Scientific and technological advances in recent decades have greatly improved our capacity to predict and protect ourselves from many natural and manmade disasters. However, the Covid-19 pandemic illustrates that we still remain vulnerable both to natural elements and to unpredictability created through humanity’s hubris. This dimension seeks to address ways to create a safer future for all.
1. Are we ready to embrace a brave new digital authoritarian world post-COVID?
2. How do we approach the task of raising our children during a global pandemic which may last another 12-18 months? What risks and opportunities does a digital future present for our children and us?
3. How can we harness technology to predict a safer world?
4. What steps can global adversaries and superpowers take to work together during the COVID-19 pandemic?
5. If COVID-19 cannot be entirely eliminated from the world, or future pandemics averted with certainty, how can international agencies, sovereign nations, private enterprises and ordinary citizens work together to create a safer world?
The Covid-19 global pandemic has laid bare the gross inequalities across the globe in health and income distribution, in addition to highlighting links between climate change, global degradation of the natural world, and the outbreak of new viral illnesses including H1N1 (Swine Flu), H1N5 (Avian Flu), SARS, MERS, Ebola, and Covid-19.
1. How have climate change and environmental degradation contributed to the current global pandemic? Is it too late to reverse the damage?
2. How might the global pandemic alter the way we operate our current food chain and food supplies across the globe?
3. How do we balance the seemingly competing yet equally compelling forces of protecting lives and saving global economies from complete obliteration?
4. What did we learn from the WHO’s warning in 2005 of a global pandemic and Bill Gates’ elaboration on this in 2015? What lessons can humanity now learn about the future?
5. Will the post-pandemic world really be different? Will we ever be able to eliminate poverty, unequal distribution of wealth, and unequal access to healthcare?
The breathtaking adoption of online schooling leaves many parents, students and governments anxious about what these changes will mean now and in the future. Thisimension will address a number of key questions about an education space increasingly codependent on technology and ‘hybrid learning models’ such as:
1. How do public and private schools and school systems conceive of being good providers of education and evaluate the learning and socialization of digital resources available now and in the future?
2. How will society adapt itself to a digitalized educational future in which little can be kept ‘private’?
3. Will rapid advancements in online learning platforms pose a real risk to the validity, reliability and integrity of education, particularly in the area of assessments in the future? Do online learning and television produce measurable outcomes for student learning?
4. To what extent should national and international examination boards rethink their over 100-year-old Fischel examination culture? How can we embrace new ways of assessment that are acceptable to all stakeholders?
5. Is the ‘COVID-effect’ temporary, or has it permanently altered the future of education? If so, how do we use this once-in-a-lifetime catalyst to our advantage?