Megatrends | September 25, 2022 — by Michael Moe, Tim Juang, Owen Ritz, & Kit Royce

“The trend is your friend.” – Martin Zweig

“Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.” – Bill Clinton

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel

“I don’t set the trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.” – Dick Clark

Megatrends are powerful technological, economic, and social forces that develop from a groundswell (early adoption), move into the mainstream (mass market), and disrupt the status quo (mature market), driving change, productivity, and ultimately growth opportunities for companies, industries, and entire economies.


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The metaverse is not a vertical trend; it’s a horizontal trend that will impact sectors ranging from healthcare, education, socialization, entertainment, commerce, and more.

 

What 4 Atypical Shocks Are Coming in Education? — from techlearning.com by Susan Gentz
Preparing for a potential wild ride in education over the next few years

Excerpt:

What are the 4 Atypical Shocks on the Horizon?
None of these atypical shocks should come to a surprise to anyone who understands how the market works. The team at Edunomics Lab did an excellent job succinctly predicting what these shocks will be (the extent of each shock will be unknown for some time):

* Federal funding will end: Fiscal Cliff (September 2024)
* Enrollment is declining
* Inflation and labor
* Economic slowdown (recession)

Also relevant/see:

Attendance rates drop 4% in Michigan schools compared to pre-pandemic numbers — from mlive.com

Excerpt:

As Michigan schools continue to rectify the effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on students, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) recently announced that attendance rates have also taken a hit when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

School attendance for Michigan’s approximately 1.4 million K-12 students dropped to under 89% in the 2021-22 school year, down from 93% in the 2019-20 school year when the pandemic began.

‘Wake-up Calls’: New Parent Survey Shows 9% Enrollment Drop in District Schools — from the74million.org by Linda Jacobson
Experts urge treating the results with caution, but several of the nation’s largest districts are already reporting huge losses

Excerpt:

“These are wakeup calls,” said Jenn Bell-Ellwanger, CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. “Is there something bigger happening here that we need to understand?”

The results, she said, should prompt district leaders to “interrogate” their own enrollment data, especially at key transition points like kindergarten and middle school. If families aren’t coming back, she said, officials should ask why.

 

From DSC:
I need to learn a lot more about the benefits and the threats/downsides of blockchain-based technologies. Here are two different takes on whether blockchain should be implemented or not — though the second one may be a prime example of the first article (a scam, hyping a tech up for investment purposes, other):

1) ‘Blockchain is bunk’: Crypto critics find their voice — from protocol.com by Benjamin Pimentel
John Stark, founding chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, is joining other experts in a major gathering of crypto skeptics.

Excerpts:

More than 20 years later, Stark is speaking out against what he considers a new wave of fraud. But this time he’s also taking aim at the technology that he says the scammers are using: cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

There are so many aspects to it, whether you’re talking about bitcoin and the greater fool theory, or the externalities of ransomware and drug dealing and human sex trafficking, or the financial systemic risk created by cryptocurrency or the real bluster, hype and nonsensical belief in blockchain. There’s so many reasons to be skeptical of cryptocurrency.

Seven or eight years ago, I was willing to entertain the thought that this might be something someday. But I’m just done with that. Because there came a point in my research, my writing and my experience, where I just felt like it’s really shameless.

From my perspective, I think the magnificence of this conference is that it’s the first in history to really present these experts who are going to come together for the first time in a way that presents every angle. Because it’s a multifaceted situation. There are hundreds of cryptocurrency conferences, and they are all these lovefests where everyone just sits around and talks about how great it is, because they’re all getting rich from it.

I don’t mean to sound cynical, but that’s the truth. That’s the reality. So it’s a bit of an antidote for that illness, which plagues the space right now.

 

2) The Biggest Change to our Financial System in 50 Years is Happening in November… — from medium.com by Richard Knight
International Payments are moving to the blockchain (ISO 20022)

Excerpt:

Many cryptocurrency investors are looking to reap massive returns as the 50-year-old international payments system moves onto the blockchain beginning in November 2022.

This is part of what is known as ISO 20022, a single standardization approach to be used by all financial standards initiatives. The new standardization is set to officially begin in November 2022 and be fully implemented by November 2025.

There are many cryptocurrencies that will be integrated into this new financial system, referred to as ISO 20022 compliment cryptocurrencies and there is much speculation these cryptocurrencies will soar in price once the standard is implemented.

 


Also relevant/see:


 

Hypercompetition Is Harming Higher Ed — from chronicle.com by Julie A. Reuben
Colleges should ease off the branding and remember their shared values.

Excerpt:

Competition has long been viewed as a key to the greatness of the American college. But developments over the last half century have knocked the balance between competition and cooperation out of whack. These changes include rising tuition; the use of merit aid and other discounts to drive enrollment; the increased importance of rankings; soaring student debt; a surge in revenue-seeking activities, such as patenting and corporate partnerships; increases in revenue-containment strategies, such as the use of contingent faculty; and uneven or declining support at the state and federal levels. Researchers have used terms such “privatization,” “market-oriented,” or “neoliberal” to characterize this larger transformation. The pursuit of institutional advantage at the expense of the health of the larger sector is both a consequence and a driver of these changes.

The excessive competition may be bringing the whole system down. As that happens, even the institutions with the strongest brands will suffer.

Leaders are more interested in defining the distinctive qualities of their institutions than in debating what higher education writ large should be.

From DSC:
I like what Julie’s saying, and I agree with much of it. That said, I’m very skeptical that we can achieve this. From the earliest ages, we introduce a great deal of competition to our youth. How fast can you run the 50 or 100 yard dash? What violin chair are you in the school orchestra? What’s your GPA? Where are you on the Bell Curve?

Capitalism — our basic economic system here in the U.S. — further compounds these dynamics.

We focus more on ourselves as individuals than we focus on our communities.

So while I hope we can achieve what Julie’s saying, I’m not optimistic here.


Somewhat related items:


Along the lines of competition, the following item was added on 7/16/22:


 

Teaching Financial Literacy — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
More states are adopting financial literacy requirements for students. Here are tips for teaching the topic.

Excerpt:

Teaching students about this financial misinformation is vital, Pelletier says. As is giving students the tools to understand cryptocurrency, NFTs, intense inflation, and student debt, along with more traditional lessons in financial literacy.

Financial Literacy: Teaching and Engagement Resources
There are free online resources with ready-to-go financial lesson plans, videos, and classroom exercises.

While not much time is spent in K-12 educating students about money, once they graduate, it will be an important topic for them. “Not a day will go by that they’re not thinking about money. How to make it, how to spend it, how to save it,” Pelletier says. “And yet it’s like the least thing you’re taught in school.” 

From DSC:
I appreciated Erik’s article/topic here and I would add that I wish that we would teach high schoolers about legal-related items such as wills, trusts, power of attorney for health care and for finances, finding legal assistance, etc.

But even as I write this, I recall that my neighbor is leaving our local school district to move to another school district for her kids’ sake (her and her husband’s words, not mine). I get it. Teachers have sooooo much on their plate already. So I don’t mean to throw another item on their jammed-full job plates.

But I hope that we will look at how to redesign our lifelong learning ecosystems to make them even more relevant, helpful, practical, useful, and up-to-date/responsive. We would probably find that the youth would be more attentive if they sensed that the information they are being taught will definitely come in handy in their futures. Better yet, bring former students in via digital video to relay practical examples of things that they — or their parents, grandparents, friends, etc. — are experiencing to the current students.


Also relevant/see:

High School Students Say They Learn The Most Important Skills Outside of School — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The trend that could have a huge impact on education, at the K-12 and college level, Evans argues. For one thing, it’s a challenge to teachers—that they should do more to tap into the intrinsic motivation of students, that students can learn so much more if they’re excited about what they’re doing.

From DSC:
This item from EdSurge mentioned “free agent learning” — so I put a Google Alert out there for this phrase this morning, as I want to learn more about that topic/item.


 

The Future of Education | By Futurist Gerd Leonhard | A Video for EduCanada — from futuristgerd.com

Per Gerd:

Recently, I was invited by the Embassy of Canada in Switzerland to create this special presentation and promotional video discussing the Future of Education and to explore how Canada might be leading the way. Here are some of the key points I spoke about in the video. Watch the whole thing here: the Future of Education.

 

…because by 2030, I believe, the traditional way of learning — just in case — you know storing, downloading information will be replaced by learning just in time, on-demand, learning to learn, unlearning, relearning, and the importance of being the right person. Character skills, personality skills, traits, they may very well rival the value of having the right degree.

If you learn like a robot…you’ll never have a job to begin with.

Gerd Leonhard


Also relevant/see:

The Next 10 Years: Rethinking Work and Revolutionising Education (Gerd Leonhard’s keynote in Riga) — from futuristgerd.com


 

 

Gensler warns as crypto crashes: ‘The public is not protected’ — from protocol.com by Benjamin Pimentel
The SEC chair had sounded alarms about crypto’s risks, and now those risks are in plain sight.

Excerpt:

SEC Chair Gary Gensler warned Congress Wednesday that consumers and investors are vulnerable in an increasingly volatile crypto market now reeling from a sharp downturn.

Citing the recent collapse in the crypto market’s value, Gensler said, “This is a field that is now worth $1.2 trillion. Two weeks ago it was supposedly worth $2 trillion.”

“The public is not protected,” he testified at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the proposed budget for the SEC and the FTC. “They don’t have the disclosures from these entrepreneurs.”

From DSC:
A topic for personal finance courses? Economics courses?

 

Hot Economy, Rising Inflation: The Fed Has Never Successfully Fixed a Problem Like This — from wsj.com on 4/18/22 by Jon Hilsenrath and Nick Timiraos; behind a paywall
Central bank says it is possible, but many factors are out of its control; ‘they are strikingly behind’

Excerpt:

The Federal Reserve is setting out to do something it has never accomplished before: reduce inflation a lot without significantly raising unemployment.

Nasdaq slides 2%, Dow falls more than 350 points in sharp reversal as rising rates weigh on stocks — from cnbc.com on 4/20/22 by Fred Imbert Tanaya Macheel Hannah Miao

Excerpt:

The 10-year started the year near 1.5% and has shot up as the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy to get a hold of soaring prices in the U.S.

“Although we expect inflation to peak very soon, if it hasn’t already done so, continued supply chain disruptions and a slow increase in labor force participation due to retirements and continued concerns over Covid, could easily keep the inflation rate more than double the Fed’s 2% target,” wrote Joseph Kalish, chief global macro strategist at Ned Davis Research.

 

K-12 schools around the world tackling social injustice — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Social justice is a broad term that includes the economic, social, political, and civic as well as the human rights aspects of society. The denial of these basic elements is what we call social injustice. Social injustice is the product of years of oppression and discrimination and often breeds resentment and anger towards certain groups in society. It is evident that social justice is a problem that is yet to be sufficiently addressed through the ever-increasing protests, boycotts, and even violence inflicted on certain groups.

Restorative Justice Solutions for Youth Are Growing Abroad, Can They Become Part of the Mix in the U.S. — from the74million.org by Elizabeth Thompson

Excerpt:

The underlying philosophy for Piedmont Mediation’s process is restorative justice, said Terri Masiello, Piedmont Mediation’s executive director and the coordinator of the Restoring Youth Coalition of North Carolina.

Restorative justice is the practice of bringing together affected parties of a crime to discuss what happened and what needs to happen to make things right.

Piedmont Mediation is a diversion program that serves as an alternative to juvenile court for some cases in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, serving Alexander, Iredell, Davie, Davidson and Randolph counties.

 

 

2022 10 Breakthrough Technologies -- from the MIT Technology Review

2022 10 Breakthrough Technologies — from MIT Technology Review; with thanks to Mr. Paul Czarapata for posting this out on Twitter

About the list:

Our annual list of 10 Breakthrough Technologies highlights the technological advances that we think will have the biggest impact on the world in the years to come. Every year, our reporters and editors survey a wide range of topics, from medicine to energy to digital technologies, to select advances that will affect our lives in meaningful ways. Some have already started to change the way we live and work, while others are poised to do so soon. This is the 21st year we’ve published this list. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the future.

Also relevant/see:

 

This Hilarious AR App Teaches Kids Financial Responsibility — from vrscout.com by Bobby Carlton

Excerpts:

Adventures with Zeee Bucks is a mobile AR experience that is designed to help youngsters sharpen their financial skills by earning and saving Zeee bucks, and even help them save real money.

You can download the app today for free on the iOS and Android stores.

 

From DSC:
Hmmm…another interesting item:

Ranking 4,500 Colleges by ROI (2022) — from cew.georgetown.edu

Excerpt:

Using new data from the College Scorecard, we ranked 4,500 colleges and universities by return on investment. The rankings follow the methodology of our 2019 report, A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges.

The rankings include a new metric that measures the share of students at an institution whose earnings 10 years after enrollment are higher than those of workers with a high school diploma as their highest level of education. An average of 60 percent of college students across institutions earn more than a high school graduate after 10 years. However, at 1,233 postsecondary institutions (30 percent), more than half of their students 10 years after enrollment are earning less than a high school graduate. Our previous research indicates that these low earnings may relate to low graduation rates and disparities in earnings by gender and race and ethnicity.

 

 

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 and 6 Invest in Many Ventures; as written by King Solomon

11 Ship your grain across the sea;
    after many days you may receive a return.
Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
    you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

Sow your seed in the morning,
    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well.


From DSC:
Perhaps Solomon should get more credit as one of the first wise investment advisors. If he lived today, he would likely support diversification and support the concepts behind using index funds! 


 

The DOJ’s $3.6B Bitcoin Seizure Shows How Hard It Is to Launder Crypto — from wired.com by Andy Greenberg
A couple allegedly used a “laundry list” of technical measures to cover their tracks. They didn’t work.

Excerpt:

“What was amazing about this case is the laundry list of obfuscation techniques [Lichtenstein and Morgan allegedly] used,” says Ari Redbord, the head of legal and government affairs for TRM Labs, a cryptocurrency tracing and forensics firm. Redbord points to the couple’s alleged use of “chain-hopping”— transferring funds from one cryptocurrency to another to make them more difficult to follow—including exchanging bitcoins for “privacy coins” like monero and dash, both designed to foil blockchain analysis. Court documents say the couple also allegedly moved their money through the Alphabay dark web market—the biggest of its kind at the time—in an attempt to stymie detectives.

From DSC:
Easy to follow/understand, isn’t it!?! Not.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian