EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was initially published on Anant Agarwal’s LinkedIn.
The worlds of work and learning are at a crossroads. Even before the pandemic, AI and other disruptive technologies were transforming the way we conduct business and compelling the workforce to upskill. Similarly, universities were trying to figure out how to help learners keep up with the quickening pace.
Two years into COVID, it’s clear that the answers to how we address the demands of the future don’t lie in one place but rather somewhere within the juxtaposition of business and higher education. There remains a great need to bring these two distinctly powerful worlds together to have open conversations in a safe space, cross-pollinate ideas, break glass, and learn from each other’s expertise how we can transform for the better. Now is the time for us to join as one to shape the future of learning and work—which is why I’m excited to host edX Live, a new LinkedIn Live series that will do just that.
The inaugural episode of edX Live is this Wednesday, March 30. Join me.
In bringing together influential leaders from academia and business, edX Live has the potential to be a unique knowledge-sharing forum that can open people’s eyes to new opportunities through the exchange of innovative ideas. It’s a space that I’ve always wanted to create, for if I hadn’t known of the possibilities that existed outside of my neighborhood when I was young, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was a little fish in the small pond of Mangalore, India. It wasn’t until a relative happened to tell me about a university, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), well outside the bounds of my town that I truly realized how grand the world is—and the chance I had to unlock my potential beyond the home I grew up in.
As I became a little fish in a big pond, that possibility to explore the greater unknown inspired my passion for creating opportunity through education. Alongside my colleagues, I founded edX as the home for the restless learner, and that epitomizes who I am. I learn by being curious, asking questions, and remaining humble: I know there is always someone who can bring a new perspective and share a different experience—and the inherent value in connecting with others more knowledgeable about a topic than myself.
I have always sought out candid conversations with leaders to advance my own thinking. In particular, the late Clayton Christensen—one of the world’s top management thinkers and a friend—left an indelible mark on my life and professional journey. I invited him to edX early on, and he was one of our greatest supporters and influencers. He motivated us to keep rethinking our approach to transforming education through unbundling and repackaging to get edX where we are today. That’s the spirit and spark I wish to ignite by hosting edX Live, to help cultivate new ideas and actions that speed up radical innovation within education and other fast-moving industries across the world.
Funny enough, during our inaugural edX Live episode this Wednesday, March 30, Clayton and his bold musings are sure to be resurrected as I engage with special guests Arthur Levine, a distinguished higher education scholar at New York University (NYU) and co-author of The Great Upheaval: Higher Education’s Past, Present, and Uncertain Future, and Rahul Varma, chief talent officer for Accenture Technology. I hope you’ll tune in to hear and respond to their perspectives on the social, economic, and technological forces that have accelerated during COVID and are changing the way we learn and how we advance through our careers.
As we continue to move forward as a society, the importance of carving out a space for multiple viewpoints to be spoken, heard, and debated will only be greater. There is incredible power in diverse thought. Through edX Live, I plan to yield that power to advance the discourse around how we, as industry leaders, can better serve students and employees and design scalable solutions to transform how we learn and work. Join me as we chart new paths together.
Register for our premiere episode of edX Live.
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