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Fueling the Need for Better Education

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Mitch Talenfeld

All around us, the rapid progress in technology and the effects on every industry in America are staggering. Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering called it the “Law of Accelerating Returns.” He wrote “we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).” The Harvard Business Review’s October 2015 article, “How Smart, Connected Products are Transforming Companies,” begins with “The evolution of products into intelligent, connected devices—which are increasingly embedded in broader systems— is radically reshaping companies and competition.”

After spending the last several weeks in meetings, one day at Google’s New York offices, two days at Google’s Mountain View, CA campus and almost a week at Pubcon, one of the largest Internet conferences in the world, I am more convinced than ever that those who sit still and do not continually update their knowledge, skills and abilities, will fall behind as rapidly as the world is moving forward. The major advances and changes in marketing alone—just in the last several months—are staggering. All of these things solidifying the point: career-based education and everything that it entails is more important now than at any other time in human history.

I recently walked by a Boston Scientific Conference and saw an exact 3D replica of the human heart of a cardiac patient, printed from their CT scan. These replicas are now being used for measuring the exact size of pacemakers in advance of surgery to reduce patient complications while open on the table.  How do you think these advances will affect the healthcare workforce? And where are they going to get the information they need to keep up?

For another example, go to Rapid 3D Event and read how 3D printing, scanning, and additive manufacturing are revolutionizing manufacturing as we know it.  For even more, go to https://www.thingiverse.com/, a website that encourages people to upload 3D designs of anything from trinkets, shoes, and so much more, the possibilities are endless.

I am currently at the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools’ annual conference for the next two days. It is truly refreshing spending time with people who really get it—the educational leaders who are America’s best hope of providing the ongoing education that Americans need in order to compete in this ever-changing world.

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