SEK Education Group and The Institute for the Future (IFTF), a non-profit organisation, explored together the key innovative trends in education for the coming ten years. With this aim in mind, the teaching community from the SEK Education Group (University Camilo José Cela and SEK International Schools) gathered together for the 125th Anniversary Foresight Workshop, held at the UCJC Almagro Campus.
This two-day event was held as part of the 125th anniversary of the SEK Education Group, that with its innovative spirit is at the forefront of education over its history. Among the outlooks and trends tackled by the workshops were technology and communications, future work skill sets, preparing future citizens for a demanding world or identifying areas for future innovation.
For this project, the Institute for the Future experts, Rod Falcon and Sara Skvirsky, led workshops based on their research in consultancy, where they put forward emerging trends likely to transform the global market in the coming years, enabling participants to reflect and anticipate the future of business and how to adapt to it. As they said in their initial presentation, ‘we don’t predict the future, we think systematically about the future’.
Rod Flacon is currently leading the ‘Technological Horizons’ team at The Institute for the Future, where they have been working on food and health programmes and researching technological horizons since 1995. Furthermore, Falcon speaks at conferences for executives, where he helps them find innovative strategies to contribute to the world economy.
Sara Skvirsky is a contributor on the Ten-Year Forecast programme run by the Institute for the Future, that she joined in 2011, basing her work in the field of education, community organisation and advocating for social justice. Skvirsky’s vision is of a profoundly global future and leads many future education programmes at the Institute for the Future, working with governments, educational institutions, businesses and non-profit foundations around the world.
Technology, essential in the future of education
According to Rod Falcon and Sara Skvirsky, learning will evolve primarily from an experience based in institutions towards learning flow ecosystems that will transform the way we learn and how we steer business strategy. This will essentially require, in the opinion of the experts, the use of technology and the Internet, which in itself will present advantages and disadvantages. ‘On the one hand, some people are concerned that new technology will weaken our social tissue, that we will become replaceable and leave us jobless; on the other hand, others believe that technology will make our lives faster, easier and, above all, will improve our quality of life’, according to the experts from The Institute for the Future.
Sara Skvirsky, in addition, spoke on the importance of planning for possible futures in order to be prepared for each of them. ‘We cannot know what will happen in the future, but we can be prepared, and that is what we are doing here’, said Skvirsky, who believe it essential to ‘prepare students, and citizens, for the future’-
‘It was very interesting to see the interaction of the different SEK Education Group schools working together and collaborating, because they are not schools working independently, it is a network of different institutions working together and figuring out how to prepare students for the future’, said Sara Skvirsky.
SEK Group, 125 years thinking about the future
Nieves Segovia, President of SEK Education Group, also analysed the possible future of education, and the role of SEK Group in that future. ‘It is not so much about celebrating our legacy, which is also important, but about the many opportunities that the world of education will have in the coming decades’, said Nieves Segovia.
The President of SEK Group also remarked on the role of technology in the future of education. ‘Technology is at the very heart of the educational process. This same technology has transformed our students’ way of being, communicating and thinking and that same tool can help us reach them much more efficiently’, concluded Nieves Segovia.