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Cem Erdem

The biggest take from the book for me was that in order to stay competitive and continue our world leadership in a global borderless world (thanks to Internet and free markets - interestingly both our inventions), we need to keep advancing our knowledge workers, which requires us to invent a new lifelong learning system.

Although antiquated, we have an education system to raise and prepare an individual for the workforce. It is still the same education system that was invented centuries ago which takes a kid at age 6-7 and "teaches" until early twenties. Then the person is out of the education system, which falls short on addressing the ongoing "learning" needs of an individual who needs to get the skills and training not only to be able to move from job to job horizontally or vertically in this new "flat world" but in many other areas as well including personal growth classes to become world citizens.

We have to supplement our education system with a lifelong learning system, which concentrates on "learning" instead of "teaching", customizable to the needs of individuals (asynchronous, on-demand), making passive students active learners, making teachers facilitators/mentors, harnessing the technology to provide equal learning opportunities to everyone.

In order to train our adults and create an agile workforce, we must build a different system than the one that is originally designed to educate children centuries ago.

I am hopeful. Just recently in the past few months, I started to see lifelong learning being a subject at high level discussions in our government. It is just starting. And it will grow. Thanks to all the people who are contributing to the lifelong learning field despite the fact that their "business" is rarely understood by the academic side thus rarely given enough importance/support or the tools to become successful. And also thanks to the associations such as LERN, which keeps supporting these individuals who are building the foundation of, in my opinion, one of the most important innovations to help us carry the beacon of civilization into the future.

Terry Newman

I just started reading the updated version and can't put it down. I picked it up after hearing a keynote speech by Cem. The technologies that are already out there are overwhelming. I'm so far from being where the cutting edge people are but at least I have a better idea of what people and companies are doing.

A lot of people are afraid of China but there are so many opportunities for growth. There are billions of dollars to be made in creating infrastructure alone. But the US does need to stay out front in the knowledge and creativity arena so we can keep a step ahead of those who want to replace us.

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