FE News chat with Nesta's Joysy John about creating an education system that prepares all learners to thrive in the future World of Work at the Jisc #Digifest19 conference:

Nesta is an international Innovation Foundation, and the challenge that we are working on is: "How do we prepare all learners to thrive in the future?".

What Are The problems?

1. An Exam Factory Culture

So what is the problem? The problem is that we have a narrow focus on exams. The curriculum is so narrow that we are not preparing young people with skills like creativity, collaboration, problem solving, empathy, and social skills that are needed in the workforce.

2. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The Tech Industry and Innovation Areas are not diverse and inclusive. How do we ensure social mobility, and make sure that the system is shaped by many and not just the few.

3. Keeping Up To Date With Technology

And finally, teachers, learners, and the education system are not making effective use of technology and data to improve outcomes.

So what can we do, what will I be doing?

1. Research and Grants

As Nesta we are doing cutting edge research, not only asking experts, but using machine learning to understand what skills will be needed in the future, and how we can help prepare learners for that future. We are running grant programs.

One example of that is the Future Ready Grant Fund, which was based on the research (The Future of Skills) we did with Pearson on what skills will be needed. This is a half a million pound investment in high potential, early stage ideas, that are building social skills and emotional resilience in young people.

2. Using Tech To Break Down Barriers

On the need for diversity, we've just published a piece of research looking at 12 inspiring role models for shaping A.I. This was featured for the International Women's Day last week and we're really proud to say that A.I. as a tool can be used to fight bias, sexism, and other challenges that we see in the world today.

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3. Empowering Teachers

Finally, on the use of technology: How can we empower learners and teachers to make better use of technology? We've been doing a lot of research looking at the future of artificial intelligence in education, and looking at how can you make system level change using technology. We'll be launching a new piece of research during London EdTech Week.

And just last month we've launched a research piece called "Education Rebooted", which basically looks at the current state of artificial intelligence in education, and looks at the future state to make sure that we are maximizing the benefits that A.I. can bring to society, while reducing the risk.

Joysy John, Director for Education, Nesta

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