Education in the 21st century
By Mahnoor Sargana | Pakistan
Current Education System
Our current education system isn’t fit to prepare the students all for the real world. The world we transition into after our academics isn’t just the working force, it’s living every day facing ever-evolving realities.
Approximately 13 years of our lives are revolved around the idea of one type of linear success. Getting good grades. No matter what your aptitude is, you’ll only be successful in school if you score the percentage of late 80s and 90s. The worst thing is, success here does not set you up for success in the real world. My father once shared that all his friends who sucked at school are the ones that made the most out of life.
The model our current education system is built off of dates back to the 18th century!
The metrics of success across most schools are just around the amount of information we can memorize. However, making us memorize lessons doesn’t make sense because the information isn’t scarce anymore. We can find just about anything by the click of a button.
We have come so far as humanity, and if we can innovate every other field, we can innovate our schools to cultivate young minds to be future leaders and problem solvers, not people merely fit to continue onto college.
We can’t disrupt the entire education system in one go but we can ease into it. The Knowledge Society, TKS for short, is doing just that.
World Economic Forum’s school of the future:
TKS is a 10-month human accelerator program that provides Olympic-level training for future innovators. The idea behind the structure of the program is to equip young students with the mindsets, skills, network, and knowledge to impact billions. TKS offers mentorship and guidance from professionals with experience as CEOs, Founders, and employees at Fortune 500 companies
The process at TKS
You'll hear about #trusttheprocess in TKS A LOT. This is because everything is intentionally designed to bring growth and results. There are weekly sessions that go over mindsets, skillsets, and activities to level you up week after week. An example of a mindset we trained on was Anti-fragility, which means that after any failure you experience, you bounce back stronger with the lesson you learned. The purpose of being aware of these mindsets is to equip TKS students with a toolbox that can help them push through almost anything.
At a talk at Google, acclaimed author Yuval Noah Harrari said that the most important aspect for young people to train on is mental and emotional intelligence. This refers to their ability to cope and adapt to change as our exponential technological advancement disrupts our norms day in and out. More importantly, it’s the awareness of certain mindsets that you can use to jump over roadblocks and hardships.
Skills that TKS innovators are trained on include problem-solving with Harvard Case Studies, networking skills, websites, newsletters, LinkedIn profiles, ideation, investment pitches, high standard presentations, and so much more. We are trained to analyze and solve real problems with challenges while working with real companies. This year we worked with Pathcheck Foundation, a contact tracing app, and the United Nations on increasing women's participation in the digital economy. 🤯
TKS has a structurally unstructured process that revolves around the idea of building your ‘T’. Your breadth of knowledge (which is the horizontal line of the ‘T’ with knowing surface level many things) and depth of knowledge (which is the vertical line of the ‘T’ with gaining expertise in a particular field). The first 4 months are invested in doing ‘explores’ which is an intentionally curated content playlist that exposes you to emerging technology like Nanotechnology, Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, etc. The next 6 months are heavily focused on completing a ‘focus’ where you have to deep dive into one emerging field of tech or science and build projects and write articles around. Going back to 'unstructured process' this is what I have estimated. Every student goes about focuses differently- some complete a focus or two within the first two months, some over six months. You have to figure out what success means for you.
Source: Author's own diagram and tks.life
Growth in TKS
The best thing about TKS is that it replicates the real world whilst also training for it. There is no spoon-feeding. Many opportunities within the program are supposed to be earned by completing a task which is mostly content creation, but also your overall performance. There is no grading or evaluation. If a person cares for their growth, they will grow. But if not, they are just going to be bystanders. There is customized guidance available from all the directors (who are legit people!!) if you were to ask for it. Every student is encouraged to be an activator and a self-starter.
It is to also be noted that every student's journey through TKS is different. Not everyone is going to get famous, but if you put in the effort, you'll be legit.
The community to die for
The global community is unparalleled to anything you can set out to find. The most curious, driven, and ambitious students come together and our slack channels are the place to be. Internally we have a system of ‘braindates’ and ‘brain pods’ where students can connect around the world to either just meet or have awesome discussions on AI ethics, friendships, and even a chill Bollywood movie night. The atmosphere that we have in TKS was the leading factor on why I wanted to join in the first place. You build relationships with people that resonate with you, and the time you spend together always leaves you fulfilled.
Taking the leap
All in all, this is still only the tip of the iceberg to what TKS is. The past six months I have been a part of TKS are filled with profound growth and self-awareness.
TKS is a great place to be if you want more from your life than just school. There's an application and an interview process that helps you figure out if you are the right fit, or if TKS is fit for you. Even though it’s expensive (it's worth it), it has very vast tuition aid funding available if one gets accepted. TKS also rolled out an ambassador program with which if any of you use ‘MASA1108’ as a referral code, you can get $200 off your tuition.
See you taking the world by a storm.✌