How important do you think it is for stakeholders to get together and work in tandem with each other to achieve larger goals in education and jobs?
The problem is too large for one organization or one individual to solve. We are not going to solve the problem alone. We need to understand what other people are doing and converge on some of the key priorities that we need to focus on. The role of civil society organizations here is to innovate within a smaller context – we are all learning from that innovation and then sharing that with more people, organizations and state governments. So it is that process of trying and experimenting, and then sharing those for a wider audience to learn from.
Any key takeaway, thought or idea that you are taking with you from this summit?
One is that we need to take a long hard look at some of the policies and schemes of the government – whether it is around education or skills – to understand what is working and what is not. There is an urgent need to go deeper into a problem, than just scratching it at the surface. While we talk about breadth and the reach we have, it is the depth that will help us find quality solutions that have a long-term impact.
The other thing is that when we bring these stakeholders together and begin to create that conversation, there is a lot of energy and chaos, which is a good thing because it gives birth to new ideas and possibilities. I believe that when you intentionally create this tension and conflict, it leads to more creativity.
Does the scale of these problems overwhelm you, or instead, motivates you and spurs you on to actively do something to bring meaningful and positive change in this ecosystem?
We need to do this together. This is not the kind of problem that will be solved in this generation or this lifetime. But we should get inspired by practitioners in this space; by the work of people who are trying their best to solve these problems. We need to ask ourselves – are we really putting our heads together as a community to work on a problem? Or are we doing it in our own spaces?
This kind of collaboration can only happen if we are building trust – a safe space – for all stakeholders to come together to engage in a dialogue. If we start now, maybe in 10 years or so, we can get to a space where we can say that we have made some progress.
For any transformation to take effect in the education sector, like-minded organizations need to urgently work together as a community, driven by similar goals while supporting each other. A sense of community will also help build more engagement among people and unite them to a common mission.
This is where Quest steps in. With Q2L, we offer a platform for over 200 educators, designer thinkers, entrepreneurs, government officials, CSR professionals and technologists to share insights around building 21st century skills for self-learning – a prerequisite to effective learning for the future of work.
Anu Thomas, Senior Content Editor at Quest Alliance