World Education Congress, 4- 5 July 2019 in Mumbai, India
What a wonderful opportunity I had to be invited to deliver a keynote address at the 8th edition of the World Education Congress on 4 July 2019 in Mumbai, India. I was also a recipient of a Global Education Leadership Award at the congress.
The theme of the congress was “Reorienting Education for a sustainable future”. The title of my talk was “The Neuro-scientific Power of Clicks in Education: How will we sustain the world?” Unfortunately, there is not a simple and straightforward answer to this question. Especially, when we consider how much neuroscientific impact on humans are already clearly demonstrated with more than enough research and evidence.
However, there is not enough time and space available to have lengthy discussions in this article, but it is essential to highlight a few of the more critical factors, such as Internet and Game Addiction Disorders, Digital Dementia, Electro-hypersensitivity (EHS) and other digital -related development, health and wellness disorders that have become part and parcel of the exponential growth of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
With reference to two of the sixteen audacious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2013, namely numbers 3 which states the following: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” and number 4 which states: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, we must realise that we living in this VUCA-world have huge challenges, but also many opportunities. These are associated with (re-)balancing and integrating creative and innovative solutions in a cost-effective manner to help millions of people around the world in many different aspects of living. A VUCA-world refers to the world being volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous and therefore very unpredictable.
Because of this unpredictability and where the real world with human beings are becoming more integrated with the virtual world where it is flooded with a daily increase in artificial intelligence (AI), robots, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Everything (IoE) and big data, and cloud computing, mobile apps, etc. (that are driven by i.e. 5G and Wi-Fi from the big telecom companies), we need to stand up and take back our humanity in all its dimensions and make wise choices daily.
Only with well-informed and non-popular choices, will we be able to ensure that all humans will enjoy life fully and flourish in our already techno-immersed world. We can’t allow that big telecom companies and huge organisations are dictating and bulldozing many governments and decision-makers into a plethora of technology that are in many cases not all serving us as humans to contribute to a meaningful and purposeful life. The writing is already on the wall that more unmanaged technology and social media, which have been designed to distract, interrupt and addict people (Nicholas Carr’s book: Hooked) are making us ill because of its impact on our development, health and wellness.