Solving global problems: education

Society 4.0
PostedJune 11, 2014, in  Step 8: sustainable society
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Consumption is a key element of modern society. Through what we buy, we show who we are and what we stand for. Our norms regarding consumption continuously shift, because after all the grass is always greener at our neighbours: after a pay raise is time for a new car, a new home or new, eye-catching gadgets. Consumption is rampant, but is that model sustainable in the future?  

 

Homo economicus

Good education is fundamental for every child's development. Equally important is the quality of education: how good are the teachers and according to which philosophy do they teach? What is the underlying purpose? The prevailing idea is that students must develop skills so they can contribute to the needs of the economic system in which we live. As homo economicus humans exist to serve this system.

Anticipate the future

We can do things differently, according to the Presencing Institute. This community is based on the ideas of Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer (among other). Their premise: organisations that face common challenges try to solve them by reflecting on the past. According to Senge and Scharmer it makes more sense look for future opportunities and to translate these into the present.

Society 4.0

The Presencing Institute advocates a shift from ego to eco. This means ending the era where we are solely focused on fulfilling our own material needs. Instead, it is time for a more holistic human, who also is aware of the environment in which he/she lives. Individuals also play a role, but in the sense of personal rather than material development. In short, it is time for Society 4.0, in which our human potential is fully utilised and happiness is a focal point.

Towards a sustainable future

Society 4.0 is more than a pretty picture of the future. It is based on Otto Scharmer’s bestseller: Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges. In other words, if we want to address our current global problems effectively, we must look for future opportunities. Education plays an important role, because that is where the leaders of the future are prepped. When as a child they learn that the world is more than their own material needs, what powerful effect would that have? Whether it concerns food shortages, resource scarcity or social-economic turmoil: with holistic leaders that seek cooperation in stead of competition, we increase our chances of a sustainable future.

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PostedJune 11, 2014, in Step 8: sustainable society
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