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Shift happens

Tom P. Abeles (President of Sagacity, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 1 February 2008




The purpose of this editorial is to ask the question as to whether the current “cohort” model of education, particularly in the USA, can survive in an internet connected world. It also questions, with the development of increasingly porous political borders, particularly with respect to knowledge, whether the current education system can play the heroic role of maintaining US economic hegemony in the world.


This essay looks at the increasing alternatives individuals have for obtaining both knowledge, and academic certification and the ease with which that knowledge can move across borders virtually or through population movements. It suggests that this growing international movement of knowledge may render political boundaries as vulnerable as medieval armor with the rise of gunpowder.


The increasing access to knowledge starts to make international borders look more like boundaries between states or other political divisions within current nations. The current attempt to maintain or incrementally improving existing models of education can neither meet the increasing demands of individuals for knowledge or maintain the current economic hegemony of the USA.


The essay questions current efforts of the educational community in general and the science/technology sector, in particular, to argue for increasing funds as the front‐line of defense in a world where political power is maintained by economics rather than military superiority. It argues for a paradigmatic change in response to the idea that knowledge wishes to be free.



Abeles, T.P. (2008), "Shift happens", On the Horizon, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 3-5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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