2013 Future of Education Summit

Over January 22-24, 2013, one hundred distinguished thought leaders from around the world journeyed to Austin, Texas to engage in a substantive dialog on the future of education. They represented higher education, K-12, museums, libraries, funding agencies, and industry, in their diversity comprising a gathering unlike any other, and bringing a range of viewpoints that encouraged the exploration of, as the organizers hoped, “learning, writ large.”

What interested the group — with leaders representing more than a dozen countries from both the developed and developing worlds — was, given what we know about change, and about longterm trends — what are the critical challenges we have to address? And among these, which might be considered “wicked problems” — challenges so complex, even defining them is itself a challenge; challenges so large, most people are not even thinking about them; challenges so pressing, that if we do not begin to explore and understand them, we will have little chance for real transformation. The idea was to generate a major call to action, a strategic agenda for every sector of learning, for every system of learning, and indeed, for learning at its most profound levels.

As the NMC explored the nearly two dozen potential candidates for “wicked problem” status identified by the summit participants, Conklin’s six dimensions helped reveal overlaps, patterns, and interdependencies between many of the challenges, and ultimately helped determine what surfaced as the essential challenges for education, detailed in the Communiqué.

> Download the Communiqué PDF