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Scenario B: To Each Their Own

Closed sources of learning & rapid change

Quad B (Closed sources of learning with rapid change)

Technological and social changes are managed by gatekeepers: governments, schools, along with large public and private institutions.

To Each Their Own When Saanvi received her invitation to Georgia Tech, she could hardly believe it. Saanvi already considered herself an engineer, having won a major state robotics competition at 14, but she wasn’t completely sure she wanted to accept.

WHAT NEW STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES DID YOU SEE IN THIS SCENARIO?

Christine Ziegler

Closed Sources of Learning with Rapid ChangeUniversities these days contracted with bright students to not only educate them, but to help develop and commercialize their ideas. This wasn’t just an invitation to get a degree, it was an invitation to partner with the school for much longer than four years—four years, that is, if Saanvi created something innovative enough to keep her around longer. On the flip side, if she doesn’t take Tech up on its offer, Saavi would receive at best a second rate education and that will mean starting adult life with debt rather than royalties.

In the end, the decision isn’t all that hard.

WILL PARTNERING BE THE SAME IN 2030?

Belle Wheelan

Higher education now competes directly with business, using its size, scope and position to block out external partners from trespassing on its patents, proprietary practices, and intellectual property. Protecting the investment on research and development does not imply a slow transfer of technology, but rather a new competitive model where higher educational institutions share less among one another as they seek to convert their intellectual property into economic value.

WILL FACULTY BE HAPPY IN THIS SCENARIO?

Christine Ziegler

Educators, researchers in particular, who are now seen as intrapreneurs, take models of academic-economic cooperation to new heights. The pace of change is fierce. Organizations that can’t keep up, including many universities and colleges, get subsumed into larger structures. Embrace change or be eaten, is a common mantra.

WHAT IS KEEPING COLLEGES IN BUSINESS NOW?

Kevin Carey

But larger isn’t always better. The rapid merger and acquisition activity has led to increasingly dysfunctional management practices that often fail to find the right balance in the chaotic environment.

IS THE CHANGE IN THIS SCENARIO POSITIVE..OR NOT?

Christine Ziegler

Multiple cultures and multiple infrastructures slam into each other at light speed, but management has little time to weave a new, cohesive culture before finding themselves on the receiving end of more transferred employees and disgruntled managers, if they are themselves targeted to be the disgruntled ones. On the technical side, this has led to organizations that apply technology to compartmentalize practice. Forced adoption has killed of Bring-Your-Own-Device and Bring-Your-Own-App.

WHO WILL CONTROL THINGS IN THIS SCENARIO?

Christine Ziegler

Most information, including technical information, continues to flow unrestrained least leaders miss a serendipitous opportunity to transform discovery into profit, but there is so much of it flowing that making sense of it is a challenge. A strong West Coast/East Coast bias has driven a wedge into the American education landscape. It isn’t that school don’t recruit nationally, but that once someone makes a commitment, they are part of a system and as that system continues to refine itself natural synergies in geography have created very different paths, with the West Coast capitalizing on its software and computer hardware design credentials while the East profits from innovations in agriculture, micro-manufacturing, healthcare and banking.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?

Martha Kanter

They need each other, but the competitive battles have gone far beyond sports, and resulted in some changes to sports, including the cessation of Inter-league football except for the all important championship games, which are used as propaganda to express the technical prowess of the various programs. Many restrictions about the naturalness of sports have been dropped so schools are free to effectively augment their athletes with physical, mental and biological enhancements.

HOW DID CHANGE FEEL IN THIS SCENARIO?

Belle Wheelan

For educators, affiliation is strong and so is funding, as long as they find projects that appeal to the intrapreneuring teams, or create quick hits that generate their own funding. Those professors who become self-sustaining can do just about anything they like as long as they keep producing. The last thing an inventor wants to do is be relegated to teaching people someone else’s ideas. Teams do find footholds and profit sharing is common for big projects. Everybody, though, makes sure everybody knows what he or she contributed.

Christine Ziegler

When it comes to teaching nothing is sacred, because if it isn’t relevant, then it doesn’t count, and that means anything old that hasn’t found a way to prove relevance has been swept away. Syllabi are simple and updated often.

WHAT 2015 BUSINESS MODELS SHOULD COLLEGES BE CONCERNED ABOUT?

Kevin Carey

The approval comes from registration and results. You can teach anything once. If no one shows up, the class is canceled. If students don’t like the outcome, then the class is changed, taken off the schedule or handed over to another instructor. Courses have become a kind of business often associated with more of a profit sharing model than a salary. Liberal arts don’t suffer as much as feared because they combine with engineering to facilitate innovation, but the study of liberal arts is more focused on results than reflowing and exploratory. Technical schools thrive as demand for skilled workers skyrockets in light of increasingly “in-sourced” manufacturing and infrastructure jobs.

WILL CREDENTIALS CHANGE BY 2030?

Belle Wheelan

Credentials and affiliations are the essential passports to opportunity. The economic gap between those with credentials and those without widens. Not all credentials are created equal—the value of the degree or diploma depends upon the institution that issued it, in the context of the institution that is evaluating it.

WHAT ROLES OF INSTITUTIONS ARE MOST CHALLENGED BY CHANGE?

Kevin Carey

Institutions with access to technological innovation take the opportunity their prestige affords them to “colonize” less enriched institutions, establishing “branches” that trade on the reputation of their larger entity and provide both cash and a steady flow of new talent into the more selective home academy.

WHAT WILL SUCCESSFUL INSTITUTIONS DO TO SURVIVE IN 2030?

Kevin Carey

Although most students are young, that isn’t universally so. Because it is so easy to profile people through their online activity, educational institutions seek out “misplaced” workers who would add value to their models. The same is true of business, but business is at a distinct disadvantage because it doesn’t have ready access to the years of accumulated learning records available once a learner provides access permission.

WILL THE LEADERSHIP LESSONS OF TODAY TRANSLATE INTO SUCCESS IN 2030?

Belle Wheelan

Governments have become more conservative, but only after accepting the inevitability of what for some is seen as a major shift in education. Although as schools start to act more like businesses conservatives rally to defend their rights, even ensuring that educational institutions, including state schools, gain equal footing with business when it comes to rights, in such areas as campaign finance—the shift to this model was radical and highly disruptive.

WHAT ARE THE CRISIS POINTS COLLEGES NEED TO THINK ABOUT?

Kevin Carey

Once the influence of financing became clear, the entire proposition became bi-partisan. With fragile state of the global economy, no one could really afford to get too far down the us/them path on an internal matter. There are bigger fish to fry than education.

The US has pulled much of its manufacturing back home as the micro-manufacturing boom offers scale through distribution. The high-end services sector aligns itself to this new opportunity and drive revenue by coaching through reinvention. They now sell themselves internationally as the reinvigorated United States once again attempts to assert itself as a model to emulate in other countries.

This time though, alternative, more open models in Europe and India, and more closed models in China and Africa, compete while global business leaders assess which approach is really working (or not).

Consistent standards for technology, information, data (which is in many ways the currency of the day) and intellectual property laws, prove harder to enforce as each large entity moves further down the path of its own proprietary approach. If you aren’t working together, then your stuff doesn’t have to work together either. This includes social media migrating to primarily encompassing enterprise level relationships. These new hybrid communications systems, which offer voice, video and messaging largely replace e-mail, which has become more of a notification mechanism. Personal social networks still stretch across the globe but their political influence has become greatly diminished, though they still play a role in e-commerce and retail for transaction initiation and profile building.

WILL CREATIVITY THRIVE OR BE CHALLENGED IN THIS SCENARIO?

Martha Kanter