Steps leading to a secret garden entrance

Beyond the Walled Garden

Entrpreneurship in the wild is the key to adapting to AI

There is a growing social crisis lurking behind the daily headlines. The 4th industrial revolution is automating many jobs, and de-skilling many more. It’s turning an uberised, zero-hours workforce into system components managed from “below the API”. That is, the boss is an AI or an “intelligent” automated programme. 
 
We’ve already covered this extensively on our blog, and I’ve written a paper for the CIMR Birkbeck, University of London. 
 
Despite the rapid transformation in the technology and social landscape, we know from the joint report from Digital Europe/ILO, that only 1/8 Europeans are in any form of containing education. 
 
Although e-learning has the potential to reach entirely new sections of society, it still largely mirrors the older pedagogies and teaching methods. For example, MOOCs mostly replicate a linear, curricula and mostly abstract pedagogy, content acquisition, based on didactic methods, rather than drawing upon the lived, real world experience of the students.  
 
A 19th Century education system making the problem worse 

This not only reflects on the underlying exclusivity, inequality and restricted access to adult education, it also indicates a chronic problem with the underlying pedagogy. Too many people are just not learning effectively using 19th century “teacher-centric” approaches to education (See Krueger, N), combined with academic assessment methods designed to inculcate a sense of failure and inadequacy amongst the majority. 

 
We have an urgent need to enhance the employability of  a vulnerable section of society, summarised as the following:
  • Low educational attainment
  • Poor work histories, in jobs that can be commoditised or automated
  • Young, with less experience and career history
  • Low skilled, low paid, insecure employment
  • Low expectations, low self belief
  • Poor access to tertiary education 
  • Lower access to social networks 
Towards a 21st Century Solution
We need a new pedagogy, based on more accessible action learning methods and delivered in a format and on devices that people feel comfortable with. People learn best through enjoyment and play, and when solving complex problems that improve some aspect of society. We need to enable learning to be bite sized and “liquid”, able to be integrated into peoples daily lives as a normal activity, and drawing upon peoples real-life experiences. (See Pivomo’s REAL Programme: 
Concept: Building a new generation of everyday entrepreneurs
It is becoming increasingly recognised that entrepreneurship holds the key to this. By equipping citizens with entrepreneurial skills and digital literacy, they can become more resourceful, proactive and self confident. They can leverage their embedded networks, and become more occupationally resilient. They also develop skills that are hardest for an AI to replicate.  
 
As Ulrich Bröcklig says in The Entrepreneurial Self:
“If we want to find people who closely approximate the image of the entrepreneurial self, we should look not only at the slick adventurers of new economy start-ups but also at the plastic bottle harvesters on the rubbish tips of Lagos and at the windscreen washers on the intersections of Mexico City, or, for that matter, closer to home, at the flower vendors in our bistros and bars”.
 
Community Involvement
It is vital that online learning methodologies are developed that enable technology to be designed WITH and “owned” BY communities of users. The adaptation, development and deployment of the Pivomo platform is designed to facilitate this. By itself, this creates an opportunity for entrepreneurial learning by reaching out and supporting people left outside the somewhat narrow confines of the “walled garden” of our education system. 

Dr Andrew Atter, Founder & CEO, Pivomo Ltd

Dr Andrew Atter

Founder & CEO, Pivomo Ltd

Dr Atter advises Boards and leadership teams on strategy, governance and Future of Work issues, and is a mentor and executive coach to corporations, investors, startups and social enterprises around the world. He is formerly Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Birkbeck College, University of London. He holds a doctorate from the Institute of Work-based Learning, Middlesex University, an MSc in Executive Coaching from Ashridge Business School and an MSc from the London School of Economics. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Innovation Management Research at Birkbeck.

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