public and Private sector organizations will learn to shift their focus from short-term to long-term investments and solutions
  • Governments and institutions will have learned to better adapt fast enough to harness change and new technologies, instead of being overwhelmed by it
  • It is predicted that the global population will be close to 10 billion by 2050, barring any one of several expected major pandemics or major extinction events.
  • Global population levels will finally have reached a plateau by 2050 with one in every six people on earth being over 65 years old.
  • While many industrialized countries in Europe face projected population losses in the coming decades, the U.S. is poised for tremendous growth, fueled by legal and illegal immigration.
  • The Southern and Western regions of the U.S. will lead the nation’s population growth, while vast regions of the Midwest, the Great Plains, and the Lower Mississippi Valley will experience flat or declining population growth.
  • Over 60% of the world’s population will live in very large urban 'smart' cities.
  • By 2050, the caucasian race will become a minority in the U.S. This will alter key policies and practices of U.S. political parties, the Republican Party in particular.
  • Women will continue to take on a growing leadership in business and government, ... in the U.S. and around the world.
  • By 2050, it is predicted that 30 per cent (2.8 billion) of the world's population will identify themselves as Muslim compared to 31 per cent (2.9 billion) identifying themselves as Christian. Religion will remain a key source of conflict in the world.
  • Homosexual discrimination will have largely been eradicated in the U.S. and many other parts of the world.
  • There will be continued progress towards the eradication of global poverty levels that currently exist in poverty stricken areas of the world.
  • The importance of Personal Privacy will remain a high priority for people everywhere as business and government continue to actively infringe on this area of life.
  • The bad news in healthcare is that skyrocketing global population will spur the faster spread of infectious diseases and viruses and more instances of major global pandemics.
  • The good news is that the rise of Predictive Medicine, Regenerative Medicine, Genetic Engineering, Stem Cell Research, Telehealth, Robotics, and other innovative healthcare solutions will help transform and significantly lower healthcare costs - making current discussions of healthcare policy and funding irrelevent.
  • The official end of the 'Oil Age' and use of fossil fuels on Earth will occur by 2050. This will cause a major shift in the current balance of economic power in the world.
  • There will be widespread emergence and use of a range of new and renewable energy sources, e.g. wind, solar, hydro, nuclear fusion, fuel cell.
  • Both the high cost and scarcity of energy on Earth will be a thing of the past.
  • Average global temperatures will have risen by more than 4°F by 2050. The resultant climate change will make storms hitting the U.S. far more intense, e.g. hurricanes, tornados, cyclones.
  • Sea levels across the globe will rise by a little over 3 feet, flooding many coastal cities and areas in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Approximately 5 billion of the world's projected 10 billion people will live in water-stressed and food-scarce areas leading to the potential of mass migrations and regional conflicts.
  • It will be highly unlikely that war will go extinct, though its frequency and scope will continue to change and adapt to the changing global environment.
  • There will not be any single hegemonic or dominant global power. Power will shift to networks and coalitions in a multi-polar world.
  • Rapid changes and shifts in power may ultimately lead to more intra-state and inter-state conflicts in many regions around the globe.
  • The continued increase in instances of Cyber Attacks and Cyber Warfare by government entities around the world will remain a major challenge.
  • There will be widespread increase in the use of fully autonomous, semi-intelligent military weapons, e.g. drones, robots.
  • Development of a wide range of new weapon systems - see YouTube video on Future Weapons
  • Language translation technology will improve global business and inter-personal communications.
  • Many other new technological breakthroughs will be developed just in time to solve many of the challenges and problems facing the U.S. and the world, e.g. over-population, rapid urbanization, climate change, energy, food shortages, water needs, space travel, ...
  • Spaceflight technology will take a major leap forward allowing for Inter-Planetary travel across our Solar System.
  • Both public and private sector organizations will be aggressively moving forward to explore and exploit resources on nearby planets in outer-space
  • There will be the first permanent human settlements on the moon and Mars by 2050. Governance of these and other Intra-planetary bodies in our Solar System will be a major issue.

You might want to re-read the predictions above again - with more care.



What else do you think will happen by 2050? What does all this mean to you? Our government? Society? ...



* You might want to check out the following key documents for more detailed scenarios about the future of America and our planet: National Intelligence Council (NIC) Global Trends 2030; 'Open Access' Studies & Reports on the Future; Health & Health IT: 2030 and Beyond; and 'Our Changing World by 2050'.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Energy and the Environment in 2050

We all ought to take some time to consider what the world in which we live will look like in 2050 and beyond. I know I do, since my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will hopefully be around then and well into the 22nd century.

The following is a brief collection of predictions about Energy and our Environment by 2050 that you might find interesting. These predictions were extracted from multiple reports and studies by groups around the world focused on the future of America and this planet.

So here goes! Expect the following predictions and/or future scenarios to become a reality over the next few decades:

  • The official end of the 'Oil Age' and use of fossil fuels on Earth will occur by 2050.
  • There will be widespread emergence and use of a range of renewable energy sources, e.g. wind, solar, hydro.
  • Renewable energy will probably provide up to 80% of U.S. needs by 2050.
  • Nuclear 'fusion' power will become commercially available.
  • Fuel cell technology will also be widely used to power homes, buildings, ships, cars, ...
  • Continent-wide smart 'supergrids' will be used to help manage the world's energy needs.
  • Both the high cost and scarcity of energy on Earth will be a thing of the past.
  • Average global temperatures will have risen by more than 4°F by 2050.
  • Continued climate change will make storms far more intense, e.g. hurricanes, tornados, cyclones.
  • Sea levels across the globe will rise by a little over 3 feet, flooding many coastal cities and areas in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Approximately 5 billion of the world's projected 10 billion people will live in water-stressed and food-scarce areas leading to the potential of mass migrations and regional conflicts.
  • Nearly half of the world's rain forests and jungles will vanish by 2050, but global efforts to halt de-forestation will finally take hold.
  • Deep ocean mining operations around the world will become widespread.
  • Unfortunately, much of the world's fish stocks in the ocean could become extinct by 2050.
  • Major extinctions of many other animals and plant life will have occurred.
  • Cost-effective conservation technologies and solutions will be widely deployed and in use
  • Use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) will be widespread on farms everywhere
  • Wildfires will have tripled in many regions of the globe by 2050
  • Hi-tech, self-driving 'non-polluting' electric cars will largely dominate the automobile industry by 2050 .
  • High-speed rail routes between major cities across the U.S. and around the world will largely be in place.
  • Many other new technological breakthroughs will be developed just in time to solve many of the challenges and problems caused by a growing world population, rapid urbanization, climate change, space travel, ...
  • Spaceflight technology will take a major leap forward allowing for Inter-Planetary travel across our Solar System.
  • Public and private sector organizations will be aggressively moving forward to explore and exploit resources on nearby planets in outer-space
  • There will be the first permanent human settlements on the moon and Mars by 2050.

What else do you think will happen by 2050?  What does all this mean for you?



* Read about America's Energy Future and go ahead and download a copy of the OECD Environmental Outlook for 2050.  Also, check out more detailed projections documented in 'Our Changing World by 2050'. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Business, Manufacturing and Global Trade in 2050



We all ought to take some time to consider what the world in which we live will look like in 2050 and beyond. I know I do, since my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will hopefully be around then and well into the 22nd century.

The following is a brief collection of predictions about Business, Manufacturing, and Global Trade by 2050 that you might find interesting. These predictions were extracted from multiple reports and studies by groups around the world focused on the future of America and this planet.

So here goes! Expect the following predictions and/or future scenarios to become a reality over the next few decades:

  • Collaboration, 'Open' Solutions, Sharing, and a focus on continuous Innovation will be the key business strategies pursued by most industries.
  • Global standards will be in place for almost all industries, e.g. technology, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications...
  • Use of Smart 3D Printers and Advanced Manufacturing Techniques will transform manufacturing and become the norm.  Visit the COSI 'Open' Manufacturing web portal.
  • Many new materials for housing, clothing, technology ... will be developed and used, e.g. carbon nano-materials, self-healing concrete, wear-resistant alloys...
  • Hi-tech, intelligent buildings powered by alternative energy sources will be used by most growing and forward-thinking companies.
  • The market for the Internet of Things (IoT) will be huge, consisting of trillions of interconnected devices of all sorts.
  • The telecommuting workforce across the U.S. and around the world will continue to grow.
  • 'Smart Factories' using Industry 4.0 technologies will dramatically change manufacturing as we currently know it.
  • The U.S. dollar will lose its global dominance by 2025 as the Euro and China's currency become co-equals in a "multi-currency" global monetary system.
  • India's economy will finally rival that of China and the U.S. by 2050. In addition, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia will begin to rival the economies of the U.K. and France by 2030, while Nigeria and Vietnam could become the fastest growing economies through 2050.
  • New financial systems, economic development, business models and tools will have emerged, e.g. Bitcoin, Micro-financing, Electronic Wallets.
  • Many countries will continue to move from commodity-based to service-based economies. Read the World Business Council Vision 2050 report
  • The official end of the 'Oil Age' and use of fossil fuels on Earth will occur by 2050. Renewable energy will provide up to 80% of U.S. needs and both the high cost and scarcity of energy on Earth will be a thing of the past.
  • Average global temperatures will have risen by more than 4°F by 2050 making storms far more intense, e.g. hurricanes, tornados, cyclones.
  • Sea levels across the globe will rise by a little over 3 feet, flooding large swaths of low lying coastal areas in the U.S. around the world
  • Approximately 5 billion of the world's projected 10 billion people will live in water-stressed and food-scarce areas leading to the potential of mass migrations and regional conflicts.
  • There will be another 1,000-fold increase in computer power, data transmission rates, storage, ...
  • There will be widespread use of drone technology by many industries, e.g. agriculture, military, government, transportation.
  • Mobile solutions will rapidly evolve as the world embraces a wide range of wearable technologies. In addition, implantable technologies will start to gain widespread acceptance for use in many industries, e.g. healthcare, defense, transportation, ...
  • Hi-tech, self-driving electric cars will largely dominate the automobile industry by 2050.
  • High-speed rail routes between major cities across the U.S. and around the world will largely be in place.
  • Many other new technological breakthroughs will be developed just in time to boost economic productivity and solve many of the challenges and problems caused by a growing world population, rapid urbanization, climate change, space travel, ...


What else do you think will happen by 2050? What does all this mean to you?Your business? Career?

*Check out more detailed projections documented in 'Our Changing World by 2050'.