Education Is Key to a Successful Future

Positive visions for tomorrow are even more necessary than usual in times like our current crisis: We need an idea of where things are headed so that we can hopefully make it through the dark tunnel. When considering what the world of tomorrow might look like, the aspect of education takes center stage. After all, we must not only leave our children and grandchildren a world worth living in, but also enable them to find their own place in it, to be up to the challenges of the future, and to contribute to peaceful coexistence.

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Being ready for tomorrow’s tasks

The more complex our modern world becomes, the more important providing orientation for the future as early as possible becomes. This must not be limited to preparation for a specific profession and digital competence. It must also include, as a central component, the formation of a sense of responsibility that extends beyond the individual and the immediate environment. After all, it will be a question of preserving not only the economic, but, above all, the ecological foundations of human life.

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That is why forward-looking education must give much greater weight to the aspect of sustainability as learning content. Under the pressure of climate change and global warming, a fundamental reorientation of the economy and society is unavoidable. This transformation can only succeed if its players—and that means all of us—have not only the will but also the knowledge to master it. This is a long process that will place demands on future generations, our children and grandchildren.

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In the future, we will need more knowledge about the natural laws, interrelationships, and fundamentals of our lives, and we will also have to internalize this knowledge. For as well as we in industrial societies have understood the economic aspects of our economic activity, we still lack understanding and sensitivity for the ecological consequences of our actions.

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© Maskot Images/Westend61

Enabling people to think outside the box

The challenges of climate change cannot be met on a national scale alone because the consequences affect the whole world. Cooperation across borders requires multicultural team thinking because, to put it simply, we are all in the same boat (…and let’s hope that boat isn’t Noah’s Ark…). The ability to exchange and collaborate with others—whether in one’s own company, within an organization, or even globally—will become increasingly important.

To do justice to this social dimension of education, however, the personal education that each and every person acquires will also be important. It is only this education that enables us to develop basic human abilities—not only technological competence and factual knowledge, but also the cognitive powers of reason, aesthetics, and moral judgment and the ability to empathize. These qualities are not only indispensable for peaceful human coexistence, but will also become increasingly important as a regulating element to automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence in the world of work.

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© Westend61

The education of the future will increasingly be imparted outside kindergartens, schools, and lecture halls. Digital forms of learning and knowledge transfer will be further expanded. Education in critical media competence is becoming increasingly important in view of the sheer flood of information. And, last but not least, equal access to education for all is an essential point where desire and reality still diverge widely.

A lifetime learning the art of living

It is certainly true that the importance of lifelong learning has grown with the digital revolution, at least as far as the acquisition of ever-new skills in a professional context is concerned. But in fact, lifelong learning has always been a basic condition of human existence. After all, it means nothing other than spending a lifetime learning the art of living.

Let’s take children as a role model, because their freshness, curiosity, impartiality, and joy of discovery give us courage for the world of tomorrow and inspire us to keep breaking new ground. That’s why we have put together a Pinboard with images of children learning. They show that education is not only important, but it can also be a lot of fun.

Hubertus Stumpf

As an experienced newspaper editor, Hubert Stumpf knows that a good text is only half the job when it comes to attracting the attention of readers - just as important a great imagery. The studied Germanist is a professional writer with a passion for the possibilities of digital photography.