As the 21st century unfolds, humanity is facing unprecedented opportunities and existential challenges never before seen in the history of our species. As our technological achievements continue to evolve at exponential rates and our human systems span the globe, we are increasingly empowered to create futures that work for the whole of humanity and the biotic community with whom we share Earth. At the same time, we are experiencing global-scale environmental, socio-economic and cultural dynamics that increasingly jeopardize the continuation of our society and even the life on our planet as we know it. Both the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century are creating immense pressure on human systems to evolve to meet the needs of today and provide a healthy human legacy for future generations.
The journey of Global Education Futures began with the understanding that educational systems around the globe, like all other human systems (economies, politics, food, resources…), have entered a stage of flux and intense pressure to evolve to meet the needs of the learners of today and tomorrow. In this context, dominant educational models are increasingly perceived, by learners and society, to not meet current and future needs. Furthermore, the gap between educational agendas and learners needs will only continue to widen in the coming decades if action is not taken now. In order for humanity to rise to the occasion of our moment in history it is imperative that we evolve our educational systems to cohere with the complexities of the future. Conventional and incremental change will not address the magnitude of the crises we face. What is needed is a paradigm shift in education toward models that are relevant for the 21st century and beyond.