Last week, I was invited to be a contributor to the Global Child Forum by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden. Convened at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, I directed my verbal remarks to four hundred delegates that included leading business CEOs and representatives from global humanitarian organizations. What follows is a written statement reflecting the answer I gave to the question: What is needed to cause a mindset shift that would benefit our children and youth?
Re-imagining youth learning must begin with an understanding of the world our children and youth are stepping into. This requires less a mindset shift and more a reality check. That’s because most of us see a very different world than the one awaiting our young people. We see the world we entered, which is not the one they will inherit. In fact, the two worlds are in many ways polar-opposites, each requiring a very different skill set and outlook. I am confident that as we understand the distinction, society will make the accommodations necessary to prepare our children sufficiently.
In articulating the differences, I focus on one key element: change. I am not referring to change made possible by technology or innovations in science. I’m not even speaking about the speed of change, which sounds increasingly cliché. Rather, I highlight the nature of change. Specifically, shifts in human organization are changing the complexion and complexity of the world our children must learn to command. While these shifts are subtle, they are also very dramatic.