It's education that's meant to take us into this future that we can't grasp.
The above quote is by Sir Ken Robinson, from a magnificent talk which I've been meaning to post here for some time. I am moved to applaud every time I watch this.
One of my current projects is the development of knowledge translation tools for watershed groups and their community members: tools, we hope, which will better educate groups and individuals on issues surrounding the management of water resources, and provide people with the information and skills they need to participate more fully in decision-making processes.
Information and skills. Thankfully, there is no lack of the former with respect to watersheds and their management. As for skills, Ken would challenge us to think outside a traditional curriculum, to foster skills that enable people to enter the ever-increasing stream of information at any point and understand it, personalize it — even contribute to it — and apply it in new and changing situations.
What are the essential skills to help one adapt and thrive in a world of increasing uncertainty?
Stephen Downes has, I think, successfully addressed this very question in his article, "Things You Really Need to Learn" — a rewarding read, if you haven't seen it before. It is encouraging, finding this article following the completion of a year-long needs assessment for our project, that the learning needs identified by our participants overlap with six or seven of the ten points listed by Stephen.
The months ahead will see us translate these needs into what I hope will be engaging and meaningful learning experiences for watershed groups and their members. I hope to write more about this as we move forward.