Beyond the Pandemic
As we shift from our linear Extractive Economy towards a circular Regenerative Economy we enter a new golden age of creativity & innovation.
Recorded by Renegade Inc. Broadcast on April 13th 2020.
Graham: From a learning and education perspective, if we think about the economy shifting, that means the kind of things, the kind of skills and knowledge that we need in order to thrive within that new economy will have changed.
Now, my argument is that we’re shifting from an extractive economy, where you’re taking things out of the earth, processing them, turning them into plastics and then throwing them away, to a circular or regenerative economy. Which means we’re designing waste and pollution out of products, because these are man-made problems. We design the waste and the pollution into the actual product. So we stick a battery into a mobile phone and not let you change it so that you can throw it away. Those sort of design practises aren’t useful anymore.
What this means, as we move towards a regenerative economy is that we actually enter into a golden age of creativity and innovation. So far from this idea of the fourth industrial revolution, where there won’t be enough jobs. There will be far too many jobs because we’re going to have to re-design and re-imagine every single product and service that we have on the planet. And what we can do is think about what skills and knowledge do we need to equip present and future generations to redesign everything with this idea of “how do we design things for a regenerative economy?”.
Ross Ashcroft: So bringing that back to homeschooling, the most valuable lesson, if you like, is to teach these kids how to think critically. Look creatively at the problems that surround them. How do they solve them? Think about our culture. Think differently about these things. Engage in a different way because ultimately education has been very narrowly defined.
Graham: That’s absolutely right. I think what we have, where the education system has been operating and is being seen in this, as we say remote learning, which is really remote teaching, is teaching as instruction. As instruction only. Now some instruction is very useful, but if it’s only instruction, if it’s only instruction to inculcate facts or procedures to then vomit them out an exam that no longer exists, then we’re in lots of problems.
Ross Ashcroft: But the educere bit, the bringing forth bit, this is the golden moment to do this.
Graham: This is the golden moment to do this, and to ensure that whatever we’re doing with our children at home at the moment is that they’re also applying that knowledge into making things, making things they are passionate about that meet their own interests and so forth. You can learn math from music. It’s just finding that thing.
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