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Former Member

Children going to school now, will likely be retiring sometime around the year 2075 (if the concept of retirement still exists).    As Ken Robinson points out, the world is changing so fast that we have a hard time predicting what it will look like in 7 years, let alone 70 years.  All of this makes adequately preparing our children, current workers, and future workers a challenge.  With this challenge, with this change, comes great opportunity.

If you are interested in what the future of education looks like, and the impact that it may have on your business,  family, and our society, then you may be interested in following, and possibly even contributing to our Future of Education research initiative.

- Articles delivered as part of this series include the following. (Click on image to access.) -

I. Initiative Overview
II. Conceptual Frameworks
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III. Intent
IV. Current Landscape
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V. Future Trends
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VI.  Other Curated References



VII.  Closing Post


- - -

Initiative Overview


Specifically, we seek to explore the following questions:

  1. What is the intent of the education ‘system(s)’?  Past?  Future? 
  2. What is the current landscape? 
  3. What are the future trends?
  4. How does the above vary by geography?
  5. What does this mean for each of us? 
  6. What does this mean for SAP's customers?
  7. What does this mean for SAP (from both an enabler and an operational perspective)?

Our focal point is 10 years in the future, although we expect to uncover opportunities from which we can all benefit today.

Our initiative will result in a series of articles in which we publish our perspectives about the above questions in SCN, Forbes, and other relevant communities[1], and result in a 'curated set' of reference materials[2].  A link to each new article that we write will be added as tiles to this blog.  We've published over a dozen articles to date.

We’ll attempt to take a global perspective, but we’ll unavoidably speak from the point of view of the geographies that we know best.   We already have contributors from the US, Canada, France, Germany, China, India, and are in the process of recruiting contributors from Africa and Brazil.

For the first half of this project, at a minimum, we will not focus on one age segment (elementary, secondary, higher, professional, post-professional, etc), but will look at the elements, patterns, and trends in education that transcend, or have meaning for, all age groups (primary through lifelong).    This initial broad pattern recognition will hopefully yield the best insights.


Educational researchers, academics, futurists and reformers are legion.  What value do we seek to provide above and beyond the body of work that they are producing?’   We seek  to learn, curate, synthesize, provide insights, share, and provoke a dialog, around each of the general questions above.   We expect to provide unique value in response to the questions ‘What does this mean for SAP's customers?’ and 'What does this mean for SAP as an enabler?'.    This initiative is a journey of discovery and insight that will hopefully influence product SAP's road maps and will eventually result in code.


The future of education is clearly relevant for SAP’s customers, partners, and employees.    Contributors in, and consumers of, this initiative are passionate about the topic, and are coming together to learn, provoke thought, facilitate progress, and ultimately have product impact.   SAP internal stakeholders on the product side are as diverse as SAP Education, Success Factors Social Learning, the Education and Public Sector industry business solutions units, the Technology | Innovation | Platform group, University Relations, and SAP Community Networks.   On the operations side at SAP, there is relevance for stakeholders as diverse as HR, Recruiting, Employee Development, and each individual employee (largely based on the premise that employees ultimately need to be responsible for their own lifelong learning).  External contributors include teachers, parents, academics,  reformers, and NGOs.



  1. Once we reach critical mass, we will organize our articles into an ebook, and produce other relevant artifacts (radio panel, live event, and perhaps video).
  2. Our process of gathering and digesting material in various forms, and sharing insights will continue throughout the run of this initiative during 2012.   The materials that we gather include books, articles, videos, research papers, and dialogues with leading educators and researchers.  We’re already sharing noteworthy materials that we collect using Scoop.it.   As you look through the articles that we've gathered, be sure to look beyond the basic content, and deeper into the implications and patterns.   For example, the articles about Code Academy and the game Code Hero were not included, because they are ways that one can learn java script.  We included them, because they are representative of new ways that people seek knowledge and deliver content (process).  The success of Code Academy, Coursera, and Khan Academy are proof that the ‘marketplace’ of students is hungry for access, control, and knowledge.  The TED Talk about introverts wasn’t necessarily included, because we’re introverts.  It was included, because it has implications for design of schools, and other learning and creative environments.     At Scoop.it you’ll find articles, insights, and evidence from others organized with tags such as  content (development, discovery, standards, artifacts), curriculum (standards, management, other), delivery (learning networks, physical system design, virtual system design), assessment, certification, audit, intent, gamification, infrastructure, policy, learning styles, teaching paradigms, etc.   There are also a number of book recommendations that we’ve posted well in time for your summer vacation reading.   Expect more.  Two books that I encourage you to start with are Disrupting Class by Christensen, Horn, and Curtis and Stop Stealing Dreams by Godin
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