Autodidacticism and the future of the world

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/arakonyunus

Why do so many people pay so much money for further education, and executive education? Indeed, why do we need a formal education ‘system’ – why don’t we just teach ourselves what we need to know, with the same books used in education establishments?

Higher education courses are often based on published texts and “blackboard” teaching (or other medium: whiteboard, projector, beamer, etc.). Yet most of this ‘knowledge’ is available to purchase directly (without much of the indirect overhead of education establishments), or even, in some cases, free online, including recorded videos of whole semesters of classes.

Why do we insist on engaging (and paying) others so much to help us learn? Are there other benefits that make it worthwhile?

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Thought leadership insights – not just a sales tool!


A friend recently shared with me a thought leadership article (cover shown above) from Accenture, a consulting firm.  The article shared views and insights into factors determining the adoption of electric vehicles, and future direction in which they will likely develop. These views were supported by a study/survey that Accenture had undertaken.

The article addresses a topic that I am interested in, and so I was glad to be informed of the article. What’s even better, the article was free (but was still comparable in quality to what one might find in leading professional media publications).

This highlighted for me an interesting development. Professional service / advisory firms are generally keen to prove their abilities, highlight their knowledge and expertise, and often do this by preparing thought leadership articles. These articles are often freely available on their websites (sometimes on request or after registration).

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Google’s “Project 10 to the 100th” – will you vote for something worthwhile?

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One of the things that I like to think that my blog can achieve is to share/broaden awareness of topics that interest me, which I come across and believe that are not so well known. A good example of that is “Project 10 to the 100th”, a Google sponsored initiative to collate “ideas to change the world, in the hope of helping as many people as possible”.  Google has committed to invest $10 million to support this.

Now that I’ve come across this initiative, I’m surprised that the project seems to be so ‘low key’.  I also consider the name to be surprisingly ‘techie’ for something that is ultimately aimed at delivering global social/environmental improvements (and hence risking lack of attention from people who might not have come across Google’s blogs).

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