Educational Ecosystems for Societal Transformation

Report by Global Education Futures
Our report summarizes three years of GEF journey that involved hundreds of educational leaders on five continents. We identify focal points of systemic transformation that may bring education of the future into reality, and lay out the framework for education as a vehicle for intentional evolution of the humankind.
Excerpts from Report Foreword
Systems Scientist and Senior Lecturer MIT
Our system of education is trapped in an unspoken irony: the institution with the greatest potential impact on the future is arguably the one most shaped by taken for granted ideas from the past.

One of the defining features of the modern age is the gap between our impact and our commitment: while our impacts on the natural and social world are without precedent, if anything we are more and more focused on the short term and on self-benefit versus benefit for others and life more broadly.

Of all society's core institutions, education broadly conceived has the greatest potential to close this gap
Areas of Exploration
In our global context of increasing social, ecological, and economic complexity our educational systems must evolve to meet the demands of the future.

Based upon our research we suggest that it is necessary to re-imagine the purpose and the design of education systems; what we believe is needed is nothing less than a paradigm shift in how we learn together so we can collaboratively co-create a future that works for all of humanity and our biosphere
The main challenge/opportunity facing our society today is to move toward a "wisdom-based society", a society united by both individual and collective intelligence, allowing us to navigate together through increasingly complex dynamics
Through our educational systems, we must evolve our ways of thinking, learning, and acting together to address the increasingly complex dynamics of the 21st century and co-create desired futures
Needed In Educational Systems Around The World to Catalyze Transition
  • The rise of learner-centered education & cultivation of self-guided learners
  • The fostering of team, community & network-based learning
  • The emerging emphasis of "Glocal" educational ecosystems
  • The evolution of learning success metrics for the complexities of the 21st century
Mega-Trends Shaping Our Future & the Future of Education
Digitalization. We are moving into a time of mass digitization in which humanity will be immersed in data

Automation. We are now moving into an era that could be understood as the next industrial revolution

Transformation of social institutions. All of our social institutions need to evolve to meet the challenges/opportunities of our increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) global context

Demographic shifts. Increasing shifts, such as, increased longevity, fewer births, diverse global cultural needs, and inter-generational changes of leadership will dramatically re-balance societal learning objectives

Societal transition towards sustainability. It is becoming increasingly clear to the global community that there is a deep need for humanity to master the collective art of peaceful planetary collaboration in all realms of human life for our society and our biosphere to thrive
An Emerging New role for schools & universities as Educational Hubs
Schools and universities are ideal spaces to become lifelong learning hubs for communities, businesses, and civil society to unite as communities of practice for creative innovation
Urban Learning Spaces & Regenerative Lifelong Learning Ecosystems =
Evolutionary Learning Communities
Evolutionary Learning Communities can provide opportunities for individuals, families, and community members to foster collective learning, multi-generational engagement, and community practices that support wisdom-sharing across all areas of human life
We invite learners, planetary citizens, community-builders, and change-leaders to explore with us the future of education and learning

We invite individuals, organisations, and policy makers engaged in educational systems change to co-create with us a global commons, or lab of labs, dedicated to societal transformation in the 21st century

And, we invite you to envision with us and take action together toward a world in which our educational systems foster capacities and competencies that support humanity to living in a thriving future for all
  • Pavel Luksha
    Founder Global Education Futures, Professor of Practice at Moscow School of Management Skolkovo.
  • Joshua Cubista
    International experiential designer, facilitator and strategist
  • Alexander Laszlo
    The 57th President and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS)
  • Mila Popovich
    Founder of EVOLvED Leadership
  • Ivan Ninenko
    Lifelong learner, doer and player
Report contains the results of a foresight cycle and expert meetings co-hosted by GEF in 2014- 2017

We are especially grateful to:
This report features the work of Global Education Futures: a global initiative dedicated to collaboratively designing, prototyping and evolving educational systems worldwide

Explore with us opportunities and challenges of movement making and capacity building, systems innovation and co-creating thriving futures in the midst of 21st century complexities