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william clegg

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how do you think we can better utilize our intellectual capabilities in this modern age?

Science classifies our species as homo sapien or wise man honouring our minds, our intelligence as a species. But do we effective or even efficiently employ those 6 billion minds our species is now blessed with? No.

The principle forms of employment today simply involve the exchange of labour for wages and the vast majority of those jobs are service, assembly line and office work. Most of which simply involve a body performing repetitive and boring tasks that utilize only a fraction of our intellectual potential. Meanwhile hundreds of millions of equally 'wise men' and 'wise women' are abandoned to subsistence existences simply because their bodies are unemployable.

This "jobs" agenda that our politicians so often champion has only been with us for a few hundred years and was a direct result of the Industrial Revolution which required huge numbers of workers in order to run the machines and maintain the records of commerce.

However, scientific and technological advancements have already replaced human beings in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of labour based employment activities. And online shopping, automation and robotics are poised to take over more and more of our labour based tasks as we move ever forward. .

In other words, there are far more valuable and self-enriching activities human beings, today, can engage their incredible intellectual potential in than simply exchanging their labour for wages. In this Information and Communication Age it seems timely that we look at ways of finally employing all that intellectual capacity that the 6 billion human minds on this planet represent.

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Closing Statement from william clegg

We seem to still be split between those who cannot see beyond the status quo of a person's value being derived from their bodies exchanging labour for wages and those who welcome a future where our minds matter more. "know thy self" was a popular theme for the later group with a strong emphasis on a student focused educational system as being most desirable and leading to lives that are mindful and thereby meaningful.

It was most gratifying to see that empowerment, motivation and opportunity came up often as both consequences and purpose in a population that was fully engaging its mental capacities as priorities over simple employment and consumption. Personally I am all for empowerment, personal empowerment, and the premise that all else will benefit thereafter.

However, there was also strong support for the premise that first the political system must change before anything else will and few would disagree that such a change is long overdue. .

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    Dec 28 2013: How to optimize the harvest of our overall pool of intelligence. Nice question. Before all of this, I want to say one thing; a lot of discussions here on TED, I think, have a negative point of view of the education systems in many countries. "There's not enough adaption to all the different learning types."

    Well. Here in Denmark we have been working very hard on suiting all different learning styles to our educational system - and I for one am a result of this. It occured to me recently that as a result, I can use all the different learning styles, and shift automatically between them depending on which strength of style is optimal.

    My point is, having already implemented focus on the early steps of children's education in Denmark, we have moved on to focus on talent-development in talented children and youth in Gymnasium (High School end, College level) in all faculties. I have participated in some of these, and I think it's too bad there are not more of it; maybe we should even consider having a mandatory talent-development cause for different subjects so that talented youth can continue challenging themselves, even if they are ahead of their class.

    I think this is a key factory to further expanding the "overall pool of intelligence". To conclude: I believe implementing the different learning styles in early education is essential, but remember to keep helping those who are behind, and help those who are ahead finding the necessary challenges to continue education, even on their own terms. In practice, this would mean more talent courses for children to sign up on -

    and most importantly: Creating attention around the necessity of attending these talent courses! How greatly it can improve their job opportunities and helping the world evolve. It would be optimal to have even the media help creating attention for talent development. I think this is a good, academic guess of what the future will bring. Media coverage of talent development.
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      Dec 28 2013: Albert, i sure like the sounds of that. Would you please expand upon what you have experienced as Denmark's educational focus? By learning styles does that mean the system must fit the learning needs of the student, as opposed to most other nations where the student must fit the system?
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        Dec 28 2013: Of course formal teaching in front of a blackboard is still the majority of our teachings, but I believe in the beginning of the 00s there had been a lot of debate on the educational system which lead to the focus of adapting the teaching to all kinds of learning styles: The Reflexive learner, the theorist, the pragmatic and the active. We try to fit the teachings so that we get around all the different styles – the real challenge is to have the students participate actively. But if they do so, it optimises their learning, because it’s fitting their individual way of learning. Maybe a good idea for other nations would be to have some courses in Denmark?

        We have had this focus for a long time, and the new debate seems to go on the fact that we are bad at continuing the optimised learning behaviour when the students stop at highschool. They still follow these different learning styles, but some are ready to move into a more advanced difficulty, but there was previously nothing available. The latest we are doing is trying to get students with ambitions interested by making talent contests; for instance we make a project where students can sign up in the age of 17-24 in which they can make contact to a scientist and come up with a completely new research, make some pilot project and write a paper on how they would proceed from there, if they had the funding. Then some appointed scientists read through the submitted papers and the winner gets a prize – usually money, a travel or similar. It is essential though, that these contests try to gather the interested students to meet each other (networking) but also scientists, in order for further development to happen.

        This is an example of what we’re trying to do as of lately; focus not only on the students who need extra help, but also those who are in need of challenge. Our current challenge is how to reach those who aren’t ambitious – who wouldn’t participate in such contest – but still would be a great resource.
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        Dec 28 2013: I would recommend mandatory talent development programs for each faculty that would give those who aren't ambition more motivation to become ambitious. :)
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          Dec 29 2013: Thank you, the two posts have provided a clearer picture of the student focus you mentioned. Please allow me to digress for a bit.

          Regarding your point about "motivated" learning, I find myself thinking about my own schooling. From the beginning school was a strange place for me, so much so that I finally "dropped out" of grade 9 and went off on my own. While I enjoyed certain subjects like math and English i had zero interest in most of the other subjects. I too was told many times that I needed the "education" to get a job, but I had already had 3 or 4 jobs and figured that was no big deal. Of course that was a time when Canadian manufacturing was booming and there were lots of jobs to choose from.

          Some 5 or so years later there was a brand new industry, computers, hitting the market and crying out for people and they eagerly hired people who knew how to run machines and who exhibited good problem solving skills. Thereafter I had a great 25 years making good money in an industry that was a frontier and with new and innovative changes occurring almost monthly.

          But in my forties I realized that I needed more, that i had always wanted wanted to know more and left the workforce 'to find myself" as they say'. I finally ended up going to university as a mature student and because I was there for my own interests I was able to build my own curriculum and take whatever courses interested me and never more than 2 or 3 at a time. . As a consequence I spent almost 10 years engaged in some of the most interesting and exciting knowledge acquisition imaginable. True empowerment in what I later characterized as my own quest to better understand the world around me and, especially, myself.

          But there was never a desire to have another job or career. Ever, since I left the workforce I have simply been an active volunteer and participant in whatever community I found myself in.

          But motivated? Only to know more and understand better and to enjoy life.
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          Dec 29 2013: Albert, I like the " talent development program ".
          The talent development program should be encouraged and be popular in today's world !
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        Dec 31 2013: So, basically you spent a lot of years at a job where you weren't really developing, but helping create the hardware - afterwards you became curious about knowledge and self-realisation which lead to studying.

        Maybe the "pool of intelligence" runs automatically then; those, who are like me, are motivated to begin with create jobs where those who weren't motivated to begin with can work and help build their ideas - later in life, those people become motivated and create jobs for other people who didn't start out motivated either? Or do you have a suggestion as to how to motivate people to study earlier, should we discuss a method for doing so - or maybe we should really just provide tools for young people to follow their own path themselves? Maybe this would make their 'path' easier?

        And Lamb Lamb, I agree; the world really needs more of these kinds of programs. I wish I was in a position to create such projects. Maybe later, right? When I get older
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          Jan 1 2014: Hello Albert, Happy New Year for 2014 !

          Professional experiences and knowledge worth out spreading to the young generations genuinely.

          Leaders of Companies are encouraged to develop themselves consistently: Big Idea, Big Heart, Big Give, Big Receive.

          I am ready to " give " to All.......

          What is your thoughts about it, Albert?
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          Jan 1 2014: How sad that "jobs" remains your principle venue for motivation. My little dissertation was meant to point out that once I got off the 'exchange of labour for wages' treadmill and became better informed I was far more "motivated" to become involved in and contribute to the community I lived in. In this way, knowledge becomes empowerment which then leads to a healthier and more functional community which, in turn, enriches everyone in the community.

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