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Education is a core pillar of human knowledge and development. Each year, City Talks ideas festivals taking place across the globe, are the places where ideas related to the future of education get shared, challenged and debunked.

This is where the past, present and future of Education is discussed covering views from education innovators from all around the world.

So, what does the near future of education look like? 

Trends shaping the future of education, according to an OECD 2019 report, are pretty obvious in the sense that they are similar to what our 2020 City Talks research has been showing (please note that this research has been utilised for internal purpose with  an objective to inspire our 2020 ideas festivals that will mainly focus on the Evolution of Knowledge).

If you’ve ever wondered whether education has a role to play in preparing our societies for an age of Artificial Intelligence or what the impact of global warming might actually be on our learning centres, learning abilities, families and communities, the OECD’s document shares major trends shaping Education, examining their diverse impacts on our economically, politically, socially and technologically dominated communities

While the data provided through mega-trends seems to be deriving from the OECD member countries, it’s important to note that these trends will be experienced in many countries around the world too.

It’s predicted that within the next ten years, the majority of the world’s population will consist of the middle class, a trend that is largely driven by China and India, which will make up to more than 85% of the entrants to the middle class. This Globalisation effect won’t only increase pressure to provide better education for more citizens; it will also place higher expectations on education systems from more demanding customers and consumers. 


Experts agree that Education is already behind the digitalisation curve. It must do a lot more to take advantage of the tools and strengths of new and smart technologies while simultaneously addressing concerns around potential misuses, such as cyberbullying and privacy violations. 


In the last 40 years or so, life expectancy at birth has risen across many developed countries from an average of 75 to 85 years and the share of people aged 60 or older is expected to grow significantly.

In the years to come, it’s predicted that older workers will face increasing labour market insecurity and pressure will mount for access to high-quality reskilling and up-skilling opportunities. Yet current lifelong learning offerings in many countries seem to amplify, not moderate, deficiencies in initial education.

Ageing is one of the many issues the education sector should prepare for and experts assert that this is not just a labour market concern. 


While challenging, it is important that we plan our education systems looking into the near and far future mega-trends. The future is not a distant external world where we can send our problems to be fixed by education.

The future is here and our success depends on how effectively we use our knowledge to anticipate and engage in meaningful sustainable actions.

This is the reason why the sector of education is one of the major ones that City Talks will continue working on.