To read this content please select one of the options below:

Educating the wise cyborg of the future

Tom Lombardo (Director of the Center for Future Consciousness, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA)
Ray Todd Blackwood (Director of Technology at the University of Advancing Technology, Phoenix, Arizona, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 17 May 2011




The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that, given contemporary global challenges and trends, the central goal for the future of higher education should be to facilitate the development of wise cyborgs.


Contemporary global challenges are identified. A theory of wisdom and wisdom‐based education is outlined, highlighting the development of character virtues and enhanced future consciousness. It is demonstrated that a wisdom‐based education is necessary for addressing global challenges. The intimate evolutionary connection between human intelligence and technology is described, including a general definition of a cyborg. The concept of a wise cyborg is described. Examples are provided regarding how to facilitate the educational development of the wise cyborg.


Solutions to modern global challenges require a synthesis of holistic, integrative, future‐focused, and ethical thinking – all qualities of wisdom. The qualities of wisdom can be described analytically and addressed educationally. Humans have purposely enhanced their functional capacities through technology throughout history. Humans are cyborgs and the intimate functional synthesis of the biological and technological will further develop in the future. Wise people in the future will be wise cyborgs. Educational methods can be identified that facilitate the development of wise cyborgs.


Wisdom, a concept traditionally associated with philosophy and spiritual thinking, is connected with technological evolution. An educational approach is described which synthesizes wisdom and character virtues with future consciousness and technological proficiency. This educational model is applied to creating individuals who can successfully address the problems of today and tomorrow.



Lombardo, T. and Todd Blackwood, R. (2011), "Educating the wise cyborg of the future", On the Horizon, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 85-96.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles