“We have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education, and it's impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.”
― Ken Robinson
Today, the value of education is higher than ever. Everyone is vying for a spot in Ivy League schools, pouring hours into their academics. Students believe that the best universities offer the best platform for a successful, well-paid career.
But is it worth it? Are students actually learning what matters in schools today? If so why haven’t we been able to solve or even slightly reduce some of the biggest challenges of our times? Why, despite all Ivy League degrees held by CEOs of large financial institutions, did we still see a financial crisis?
The fact is that we currently have an industrial education system, one that is profit driven, does not focus enough on ethics, and applies the same formula to assess all students. Experts are now realizing that global fixation on standardized testing has stifled innovation and prevents people from reaching their full potential. Educational inequality, high stakes testing, highly competitive environments that focus only on academic credits, and disregarding social-emotional learning are now being addressed as a major issue worldwide.
Recognizing the problem is the first step. Finding solutions comes next.
Green Initiatives’ 109th monthly Green Drinks monthly forum will focus on these issues and more importantly, on solutions. Some of the questions we would be looking to answer are:
- What are the issues in the prevalent educational system?
- Are there organizations already moving towards a new paradigm?
- What are some interesting new platforms for students to get involved in?
- Who are the pioneers and innovative start-ups in this space?
- What are MNC’s doing about this? Why should they be doing something about this?
- 18:30-19:15 Registrations and networking
- 19:15-20:15 Speaker presentations
- 20:15-20:45 Panel discussion / Q&A
- 20:45-21:15 Networking / end of event
Knut Wimberger, Director - Strategy & Product Development at Green Initiatives, and Founder, Telospi
Subject: Education - means to what end?
Background: Knut helps executive management with organizational development challenges in a Far East Asian context and supports key individuals to unfold their potential. He believes in the healing force of finding one’s vocation and is driven by giving others deeper meaning in their work. He founded the Hong Kong incorporated consultancy Telos Pi in 2016 and acts as its managing partner. Prior to finding his own vocation, he served as managing director of Fronius China, a European headquartered technology leader in robotics welding, battery charging and photovoltaics, which he helped to build into a CNY 200 million revenue business as of 2015. Earlier stations in his career include a stint as technology attaché at the Austrian Consulate General Shanghai, and two assignments in the technology law industry with a Vienna based technology transfer agency and an international law firm. Knut holds a Masters of Law and specialized in technology transfer and intellectual propery, as well as a Bachelors in Far East Asian Studies. He is fluent in German, English and Chinese and lives since 2009 with his wife and two children in Shanghai.
Jamie Huang & Jeremy Nguyen-Phuong, Co-founders, Udentity & Change Leader Academy
Subject: With artificial intelligence and machine learning being the biggest threat to future workforce, what are the real essential human skills youth today need to learn to tackle the ever mounting social and environmental problems of today that will define our tomorrow?
Background: Jamie and Jeremy, based in Shanghai, are co-founders of Udentity and the Change Leader Academy. Udentity is an education technology platform that aims to empower youth in Asia to take charge of their own identity and explore college/university options overseas. The Change Leader Academy is an experiential learning program that seeks to help young people to develop ideas to tackle social challenges. Prior to this, both Jamie and Jeremy spent 5 years working at Ashoka, the largest network of leading social entrepreneurs as managers for the China and Singapore offices.
Matt Spriegel, Co-Founder & CEO & Ali Nosrati, Head of Client Services
Subject: What are the pros and cons of mobile based learning versus face-to-face learning? What are the opportunities that the former brings into really making education relevant to our current times and as a force for achieving greater good?
Background: Matt has been living and working in China for 9 years. He left his role as VP of Operations (Asia) of a healthcare consulting company to pursue a dream in training and education. He has vast experience in sales, marketing and operations around Asia and is currently the CEO of Accelertrain. His main role is around Business Development and Finance.
Ali, on the other hand, left Sweden in 2006 with a one way ticket to China after getting his MBA. Before joining Accelertrain he worked on delivering 360 marketing and communication projects for multinational brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen and Audi. At Accelertrain, Ali is the Client Services lead, utilizing his extensive experience in account management.