The future of learning, what is it about, what challenges are we facing? A couple of years ago I did a film (together with a bunch of skilled people, such as the film team from Radon) in a project about, how education and learning is changing as we enter the Networked Society. We meet with some of the most prominent thinkers to talk about learning and education. I like this film a lot (still)! And looking around most schools and university have long way to go to meet the future.
Konferensen EdTech Sweden hölls i Stockholm Waterfront för några dagar sedan. Jag var där och höll en keynote under rubriken ”The Big Picture”. Jag tillsammans med Denis Hurley (Director of Future Technologies på Pearson) pratade de första 50 minuterna på konferensen. Denis fokus var framtida teknologiers användning i utbildning, tex. virtual eller augumented reality. Min presentation Learning in the Networked Society eller på svenska, lärande i det uppkopplade samhället handlar om IKTs (Information och Kommunikations Teknologiers) generella inverkan på industrier och dess särskilda påverkan på utbildning och lärande. Presentationen hittar du på Slideshare. Mina intryck av konferensen som höll för andra gången i Stockholm var mycket bra! Den var välorganiserad med bra moderatorer, Ulf Skarin och Tommie Cau i de sessioner jag deltog i samt att det var bra kvalitet på talarna i programmet.
Jag (Ericsson), Helena Sjöberg (Microsoft), Marcus Wärn (Spotify) och och moderatorn Tommie Cau under panelen ”Innovation och digitalt i DNAt, organisationer måste tänka om”
Båda bilderna i denna bloggpost har jag lånat från Tommie Caus Twitter konto @TommieCau
Läs mer om framtidens lärande här >>>
In our model of lifestyle movements for the Networked Society in 2025, the last group, the Mobile, are difficult to pin down. To some extent they definitely want to see themselves as classless. Their overall motivation is to move between contexts without committing too heavily to one career path, one lifestyle, one life project, or one category of consumption.
Some of them they may work on freelance basis, others might engage in various kinds of collective projects and then they may simply step back from any type of productive life, before they again seek out employment in different areas. The Mobile might quickly switch geographical and cultural contexts and may compromise a relatively good job with a good salary to take a lower paying job at an interesting location. In a sense, the Mobile are relatively empowered in society, but they tend to shy away from taking on too many challenges and responsibility. They are often highly individualistic and prioritize the accumulation of personal experiences before a career or a socially regarded position.
The Mobile focus on experiences, preferably as alternative as possible. They collect these experiences and use digital tools, services, and social media to maintain and manage their narrative of their life experiences. They prefer to live light in order to stay flexible and they exercise a mobile lifestyle. Accordingly, they avoid owning and possessing things and instead choose access-based models. Being highly digital in everything they do and consume allows them to stay light, flexible, and mobile.
- move between contexts
- focus on experiences
- own as little as possible
- are highly individualistic
- shy from responsibilities
- use digital services of access.
In 2025’s Networked Society, the Social are empowered and have momentum in society but do not belong to a traditional labor market. They have either chosen to leave or been forced out of the traditional labor market, because of the structural changes in society, and have instead taken matters into their own hands. Accordingly, they are removed from institutionalized systems but they have also deliberately chosen to “escape the market” because they no longer believe in the traditional industrial system (because it hasn’t been able to provide for them). As they are stepping out of the system and escape the market, they are promoting an alternative economic system.
Some of them move from traditional forms of work to focusing a majority of their time and effort in the categories they are passionate about. They become more and more involved in these categories, until a point where they start to add productive value to their consumption. This can be done in different ways. When a person becomes extremely knowledgeable about a category that she is interested in, she rises above the market, making other consumers and companies extra interested in the person’s opinions and ready to reward the person as an expert, communicating her opinions in various social media outlets or entering into more formalized co-creation with commercial providers. As a result of this, some people make their passion their occupation. This can be done by making their names in various forms of social media, making money through fashion blogging, news writing, video game reviews and other pursuits. Or, they may start up small alternative businesses, focusing on handicraft, craftsmanship, or sustainable ecological products, and eventually turn their passion into their living.
- operate outside the traditional labor market
- focus on their passions
- disrupt the traditional ways
- are empowered by and dependent on their own community
- take collaborative initiatives
- form alternative networks.
The Anchored are the people steadily rooted in the middle class, which was once the result of the 20th century industrialization. In 2025, they are still living in the traditional industrial economic system. While they used to be employed in the manufacturing industry and related sectors, in the 21st century they have migrated increasingly to the service sector.
A majority of the Anchored hold jobs in retail, sales functions, the catering industry, transportation, logistics, healthcare, customer service functions, and IT service functions. Some still work in the manufacturing industries and in civil servant positions, but they are significantly fewer than before due to a decreased need for traditional labor in these sectors and, in the case of government, due to significantly weaker finances.
The Anchored are the people in the Networked Society who most hold on to traditional, 20thcentury values. Due to their diminishing financial means, they are increasingly consuming only basic, automatically manufactured products in most categories, while saving up to acquire one or a few more goods loaded with material status.
- work within the traditional industrial economic system
- value traditions and stability
- focus on material status
- divide life into work and leisure
- save up to acquire a few goods loaded with material status
- focus on affordable experiences.
In the Networked Society of 2025, the Players are outside the economic system or have never been invited into it. They also lack the ability, skills, connections, and motivation to get back into the game, land a traditional job, or organize themselves. They do temporary jobs here and there, live off various forms of social security payments, and exchange favors with family and friends. Most of the Players have plenty of time at their disposal, and spend their time primarily on entertainment and games of various kinds. Sometimes they are pulled into different initiatives, but they rarely organize themselves.
The Players often live under strained conditions and sometimes even struggle to take care of some of their basic needs. Many of them can’t really afford to own a home, but they tend to value their possessions greatly.
The Players spend much of their time playing in different ways. Primarily they consume easily available entertainment of all kinds: TV, movies, games, sports, social media, betting, and adult entertainment. Many of them seek out free alternatives on the market, whether legal (freemium business models) or illegal (such as pirate streaming of TV and video).
- operate outside the traditional labor market
- have plenty of time
- engage in digitally enabled entertainment
- seek out free alternatives
- value possessions and personal security.
My previous blog post was about the model you can use to understand movements in lifestyles in the Networked Society. If you missed that post you can find it here. In this post, let’s look closer at the Resourceful.
The Resourceful employ the most attractive positions in society and are made up of business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, managers, leaders, information and knowledge workers, artists and creative workers, highly skilled specialists, and high-level politicians and government officials. The Resourceful have either economic, cultural, or social capital – and in many cases they have plenty of all three. They also have the ability to trade in cultural and social capital for economic capital and are, therefore, not always dependent on a traditional paycheck to carry them in their life as consumers. The Resourceful are, per capita, the strongest consumption class in the Networked Society, but as they are also the smallest group, they are primarily a force in terms of opinion leadership related to consumption.
The group spends a lot of their economic capital on consumption, but also uses their cultural and social capital to access and acquire the products, services, and consumption experiences they want. Many brands in all sorts of categories will allow them to use their products and services for free in order to reach out to other consumers through the networks of the Resourceful.
In short, the Resourceful:
- have economic, cultural and/or social capital
- belong to influential networks
- seek extraordinary experiences
- prioritize health and wellbeing
- make conscious statements about global sustainability.
We are now sixteen years into the new millennium and we have had internet and a global standard for mobile telephony for a quarter of a century. The new millennium marks in many ways the transition from the age of industrialization to a new paradigm, which we call The Networked Society.
Now, with some distance, we are able to see the age of industrialization for what it really was. To generalize, it was an era of escalating capitalism, mass-manufacturing, mass-consumption, and a highly modernistic organization of life into clear cut categories, invented by the great institutions of the 20th century: governments and large enterprises.
During the age of industrialization the individual left her rural and collective societies, moved into cities and urban areas, separated work life from private life, made more money than ever before, increased her standard of living, and started to consume the fruits of the free markets. But how are these structures being challenged? What is happening with life and lifestyles right now? In what direction are we moving? How are values and attitudes changing? And what clusters of different lifestyles do we see emerging? These are some of the questions we explore in the Life in 2025 work. This work is based on multiple sources from the research we done the last five years (which you are welcome to explore at The Networked Society site)
On an overall level we’d argue that it’s possible to understand the new structure of society along two dimensions: inside the system vs. outside the system; that is, those that are part of established institutions, networks, and employment and those who are not. The next dimension is if you are empowered or dependent; that is, those who are active in society and strive to control their own situation and those who are dependent on other groups in society and with less control of their own situation. This gives us four macro level groups to consider: The Resourceful, The Social, The Players, and The Anchored. Into this model we also want to plot a fifth group we expect to emerge in the Networked Society, The Mobile, which gives us the following model.
All these groups have different life conditions, their lifestyles, values and attitudes are different. So this model is a framework for thinking and analyzing, rather than a quantified picture of the world. The size of the quadrants and how many people that will be empowered vs. dependent is very much a political and ideological question and this will be different in different countries. I hope you’ll join me over the course of my next five blogposts, as I describe the different lifestyles one by one.
Read more the the Networked Society blog >>>
The Swedish American Life Science Summit, held August 21 – 23, had many interesting presentations and discussions about various topics across the life science sector, such as Innovative Healthcare Delivery Models and Creating a Digital Health System.
At the event, I presented Ericsson’s vision of the Networked Society and some of the concepts that could be realized today if we utilize the possibilities we have within connectivity and networking.
Here are a few examples:
The Doctor in a Box is a device that you can either have in your home or that can be brought to you by a home Samaritan, relative or friend. It offers distant healthcare and video conferencing with real doctors for daily/weekly checkups like blood pressure and a simple blood test to see that you are fine and that the medications you take are working well.
The “Doctor in a Box Program” aims to make it easier to get medical assistance, by simultaneously reducing the pressure on the health care system.
Intelligent Medicine Jar acts together with the Living Tray ( an app running on the tablet that connects with the medicine jars), and displays live, up-to-date information on the outside packaging. You are identified with fingerprints, so no one can take the wrong medicine. The packaging is secure, keeps track of your consumption and dispenses only the right amount of pills. If the patient combines medicines that are negative to each other it will send a warning.
Fast line traffic management is an advanced traffic logistics system, providing real-time information through its network. This enables green lights along the route of emergency vehicles and directs traffic flow effectively in rush hour. This reduces the risk of collisions and shortens travel time in matters of emergency, saving lives for patients and reducing risk in traffic.