“People and organisations everywhere can see that current systems of education are failing to meet the challenges we now all face and they’re working furiously to create alternatives.” Sir Ken Robinson

The Role of Higher Education
To observe key trends that surround us, it is crucial to understand that they are interlinked and connected to socioeconomic and cultural drivers influencing tomorrow’s society, business and people. Currently, we see a lot of energy being put into discussion of the role of higher education in a networked, knowledge society. The key questions to ask are: What leadership qualities are needed?; Do we prioritise competence-building over fact-learning? and What is the most sustainble business model?

Possible Scenarios
This Diagram illustrates how the key trends impacting higher education are all interconnected, as well as highlighting the drivers of change. These are the ‘ones to watch’. The snapshots of possible scenarios do not predict the future, but they do assist us in shaping it and making better decisions about tomorrow.

The ‘4P’ Business Model
In the future, ‘real value’ will be measured by how well organisations navigate the NEW ‘4P’ BOTTOM LINE: People, Planet, Purpose and then Profit. The 4 key clusters that NEW HIGHER EDUCATION MODELS must focus on: Smart and Mobility as well as Social and Wellbeing.

New Narrative
Brilliant business models are never anonymous – they differentiate themselves by reaching out in both a global and local context to fulfill the real needs of people. Universities need a new narrative to place them on the map as the true engines of growth and positive change they are – adapting the 4P VISION will ensure value, in terms of socioeconomic development, cultural context and quality of life.

As physical and virtual borders dissolve, seamless transitions and self-defined boundaries will be the norm. By 2020, the Internet of Things could connect to 50 billion devices. This ‘World Brain’ is a library of knowledge enabling fast accurate decoding of ‘Big Data Networks’ and meaningful analytics’ Deep Learning, inspired by artificial neural networks and evolved ‘augmented reality’, presents huge opportunities in everything from education to commerce, leisure and health. Tracking ‘Real-Time’ sentiments will enable better services and experiences.

Cloud Culture inspires new business models where agility and scalability rule. Codecademy turns tech consumers into ‘Empowered Code Builders’, while Singularity University collaborates with entrepreneurs, technologists and global leaders to guide the evolution of new technologies. The growth of dedicated social media MBA programmes and ‘Disruptive Technologies’ is already transforming education. MOOCs (Massive Open-source Online Courses) like Coursera, with 3.5 million users, act as a powerful mechanism for cost reduction. Meanwhile,mEducation is valued at US$70 billion by 2020.

MAP-WITH-TAGSTalent Mobility
Culturally open and mobile, Global Citizens set new standards in society and business. ‘Geopolitical Change’ and an increasingly affluent ‘New Middle Class’ drive higher education structures and, by 2025, half of the world’s population belong to the ‘consuming classes’. The right talent is critical to business growth, say 97% of CEOs, and currently only 26% of the European workforce has a degree. But by 2020, 35% of jobs in the EU will probably require a higher education qualification. By then, Millennials will form 50% of the workforce and handle most international assignments.

48% said they would not recommend their organisation in a recent survey of 97,000 people, while globally, 65% of people believe ‘Total Transparency’ and honest business practices are key to Brand Reputation. But growth of digital communication forces organisations to work harder to be noticed, and trusted. Freedom of information explodes and smart organisations embrace ‘Total Transparency’ and collaboration, as described by Dan Tapscott and Anthony Williams in the TED book Radical Openness. This new philosophy affects everything in society, from how we do business to who we choose to govern us.

Entrepreneurship is key to personal autonomy, as well as the welfare state, jobs, innovation and competitiveness, and the EU promotes entrepreneurship to drive an ‘Autonomy Economy’. While currently only 30% of European entrepreneurs are women, by 2020, 2 in 3 graduates in advanced economies will be women. Today, females with MBAs see a 55-65% pay increase within 5 years, but new thinking becomes key to the future of the MBA and to fuel ‘Creative Communities’. There’s recognition that learning must drive innovation and improvisation, evolving like a jazz jam session – a landcape that fuels Betapreneurs.

‘Social capital’ is not just the sum of the institutions that underpin a society, it is the glue that holds them together. Betterness – Economics For Humans – rethinks the future of human exchange as leaders consider fundamental questions like: “why we exist and why people will choose to engage and invest with us”. 62% of global employees prefer to work for companies ‘Making a Positive Difference’, so ‘Smart & Agile’ makes good sense for business, as it improves productivity by rewarding ideas and output, not just time. Environmental and social topics are incorporated into a holistic core curriculum.

The definition of ‘The Good Life’ goes public, as we start to question conventional ways of measuring success. Harvard Business School’s course on Positive Psychology as The Catalyst for Change’ is already shaping tomorrow’s business leaders. Purpose fuels great leadership and is central to happiness. Happy people are more productive, engaged, creative and focused – increasing productivity up to 40-50% in service and creative industries. That’s an awful lot in terms of business revenue, so it becomes inevitable that ‘New Economic Models’ at least consider data measuring happiness.

The UN predicts 2 billion people will be 60+ by 2050 – 22% of the world population. Already, Singularity University offers an optional wellness program to explore ways of living a better life. The ‘Four Generation’ workplace requires ‘Inclusive Thinking’ to view the ageing population as an opportunity. A flexible labour market creates opportunities for ‘fit seniors’ and encourages ‘Lifelong Learning’. ‘Social structured’ becomes key to attracting people to the growing flow of learning resources, where organisations like Coursera offer an intimate forum with leading thinkers from over 69 top universities.

1) Stop thinking – Source The Guardian
2) Disruptive Innovation – Tate Jamming session by Kjaer Global
3) Talent Mobility – Map with tags – Source Unkown
4) Betapreneurs – Tattoo Artist by Kjaer Global
5) Radical Openness – Olafur Elliasson Århus by Kjaer Global
6) The Good Life – Kids Jumping by Harald Brekke
7) No Age Society – People at Tate by Kjaer Global

Anne Lise Kjaer at the Association of MBAs Warsaw May 15th, 2013

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