The charity Education and Employers recently asked some 20 000 primary school children to draw their own future, and the opportunities children see for tomorrow are amazing. At the OECD, these drawings have inspired us to look at the future of education more systematically.
Some people will question how we can talk about the future when we can’t even figure out what will happen tomorrow. But there is quite a bit we know about the global megatrends that shape education, and much has been written about the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
And if we look at the future as the result of a series of advances shaped by these megatrends, then we have a better chance of being prepared for the challenges that lie ahead, rather than being ambushed by them.
Education also provides the key to shape these megatrends. Our economies are shifting toward regional hubs of production that are linked by global chains of information and goods, but concentrated where comparative advantage can be built and renewed.
The distribution of knowledge and wealth is therefore critical, and it is intrinsically tied to the distribution of educational opportunities. It is the right skills that empower people and communities to take charge of their future. And employers and governments have a key role in helping young people understand the world of work and the jobs of the future.