“Life-Long Learning” Needs a Home
Want to see what massive change looks like? Check out the table below, which depicts how economic power has evolved in the U.S. from an industrial to a high-tech economy. No surprise, right? What is a surprise is how little we are prepared for that change. How does learning keep up? More accurately, where do people repurpose themselves to keep up with the changing times? “Life-long learning” may be a trendy phrase, but they’re hollow words without a home.
Sure, we have all kinds of online resources from MOOC’s to MBA-lite’s, but the tyranny of the three-stage life - Learn-Earn-Burn (aka Retire) - is embedded in many Boomers’ and Xers’ souls. Today’s challenge isn’t just about learning something new. It’s also about shifting one’s mindset and mining one’s mastery. It’s not easy to make this shift on your own. Online learning can be as depressing as online dating. But, quitting Match.com only means you’re single on Saturday night, while quitting a MOOC.com may mean you’re hungry seven days a week without a paycheck.
We created the world’s first “midlife wisdom school,” the Modern Elder Academy (MEA) because we believe that the learning revolution isn’t a game of solitaire. Social, experiential learning for those in midlife is an idea whose time has come. The fact that our 500 alums give us a customer satisfaction rating at the 99th percentile means we clearly have tapped into a society and customer need. I hope MEA proves to be a catalyst for more midlife wisdom schools—nurturing homes which will help us all shift our mindsets so that we may thrive in today’s changing world. I outlined more of this on stage at the Commonwealth Club and in this article.
Where’s home for your life-long learning?