Holberton > Articles by: Alexandra Jouis

UNESCO talk: life-long learning in the 4th industrial revolution

Sylvain Kalache at UNESCO annual International Youth Conference in Jamaica

Our co-founder, Sylvain Kalache, was invited to speak with the audience during the UNESCO annual International Youth Conference in Jamaica, joining an audience from the US, Germany, Russia, Jamaica, and Mexico. Other great speakers included Saadia Sánchez, UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean; Hon Alando Terrylonge, Jamaica Minister of State, Ministry of Culture Gender Entertainment and Sport; Everton Hannam, Secretary-General, Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO.

During this conference, he shared tips on becoming an efficient learner in the 4th industrial revolution. 

“The 4th industrial revolution is different from the past industrial revolutions because the pace of change is happening at an exponential rate. And while our world drastically evolved, our education system has not. A key element for all of us is to become lifelong learners, and most of the knowledge you need is available at your fingertips.” – Sylvain Kalache, co-founder of Holberton School.

Sylvain argues that access to knowledge is no longer an issue for many learners. Students have access to peers, instructors, libraries, and obviously the largest source of information that ever existed: the Internet. An ocean of knowledge is now accessible at our fingertips, which completely flips our world and education! Memorizing information shall no longer be the focus. With the right guidance, students can be teaching themselves; but this is not an easy task. It is a challenge to come up with the proper search engine request, and then filter the results to understand what is right, wrong, or incomplete. Fake news is an excellent illustration of the challenge.

The world of today and tomorrow requires a different set of skills to be professionally successful. Sylvain reviewed the skills that learners shall focus on: 

  • Problem-solving;
  • Critical thinking;
  • Creativity;
  • Professional communication; 
  • People skills.

These skills can be developed with progressive education-based programs where students learn by integrated multi-level projects, action-oriented tasks, collaborating, and working on projects in groups.

The audience loved the presentation, which was summarized with a proverb that our co-founder thought translated very well to education: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

The same applies to education: become a Lifelong Learner!

Full recording of this event:

Full recording of Sylvain’s speech, here.

Thank you again, Jamaica Federation of Unesco Clubs, Centers and Associations, for having Holberton at your annual conference.