Yesterday in Berlin, I gave one of the opening speeches at the Online Educa conference. The international event, now in its 17th interation, is the biggest conference on technology-supported learning and training in the world. The organizers asked me to come over and talk about how some of the themes explored in Sex, Bombs and Burgers might relate to education and learning.
While I’m sure there are fascinating aspects to how war and even pornography affect education, the most poignant—I think—is food technology, given its role in paving the way for countries to become prosperous. Once a country has solidified its food supply, it can then concentrate on economic growth, jobs and ultimately education.
Food technology is contributing to the unprecedented period of poverty reduction that we’re currently in, where more than half a billion people have escaped the poorest conditions in the past five years alone. The United Nations expects further dramatic reductions in poverty over the next four years, which means the number of people in the world who want an education is going to swell dramatically.
But there’s no way we’re going to be able to supply enough teachers to meet this demand. Indeed, entrepreneurial learning—where people teach themselves—is going to become a reality for many individuals, both in the developed and developing worlds.