Radical Thinking For Equitable Futures

Our known systems, everyday routines and relationships have been radically disrupted.

This report, which came out of a partnership between Imaginable Futures and IDEO, sets out to capture the global disruption of our education systems and to offer an evidence-based vision of the future, that takes into account both the constraints and the opportunities of this historic moment.

While reports can feel like a sealed chamber, we’ve designed this as an open invitation for dialogue. Our hope is that we might collectively imagine a better future and begin thinking about what it will take to get there.

Download the report

State of
Education

The historic inequities embedded in our education systems — race, gender, geography, wealth, income, culture — have been further brought to light by the recent seismic shifts in our society. Our everyday routines have shifted, and so have the routines of learning.

We need leaders who listen, who collaborate with community, and who can meet this moment with a brave and radical redesign.

WHAT IF, at this moment of disruption, our systems of learning could be redesigned to eliminate the inequities that are embedded in our schools and our communities? The urgency to evolve, to deploy radical imagination, is here.

41%
of teens haven't attended an online or virtual class since in-person school was canceled
Source: Common Source Media
65%
of students surveyed state that their mental health has worsened during this pandemic
Source: Our Turn
7 million
students from primary and secondary education could drop out of school due to the income shock of the pandemic alone
Source: World Bank
273 million
Projected young people in NEET (Not in Employment Education or Training) in 2021
Source: ILO

State of
the Future

Futuring allows us to better equip ourselves for what lies ahead by imagining how the drivers of today might determine the outcomes of tomorrow.

We use the tool of Futuring so that we might better understand what’s coming, and thus more effectively make choices that support the futures we hope to see.

This section of the report is an exercise in anticipating alternative futures across global education, with the hope of defending against negative outcomes and intentionally accelerating positive ones.

Futuring allows us to better equip ourselves for what lies ahead by imagining how the drivers of today might determine the outcomes of tomorrow.

We use the tool of Futuring so that we might better understand what’s coming, and thus more effectively make choices that support the futures we hope to see.

This section of the report is an exercise in anticipating alternative futures across global education, with the hope of defending against negative outcomes and intentionally accelerating positive ones.

1. The Social Contract of Public Education is Changing
2. Learning Technology is Mandatory; Relationships are at a Distance
3. Spatial & Time Bend; Power Displaced From Proximity
4. Back to Basics in the Informal Economy; Future of Work Redefined
5. School as Caregivers and Families as Teachers
6. Interconnectivity, in Tension With Isolationism and Neo-Tribalism
7. Mental Well-Being is Headlining; Compassion is Required

While we can't predict the future, we can anticipate and actively counteract negative effects and seek to accelerate progressive outcomes.

Download the report
#LearningReimagined

NAVIGATION TOOLS

Toolbox: These resources can help navigate with compassion and lead through complexity
Rules for Brainstorming
The 7 Rules of Brainstorming are guidelines one can use to generate expansive, early stage ideas that may support a design solution.
Design Thinking For Educators
This toolkit supports educators in translating the design thinking framework to the classroom context. From ideation to prototyping, it illustrates how human centered design can be leveraged by teachers and students alike.
Futures Wheel
The Futures Wheel allows you to identify the consequences of a change you’d like to see in your own education system, planning for the positive and negative outcomes of a hypothetical reality.

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.

Download the report
#LearningReimagined

As we continue the conversation about the future of education, IDEO is collecting thoughts and feedback to help the team understand your vision for learning reimagined. If you are interested, please complete this survey and note that all responses will be immediately visible for others to view, in service of an open and collaborative conversation.