The World is Closer than You Think

One of the hottest selling books is Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat which talks about the historic events that have converged to create a global marketplace. The reason his ideas are fascinating to educators is that most of our schools are not preparing students for their future. Most schools are educating students for 40 years ago. This lecture is from MIT, and while I personally agree with many of Friedman’s ideas, a Biblical worldview in not the lens through which Friedman is speaking from. As Christians, we understand that change is all around us, but our faith compels us to respond in hope, faith and love.

The lecture by Thomas Freidman was interesting and thought provoking. As a former corporate consultant, and as an owner in a technology company, I have witnessed the rise of workflow software, outsourcing, off-shoring, uploading, supply chaining, insourcing, in-forming, and wireless growth of interactive media and communication. Most corporate projects have these elements within it to manage. From a corporate perspective, Freidman was spot on in 2005 with his assessment of globalization.

Fueled by an economic crisis, Freidman could not have known how the market would accelerate the rate of these trends.

The final thoughts that Freidman finished his lecture with have stayed with me for several days. “Everything is commoditized except imagination.” He went on to add that America’s greatest asset is American creativity and positive affirmation. We need to “export hope; not fear.” This is foundational to the educational experience we provide at Propeller Academy – hope.

Competition has never scared me. I think that is what Freidman is advocating for – be prepared to think bigger, have relationships in places you never dreamed of, create solutions to problems, and allow people to implement them wherever the market takes it. Where this gets dicey is education because this is a world that is not in play everyday within the educational experience of a majority of teachers or their students. But we can change that, and at Propeller – its what we are wired for.

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