Getting graduates ready for the 4th industrial revolution

Universities are having a hard time – and not just your small town college. Even Harvard classrooms are emptying out as bureaucratic institutions are falling behind and losing credibility; by the time exams are written, the content is no longer relevant!

Increasingly violent and brutal student protests worldwide about fees, loans and unemployment have left many governments desperate. With machine learning, AI, quantum computing and automation, the workers of tomorrow require drastically new skills today. In 2026, the administrations in India, Rwanda and Nigeria became the first to outsource all their tertiary public education to Ready, now the world’s largest internet company.

The Ready program is organized as follows: Two years of general School-of-Life lessons in philosophy, critical thinking, design thinking, emotional and social intelligence. Add to this, basic technology know-how, cyber security and privacy protection modules and voilà! Half of the learning takes place virtually and for the rest of the time, schooling rotates to different locations where diverse societal problems are used as inputs in the curriculum; like addressing the slum-problem in Dhaka.

In the third year, a student has to collaborate with an established company on the challenges they face in their industry. With this model, HR managers couldn’t be happier as their new freelancers are a big improvement compared to the rote learners of the past.

Now we only need to fix the whole system, from primary school upwards. Then we’ll really have passed with distinction. Maybe the class of 2028 could help with that?

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.