The impact of Technology in our Society and in particular in Education is an ongoing and critical task. There’s also a huge disparity when it comes to technology access, whether due to socioeconomic factors, lack of resources, infrastructures development, knowledge and budget.

I think it is needed a seriously debate about these crucial issues (pros vs cons) for the future development of our society. Maybe it is time for “Reimagining the future of Education”, based on lessons learned, past experiences and future demands.

Let’s imagining for a while we were “Teleported” into the “Year 2025”…close your eyes and try to “imagine” how it looks like. Think about it for a minute. We can imagine a futuristic picture of the world, but all our pictures are different. Our imagination is restricted by our education, knowledge, background, and social environment. But our creativity has no limits…

Try once again with an open mind, trying to reimaging the space, the planet, our city; our hometown…will be something like this: “Smart World 2020” scenario. Think about the new society needs and demands, the new citizen’s skills, the environmental challenges, the new Smart Ecosystems, the Internet of Things implications, the eHealth and Well-Being ecosystem…

And now, try to find for the best answers to your futuristic vision of the world. Do you really think we are on the right track?

“If we wish to prepare a generation of citizens, entrepreneurs and leaders for the 21th. century who can face real-world problems, we must give them real-world problems to solve”.

The future framework for smart digital education, leave permanently redefined from the impact of new technologies, communications and infrastructures development, experiences and case studies. And last but not least, all global experiences from a more interconnected perspective. We are talking about the “Future of the Society”. Imagination, Innovation, Inspiration, Interaction, Interconnection and Improvement; a new paradigm pushing from the pillars of education “that needs to be agreed and adapted to the reality of each environment, preventing breaks and digital divides in access to knowledge and technologies that impoverish citizens and therefore to society.
Let me say few words about the 5 I* “theory”, and how the “smart” process of your brain start flowing creativity, and innovation appears.

I spent most of the time in my life working at the consultant level. Studying, analyzing, imagining and developing services and solutions for a Smart Sustainable Society. Strangling my brain with new ideas, and trying to put my imagination to work in a creative process. This was something automatic, but really hard. Now, I spend my time trying to understand why this process works this way, to help organizations to think and work in a most creative way, getting real value at the end of the creativity process.

The evolution of the world and impact of technology in the past recent years was impressive. As in many previous disruptive scenarios, there are many fans on both sides with different stories and experiences, let’s assume with half of reason on each side. And it is good to learn from all this experiences and project a realistic vision of our mission and futuristic scenarios.
But first of all, and as a reference point for next reflexion, let me reimagine the picture of the future “Smart World”, trying to identify the big challenges for citizens, their development and employment.

A Smart City is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets – the city’s assets include, but are not limited to, local departments’ information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, and other community services.

When we talk about Thinking Smart, we are defining a better a sustainable scenario for citizens living in cities. Trying to facilitate and make more accessible and transparent public and private services. 50 billion of connected devices are expected in 2020. 100% Mobile traffic growth. More than 50 million connected tablets. And many more new devices, sensors and gadgets will be connected at home, streets and who else knows…

According Frost and Sullivan, the Smart City Market by Segment will be as follows (*). This picture reflects the biggest segments and the potential impact in the different sectors and citizens way of living. The Smart Education is one of the main segments with biggest impact in the Smart Environment, but I am pretty sure that a lot of changes need to be applying in the next coming years to adapt theory to reality. But one think is for sure, to cover this high tech new scenario; there is a huge demand of new profiles, skills and professions/careers.

In this debate, some critical voices put the accent in that digital revolution has yet to fulfil its promise of higher productivity and better jobs. Technological advances are encroaching on tasks that were previously considered too brainy to be automated, including some legal and accounting work. In those fields people at the top of their profession will in future attract many more clients and higher fees, but white-collar workers with lower qualifications will find themselves displaced and may in turn displace others with even lesser skills.
Peter Cappelli, of the University of Pennsylvania, in a recent paper concludes that in recent year’s over-education has been a consistent problem in most developed economies, which do not produce enough suitable jobs to absorb the growing number of college-educated workers. Over the next few decades demand in the top layer of the labour market may well centre on individuals with high abstract reasoning, creative, and interpersonal skills that are beyond most workers, including graduates.

Most rich economies have made a poor job of finding lucrative jobs for workers displaced by technology, and the resulting glut of cheap, underemployed labour has given firms little incentive to make productivity-boosting investments. Until governments solve that problem, the productivity effects of this technological revolution will remain disappointing. The impact on workers, by contrast, is already blindingly clear.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernandez (c)