Speech of Professor E. Malitikov, Chairman of the CIS Interstate Committee on Knowledge and Adult Education, President of the International Association “Znanie” at the Regional Forum “Building Trust in Government through Leadership Capacity Building”, organized by the Division of Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (IPACIS), St. Petersburg, 28-30 September 2006
The great scientist V.I. Vernadsky believed that humanity is a completely unique kind of earthly resources with a very specific nature of energy replenishment through knowledge. The formation of management and leadership opportunities at the regional or global level largely depends on the flexibility and level of modern education and knowledge dissemination technologies in any country of the world. I am a proponent of a positive perception, a welcoming approach and an active collaboration with global processes mediated by the achievements of the digital age. The best incentive in this case is education and access to global modern knowledge.
At the same time, the classroom-lesson form of learning has exhausted its resources and does not match the speed of knowledge renewal on Earth, just as the old Platonic system of individual learning during garden walks was once exhausted. The identified priority areas of application of efforts to manage society without revolutionary innovation are insufficient. At the heart of any development are contradictions, eliminated by new formulas, technologies and rules. In order to form the possibilities of management, a worldwide, continuous, universally accessible education of people throughout their conscious life is necessary, i.e. from childhood to old age.
Effective governance that gives credibility to government requires diversified latest, not yesterday’s, knowledge and skills, for they are updated by almost 20% annually. The current performance-limited classroom-lesson form of education is an outdated, hopelessly backward and ineffective tool for the globalizing world in planning the development of the society of the future.
There are currently 15 million teachers in the world – 25% of the global teacher shortage – and 45 million teachers are desperately undertrained. Teachers and their personal knowledge are a product of the analogous past of the classroom-lesson form of education, and they themselves are hopeless hostages of it. Where can we find officials, managers, and members of government who are educated to meet the current needs of society, and how can we trust them?
Globally and regionally, the digital divide is becoming a digital divide if the teacher with the most up-to-date knowledge is not given a global audience and global productivity according to society’s needs for free access to knowledge. It is necessary to use the modern technologies of knowledge dissemination that are already available to mankind. Their productivity is many orders of magnitude greater than the class-lesson transfer of knowledge from person to person. In time, the direct contact between teacher and student, called learning, will become an unaffordable luxury. With universal access to knowledge, learning is the new formula that will replace learning.
Modern society, both globally and regionally, needs a modern space distributor, a teleporter, a real world university that will facilitate the work of officials, managers and governments. Governments in the future, at all levels, will be electronic, and their clear, effective work you and I will trust. In the meantime, a billion illiterate people who cannot read or write live on Earth in poverty, far from cities and university centers. The indicators of their standard of living are very telling. More than three billion people live on less than two dollars a day, of whom two billion live on less than one dollar.
Technical, legal and already actual work to create the World University has already begun by the Research Institute of Space Systems of the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center, the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics and the CIS Interstate Committee on Dissemination of Knowledge and Adult Education, together with the international association “Znanie”. However, diverse perceptions, sometimes inflexible national policies, imperfect international mechanisms reduce the effectiveness of this activity by intervening interests of local importance. The young generation of developed nations of the world, the future managers and members of governments, have long crossed the borders of civilized states through virtual space. The UN, in particular its Economic and Social Council, UNESCO and other international institutions must be open to innovation and innovators, bypassing the long bureaucratic mileage. This will catch up with the accelerating flow of knowledge, harmonize the needs of sustainable development with leadership capacity-building, and ensure the credibility of governments.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
Innovative change is needed in ourselves. In the face of the destructive role of rising unemployment, poverty, poverty and, by extension, poorly managed migration, the tools of development and governance must be changed to avoid more neglected problems and crises.
I argue: what is needed is mass education of people, especially adults who make decisions, and only initially based on learning and then providing learning opportunities according to interests and abilities. This is the tool that will enable future managers and governments to cope with poverty, to create new jobs, to minimize chaotic migration, to overcome corruption if possible, and thereby to reassure society and ensure trust in government. And these processes will proceed predictably, reliably and fundamentally, layering positive results like a geological process.
Thank you for your attention.