We won’t solve today’s challenges with the same mindset that created them. Today, we must go beyond the ability to sustain our businesses and focus on to making a difference.

We’ve heard it before: The only thing constant is change, and the rate of change is constantly increasing. Moreover;

We won’t solve today’s challenges with the same mindset that created them.

What that means, that is often overlooked, is:

1. With every second, your ability to learn and unlearn becomes more and more valuable.

The models we were taught to memorize when we were young become obsolete as we discover more about our world and universe. Singularity University states that due to technological advances, the coming 100 years will be equivalent to 20,000 years of development. That’s about double the time since the last ice age, to glimpse the scale of radical change ahead.

2. We need to explore the societal structures and incentive systems that created the challenges in the first place.

In a world where “scale” and “profit” are the metrics of success in a finite world of resources, we are geared to compete with each other aggressively “capturing” market share – “annihilating” the competition. A zero-sum game – that inevitably results in greater inequality. What if we explored an alternative reality that extends beyond this fear-based narrative fueled by instant gratification? What if instead of “competing in markets”, we learn from nature and explore how to “contribute to an ecosystem” we can all thrive in?

We Must Go Beyond the Ability to Sustain a Business to Make A Difference

This time of unprecedented challenges holds the key to unlock unprecedented opportunities. Being locked in isolation can become the opportunity to open up and connect: Imagine if we were to use the current pandemic and the system collapses as a collective Creative Destruction of an education system that was built to prepare people to enter factories (listen to a manager and memorize facts) – and instead, channel the enormous potential – to crowdsource and co-create not only knowledge but cultivate the capacity (that is required) to go beyond the ability to sustain; creating organizations that – as they operate – inevitably make a difference. Business that would be fundamentally built with the core idea of,

It is not how you spend your money – but how you earn it.

Education’s Role is More than an Academic Exercise

So how do we cultivate this capacity? And in doing so – can we create an education system, a vehicle for learning, that causes a change in itself? We believe so. We are currently running a course with an alternative business school, HyperIsland – an incredible learning institute renowned for equipping students with the necessary skills and competencies for the future of work; creativity, teamwork, and self-development. They are the perfect partner and share our core learning principle: nothing should be done as an academic exercise. It is simply too much of a waste of two of the most important resources we have: time and the curious human brainpower.

Imagine if – just as a business model that by the operational nature makes a difference – every hour and moment spent in the education system would Make A Difference. Every exercise would explore potential approaches and prototypes solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. The learning experience would be driving real-world change. Education would collide with experience.

The Future of Learning: We need to build the business and societal models that mutate quicker than the virus…

Now, what if humans could spread knowledge, insights, and learnings as quickly as we can spread a disease? Or preferably quicker. This temporary breakdown of our industrial age systems could offer the education transformation needed to cultivate an ecosystem of businesses and leaders that achieve collectively and go beyond the Agenda 2030 ambitions.

Connect With MAD (Make A Difference) at MADleaps.org or at MAD.

Emelie Ekblad

Emelie Ekblad is the co-founder of MAD, a global community of change-makers. MAD Pioneers operate in more than 40 countries across Africa, the Middle East, North and Latin America, Europe, and Asia, with more than 60 organizations that range across industries and sectors. Ekblad’s background ranges brands such as Sony, LG, and Microsoft, institutions like the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation as well as numerous startups. She’s held leadership team positions within corporate and civil society organizations, driving and supporting startups as well as nonprofits with presence across Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and the Middle East.

Fiona Hazell

Fiona Hazell is the co-founder of MAD. Her background spans 10 years of brand strategy across African markets. Since relocating to Sweden she has designed and led international accelerator and fellowship programs on behalf of organizations such as Social Entrepreneurship Forum, Seeds of Peace, Impact Invest Scandinavia, and Inclusive Business Sweden. She sits on numerous Social Innovation review panels on behalf of the Swedish Development Agency (Sida) and the European Union (EU).