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Greater Cincinnati: Leveraging strategic foresight to guide today’s education systems

Exploring the future of learning today is an act of stewardship for our future communities and the young people who will live in them.

Staying informed about changes on the horizon can be a challenge. Within education, it can be difficult to decide how to respond to changes while also attending to organizational vision, teaching and learning expectations, and each learners’ needs. KnowledgeWorks helps education leaders, influencers, and innovators take informed action today in order to prepare for the world tomorrow.

Learning Forerunner


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Learning Forerunners Across America

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Target group
June 2020

About the innovation

How can we leverage strategic foresight to guide today’s education systems?

Greater Cincinnati

The world around us is evolving and shifting. We are experiencing exponential advances in digital technologies that will require us to redefine our relationships with one another, with our institutions, and even with ourselves. The political, economic, and societal structures in which we live affect every facet of our lives, including how we experience teaching and learning. As we explore the future of learning, we look beyond the education landscape alone — we also look to our future communities and the young people who will live in them.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, KnowledgeWorks helps education leaders, influencers, and innovators make sense of change and take informed action today. One way we do this is by creating customized forecasts about the future of learning that can help educators understand changing landscapes and imagine future possibilities.

KnowledgeWorks' forecasts on the future of learning identify key drivers of change that will impact education over the next decade and imagine what those drivers of change could mean for learning. These major societal shifts are grounded in trends, patterns, plans, and developments that are taking place today. Accompanying each driver of change, we share questions to prompt reflection on its impacts. We also share signals of change, which are present-day programs, practices, and initiatives that show glimpses of what future education landscapes could look like.

KnowledgeWorks's Commitment

KnowledgeWorks is a national nonprofit advancing a future of learning that ensures each student graduates ready for what’s next. For nearly 20 years, we’ve been partnering with states, communities, and leaders across the country to imagine, build, and sustain vibrant learning communities. Through evidence-based practices and a commitment to equitable outcomes, we’re creating the future of learning, together.

Examples and Highlights:

What might the education landscape look like in ten years? By asking that question, we can anticipate change, explore strategic possibilities, and identify ways of creating better opportunities for all learners. That’s why KnowledgeWorks has been publishing forecasts on the future of learning since 2006, with each made freely available to the public.

Our forecasts have guided strategic planning conversations across a wide variety of organizations, helped philanthropic organizations inform their work, assisted communities in thinking broadly about what COVID-19 responses might look like, and informed "Portraits of a Graduate" at the state, district, and school levels, including Marion City Schools in Marion, Ohio. These portraits represent a vision for the skills, knowledge, and dispositions a student needs to succeed in college, career, and life.

Our forecasts have also helped districts grapple with such issues as digital natives and how schools might partner with technologically savvy students; how increasingly available data could inform decisions around education and supports; and how participatory media might engage educators and learners in global civic discourses, forums, and activities. By engaging in these future-thinking conversations, we have helped a wide range of organizations and individuals navigate change, imaging what they want for the future and considering how they might begin creating the future of learning today.

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