Learning is Earning: the forecast map
As fast as the world of work is changing—with the growth of online jobs, on-demand platforms, and even automation of white-collar jobs—so, too, are our educational institutions speeding toward a perhaps unrecognizable future. IFTF partnered with ACT Foundation to map this changing landscape where working, learning, and living all merge to create a new national learning economy.
The map, called Learning Is Earning, takes us on a tour of the future forces shaping this new economy: learning commons, maker mindset, digital natives, coordination platforms, collaborative tools, human-machine symbiosis, and our decoding of the human brain. It then introduces us to the essential features of a world where learning and earning merge to create new kinds of lives. Four fictional working learners from the world of 2026 describe these lives as they tell us their stories of playing the game of life, of migrating platforms, and coming home to roost.
The impetus for the Learning Is Earning map is the realization that more and more of today’s students are, in fact, working learners, many of whom are weaving diverse experiences in learning and working throughout their entire careers. The map explores the very different resources they will be tapping a decade from now, from continuous learning flows and digital-physical blends to dynamic reputations and algorithmic matching. This future is already unfolding today in innovations across the country and indeed across the globe. The Learning Is Earning map shows us the signals of change that are creating these new pathways for success, life satisfaction, and ultimately a thriving future economy.