Address Faculty 2018
28 July 2018
The Fourth Industrial Age Has Arrived: Are You Ready
We have entered the 4th Industrial Age, a significant period in human history
that is characterized by VUCA - volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Life
and work are in a perpetual churn and there is no respite. We are already witnessing
and experiencing job and knowledge obsolescence, and intense acceleration because
of technology; and imploding relationships, families, lifestyle, and systems and
processes. There is no time to pause, to reflect, and to reconnect for meaningful
relationship with people, and above all, with one self.
We are growing strangers to ourselves. Consequently, we are unable to give
meaning to our life and work, and are, unhappy and lonely. Our digital devices are an
invasion of our nervous system. Face-to-face interaction is becoming less and less.
We are less happy, les connected, less free. And the mobile phone is the new cocaine
the new heroin.
In a VUCA world, innovation will be the #1 leadership and spiritual competency
to succeed. Unlike as in the past three industrial ages, innovation will be less about
new products, new business models and solving problems; and more about
reinventing the self, re-skilling oneself, as well transformational ideas that will impact
profit, planet and people. The aspiration to colonize Mars is an example.
The 4th Industrial Age has arrived, and teachers must answer the question: Am
I ready? The present education system is hopelessly outdated. If we do not change
what we teach and how we teach, our future and that of the children is in trouble. The
demands of 4.2 education are written across the skies in bold letters.
Today, I shall focus on three strategic implications for teachers: purpose of
education, the emerging role of teachers, and their responsibility for re-skilling
themselves continuously.
Schools of future will, therefore, be schools of innovation. The purpose of
education is no longer to prepare children to score high marks in examination and
prepare them for a career. In a world where computers and algorithms will beat brains,
and 42 % jobs will disappear by 2032 that is bygone.
The Purpose of Education
The purpose of education is to educate the heart and the mind and not the brain
alone. In order to prepare a child to be a lifelong learner, to give meaning to life, and
unlock human potential, to succeed in VUCA world.
Please note the distinguishing features of the new purpose of education:
a. The change from Economic Man to Moral Man; hence the focus on the self
and managing the inner world.
b. Emphasis on developing competencies for continuous re-skilling; rather
than content knowledge.
c. Shift from chasing money and titles to giving meaning to life and work, in
order to unlock one’s potential.
d From knowledge About, to knowledge to Do, and knowledge to Be.
Philosophy of Excellence
High Performance of Habits
Capabilities of 4.2
Role of Teacher 4.2
Today nearly 90 percent of a teacher’s time is taken up preparing and delivering
content, homework assignments, formative and summative assessment and campus
responsibilities. This leaves her little or no time to spend quality time with the child.
This will now be possible through collaborative learning by Man-Machine teams.
Teacher 4.0 will be a learning companion to students and robots. As part of the
Man-Machine team, her role will be to “Teach the child and not the subject alone.”
Under her directions as team-leader, the team will function as under:
In such an arrangement, the robot makes the teacher relevant.
Reskilling by Teachers
The reskilling revolution has arrived.
In a VUCA world driven by technology; and characterized by knowledge and
job obsolescence, the challenges are unique. All plans for investment are dependent
on reskilling oneself continuously - upskilling, re-skilling, and re-re-skilling again and
again. Current skills are getting outdated every five years. Re-skilling is, therefore a
financial strategy - a survival strategy, and primarily a personal responsibility.
Those who do not invest in their knowledge voluntarily face a bleak future.
Individual readiness strategies and plans must be in place now, and you must
work on them from this very moment. While we will organize detailed discussions later
in the year, our checklist should be clear.
The grand strategy will be to become lifelong learners. This will involve:
Learning about yourself: Who am I? Why am I here?
Ownership for self and professional growth
Developing entrepreneurial competencies, especially innovation
Deep reading followed by application of concepts and ideas.
There are several types of investments - property, real-estate, gold, stocks and
shares, bonds and fixed deposits. We invest for improving our quality of life, to reduce
taxable income, for higher education, marriages of children, for retirement, for starting
and expanding business, whatever.
The time has come for us to invest in knowledge - our time, money, resources
and hope. This choice flows out of the belief that, I am the most important person on
the planet. Because change begins with me. When I change, the world around me
changes. Training to acquire professional competencies is admirable, but for the sake
of providing evidence to future employers it is advisable to have them credentialed by
independent verification services. Credentialing will replace traditional professional
Research findings conclude that; traditional models of professional
development have limited impact on student learning because of the following
One-shoe-fit-all and not personalized
Passive learning
Lack mental readiness for VUCA environment
Competency development is missing
Limited opportunities for collaboration and reflection
Credentialing encourages teachers to seek professional growth, enhance their
pedagogical skills, and demonstrate them to future employers by award of digital
certificates. Teachers are required to prepare an e-portfolio as evidence to verification
services, to include:
Professional and self-development training conducted @ school and through
MOOC and Linkedin learning solutions
Videos on classroom teaching to demonstrate pedagogy
Reflection on learning
Student feedback
Data analytics to show continuous learning by students and teacher
Micro-credentialing are displayed on LinkedIn accounts, online resumes and
social media.
Are We Future Ready
The speed of acceleration and change in the 4th Industrial Age is exponential
and relentless. The truth is staring us in the face:
Knowledge obsolescence
Job obsolescence
Technology obsolescence
Values, whatever.
The purpose of education is to prepare a child for a future we do not know. This
is possible provided teachers are future ready. To be future ready is not just thinking
about the future but getting ready for it. The best way to prepare for the future is to
create it yourself, to design the preferred future. We, therefore, need to:
Be Lifelong learners
Lead an examined life
Do deep reading on future perspectives, on emerging technologies,
and future trends in education
Reflect about probable futures
Have higher purpose
Set a personal vision
Set goals to acquire competencies to innovate and reskill oneself.