Universal Education — Presenting a vision and its’ requirements in the Lifecaring framework

by Connie Chow-Petit, with Benjamin Chow -Petit

Version 1.0 — A work in progress…


Knowledge is about the interactions with our environment, our peers and within ourself. It is about the tools, processes and concepts we use to make sense of it all, and act within our constraints.

Universal Education would aim to create and facilitate personalized, adaptive and dynamic knowledge acquisition for everyone; regardless of age, gender, socio-economic standing, geographic location, skills and/or interests; accepting and supporting any person or organisation wanting to engage and co-design their own learning experiments and life projects. With this approach, we would need to consider education as process, data and pattern innovation that is both ambient and universal.

An operational lifecaring framework would serve as a new form of knowledge acquisition and use, resulting in a human driven ecosystem with a project centered approach: one that is transversal to all organisations and individual goals, one that focuses on quality and uses experimental methods driven by ecosystem-generated data and research.

Research and development is about freedom, discovery, sharing and experimentation and the same applies to Universal Education. We therefore could help build connections within the existing ecosystems to help achieve these goals. This is the main challenge and remains to be tested.


Universal education holistically and usefully merges concepts that were historically separate (see lists below) into a operationable & realist living system.

Old way : Knowledge management, primary education, professional training, teachers, students, methodologies, theory and practice, learning separated from experimenting, R&D, predetermined ontologies & field of study, arbitrary separations between silos (kids vs adults, pro vs perso, fields of study), a set of standardized processes.

New way : Knowledge acquisition is — resilient, shared, integrated, amplified, distributed, peer-to-peer, personalized, co-designed, human-centered, connected, experimental, dynamic, adaptive, a constantly co-evolving set of processes,

No arbitrary distinction is made between learning, acting, innovation, education, entrepreneurship, leisure, children, adults and seniors — all that makes up a living, breathing ecosystem; in essence a continuum of knowledge and action.

Many of these concepts are already undergoing experimentations worldwide.

I hope to cover the basis for what remains an elusive yet important reflection towards Universal Education and what that means when re-defining education itself.


An ecosystemic approach to governance in Universal Education comes with the task of lifelong learning that focuses on the fundamentals of Lifecaring itself, the emerging needs of society and the adaptation to complex systems thinking.

Distributed across multiple levels of governance, decision making could be hybrid on every front, embracing the dynamic nature of a non-linear system and reaching its’ diverse stakeholders with relevant feedback and efficiency. The key is in the processes and the re-connections between potential stakeholders.

Knowledge production and use are critical components to modern governance that help enhance and enable the intricate balance in the relationship between education, knowledge and action.

These priorities need to be flexible, accountable and coherent, a capacity building strategy that is scale-free and fractal in nature, as we are all explorers and learners in our own way and form.

The reality of modern governance means that multi-level Universal Education systems effectively requires a model that balances responsiveness to local diversity and the ability to address larger and more global objectives. With increasingly vocal stakeholders and increased technological advancements, the desire to have a better response to education is even more magnified and vital.


It is important to listen and to observe the world around us and to learn from the external as well as the internal.

Lifecaring means caring and protecting Life under all forms ; indefinite means without having preconceived limitations in time, scope or objectives. The concept of Life here is understood as in “living systems”, which are a subset of Complex Adaptive Systems, and can include ideas, humans, society, AI, ecosystems, bacterias…

Because the world is complex and changing, the process of understanding is a continuous one that permeates all aspects of Life. Efficiency, rather than convenience, should solely be a limiting factor in that regard.

In line with Indefinite Lifecaring: Universal love — focusing on common points, common challenges, and complementary differences — rather than conflictualising, which is the easiest thing to do.

It has a couple of side effects: inner peace for the practitioner, increased capacity to transform people by facilitating empathy, and finally a positive feedback loop within our close environnement. Just like a self-similar system, this framework and its applications in themselves are built on a living system basis, for its complexity mashing adaptations and inherent strength.


Universal education is a huge task that must at once empower an ecosystem and yet be synchronized, connected and flexible. Emergent governance and ecosystemic experimentation can be realized through carefully designed processes that allow for such a vast network of interactions and fluxes.

We allow for each system to prioritize education, knowledge and action through :

  • High Level Meta-Organisation
  • Processes, Strategic View, Building Capacity
  • Self-Emerging Structure
  • Stakeholder Investment, Accountability, Open Dialogue, Innovation
  • Low-level Normalizations
  • Clean guidelines, Feedback
  • Process, data and pattern innovation
  • Self-organized learning

And in taking a closer look at what knowledge and education means, we can examine what forms of education are needed for future learning practices.


Facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. Awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

Knowledge comes to us through many forms. Our cognition allows for our self and our experience to gain knowledge acquisition from our environment, data, patterns and also patterns of patterns.


The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, An enlightening experience. Education is preparing a person to face everyday life.



Touch points for interacting with society and knowledge. Third places.

  • Physical spaces
  • Personal spaces
  • Collective spaces
  • IoT
  • Architecture & Urbanism


From teaching to learning to teaching to being

  1. is teacher-based
  2. is learner-based
  3. is learner is teacher-based
  4. is everyone is what they want, while the rest adapts

Requiring :

  • Confidence
  • Personality
  • Goals
  • Vision-based learning
  • Testing new prisms


New achievement standards — Illustrating achievement will change over time to explain the depth of a person’s or group’s understanding.

  • Certification.
  • Truth vs untruth
  • Quality
  • Who decides and how ?
  • Should and needs to be distributed
  • Everyone with their own set of criterias ?


  1. Forms of knowledge → content, appearance, ontologies, interfaces, epistemology — how to have diversity and organisation ?
  2. Archiving knowledge — Certain aspects of culture need to be experienced firsthand in order to be understood.
  3. How to build the knowledge base needs to evolve
  4. Multi-dimensional tagging (personal, approval, taxonomy, requisites, comments, etc…)
  5. Co-emergent clusterization ? Emerging epistemology and semantic adaptation ?


Some remarkable initiatives and programs I have personally used as references.

Edutopia : Core Concepts

  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Integrated studies
  • Project based learning
  • Social & Emotional learning
  • Teacher development
  • Technological integration

Devi Shetty Healthcare model

  • Process Innovation
  • Testing the untested : scale, model; experimentation, years to confirm
  • Walmart model
  • Provide high quality healthcare to the masses
  • Hybrid pricing model : studying profit/loss daily
  • Corporate sponsorship, partners
  • Innovation to operations : fixed incomes, friends, reputation, business models, outsourcing, etc.
  • High volumes allow for lower pricing
  • Missionary work ethic

Harvard Education ReDesign Lab

  • Research informed education engine
  • Personalized and extended schooling
  • Braiding Health and human services
  • Increasing access to quality out of school learning

d.school Innovations in Education course

  • Design the next generation of school models
  • Business models
  • Organizational design
  • Experience design
  • Systems prototyping

Innovative School Network Education Models

  • Project based
  • Inquiry based
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Neuroscience
  • Place based
  • Multi-age

Online & Active Learning Model (Harvard)

  • Engagement / Mentally active
  • Synchronizing / Online engagement
  • Two way street
  • Experience the courses in person
  • Enlighten / Past experiences
  • Future is experimentation / Co-Design

Higher ed Education Model

(Four disruptive forces — behavioural, demographic, financial, and political)


What is disruptive innovation in education?

  • Redefine quality in a much more complex world of knowledge than which most current educational models were designed.
  • Massification of educational experiences will not be the ticket to success in the next wave of educational models.
Education, if done correctly, is life success enabling. The more unique and distinctive your educational experience is, the more valuable it is. The ability to produce knowledge is the key currency in the current and future global economy.

The Future of Education

As part of the rapidly developing courseware movement we will see education transition from:

  • Teacher-centric to learning-centric
  • Classroom-based teaching to anyplace, anytime learning
  • Mandated courses to hyper-individualized learning
  • A general population of consumers to a growing population of producers
  • As a result of this shift we will begin to see dramatic changes in society. The speed of learning will increase tenfold because of a combination of the following factors:
  • Confidence-based learning will significantly increase learning speed and comprehension
  • Learning what we want, when we want — shifting away from a prescribed course agenda to one that is hyper-individualized, self-selected, and scheduled whenever a student wishes to take it will dramatically change levels of motivation
  • Technology improvements over time will continually improve the speed and comprehension of learning

The speed of learning will increase tenfold, and it is possible that the equivalent of our current K-12 education system will be compressed into as little as one year’s worth of learning.

In the future, we predict students entering the workforce will be ten times smarter than they are today.

Futurology & Education

  • Customized, connected, authentic, amplified, resilient and relevant
  • Conceptualize desirable futures
  • Develop knowledge & skills in exploring said futures
  • Understand dynamics & influences on all scales of complex and living systems
  • Conscientize & Empower meaningful actions


Needs :

  • One-on-one counseling and targeted mentoring to fit almost any criteria, complemented by an intelligent, integrated digital platform and concierge.
  • A peer-to-peer community assisted model helps maintain a dynamic level of content, and a distributed knowledge base that is modular, curated and documented.
  • Itinerant and multi-visa entry points to various working spaces, both classic and alternative

Including :

  • Education-as-a-service
  • Unified ID & path
  • Counselling one on one
  • Curated resources
  • Mentors
  • Group “classes” or working groups
  • Lifecaring
  • Digital Platform
  • Github
  • Digital concierge
  • High quality iterative & co-designed MOOCs
  • Documentation processes & platforms
  • Education management — Financial, Legal, Societal, Political
  • Co-designed organization
  • Distributed R&D
  • Headhunted partnerships
  • P2P Community
  • Talent management
  • Resources for academic or professional
  • Valorisation / credits / certification …



  • Lifecaring “institute”
  • Valued partners
  • Peer to Peer
  • Labels
  • Accreditations
  • Sponsors


  • Human network, pioneered by known connections and resources
  • Lifecaring reports
  • Physical / Mental / Social
  • Economical
  • Resilience & Recovery
  • Knowledge
  • Emotional
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Security
  • Meaning


Collaborative networks are the organisation.

  • Digital & Physical tools
  • Governance & Organisation

Communication / Conferencing / Coordination

The next generation workforce and project management :

The next generation :

  • Lacks trust in corporations
  • Focuses on personal success
  • Has a short-term career perspective
  • Is quickly bored
  • Is team oriented
  • Builds community
  • Sees no clear boundary between work and life in general
  • Is socially responsible
  • Will sacrifice economic rewards for work–life balance
  • Expects to work anytime, anyplace

Therefore :

  • Create engaging environments that inspire, challenge, and motivate employees
  • Integrate learners and teachers into a variety of projects, assignments, and career opportunities
  • Favor flexible work schedules, locations, and arrangements (telework, work at home, and job share)
  • Use the diverse experiences and backgrounds of the workforce to create innovative work environments that challenge assumptions and create new opportunities
  • Harness personal talents and skills by creating opportunities for people to contribute in a variety of roles
  • Involve them in collaborative, team-based projects and environments
  • Allow and support the pursuit of personal and social outside activities
  • Create effective training and mentoring opportunities
  • Harness knowledge created “just in time” through personal networks and recognize contributions from new methods of work


  1. Process continuity is therefore a challenge
  2. Leadership, like behavior and communities, are emergent vs a career, a state or a role
  3. Learning and teaching drivers have changed


Adaptivity as Literacy — Exploring various aspects of adaptivity from the perspectives of individuals, schools, school districts, and systems of education — as well as their respective inter-relationships.

  • Legal
  • Financial
  • Informational
  • Intelligence
  • Knowledge
  • Talents
  • Process, operations, logistics


  • Social
  • Communications
  • Ontologies
  • Personalisation
  • Recommendations


  • Embedded collaboration
  • Interfaces-as-a-service
  • Connectomes

Additional elements to consider -



  • Distribute and consolidate efforts — Knowledge base, translations, etc.
  • Collect field notes and experiences from new drivers of education.
  • Unify the learning experience towards universality, while preserving personalised, adaptive and emergent properties and demands.
  • Iterate documentation and keep it alive.

And finally,

  • Experiment and test — AND experiment and test some more !!

To be continued …

  • This documentation is a work in progress and open to collaborators. Please feel free to email Connie if you have any questions or would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you ! Thanks for reading — C&B

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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