“Learning Reimagined: Radical Thinking for Equitable Futures”

A new report published by Imaginable Futures and IDEO, exploring evidence-based visions of the future of education, based on trends identified today.

“Collapse is painful, but it carries within it the seeds of transformation. As we live through the effects of a global crisis, we feel a shared urgency to demand a more equitable future. In collective action, there is hope.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned so many aspects of our world upside down. As many are all too aware, education is a realm where this has been most pronounced, with educators, families, students and communities across the globe having to quickly adapt and reimagine learning in extreme circumstances. With this context in mind, Imaginable Futures and IDEO are humbled to release Learning Reimagined: Radical Thinking for Equitable Futures, the output of our joint collaboration exploring the global disruption of our education systems and an evidence-based vision of the future.

We welcome you to join us as we explore questions like: What if, in the future...

  • …schools truly became whole child centers? 
  • ...teachers become community coaches?
  • ...cities defunded the police and reinvested in collective care?
  • ...technology changed not just what students learn, but how they learn?
  • …a new sense of power emerges with a new generation?

THE PROCESS

To arrive at the insights in this report, we have leveraged the tools of design fiction and futuring: analyzing the drivers of change (a global pandemic and economic fallout, and movements towards racial justice), citing early signals of hope (the heroic response of educators and supporting community, for whom this report holds a deep reverence), and sketching future scenarios (opportunity areas and imagined outcomes that can help us better understand and plan for what is to come). 

Given the enormity of changes, we purposely pulled out of our typical areas of focus to better understand even broader possible implications for children, families, educators, and more.

We also acknowledge that we are standing on the shoulders of giants. This report would not exist without those who have long invested in building and improving our education systems: teachers, school leaders, and caregivers alike. There is much demanding, complex, and important work being done already in response to the seismic shifts of recent history. If not for those leaders, radical and optimistic imagination would have no foundation from which to grow and thrive.

A GLOBAL DIALOGUE

While reports can feel like a sealed chamber, we hope this report invites open dialogue:  

Which of the scenarios outlined in the report do we strive to avoid, and how? Which make you feel called to action?

In articulating broad opportunity areas, we hope to hear from global communities with diverse perspectives about how they would adapt these ideas. Our hope is that we might collectively imagine a better future and begin thinking about what it will take to get there. As you read, we invite you to answer these questions and engage with this material and our teams via social media using #LearningReimagined. We look forward to hearing from you.

Our hope is that this report will serve not as a persistent North Star, but as a starting point for thoughtful provocation about the role we each play in this evolving world.