Bulletin of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States № 3 (46), 2006. Report at the Tenth St. Petersburg International Economic Forum



Chairman of the Interstate Committee
CIS Interstate Committee on Knowledge Dissemination and
adult education

Dear Colleagues!

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 embrace of the global advances of the digital age, and the best incentive for this is education and access to modern knowledge.

At the same time, the classroom-lesson form of education has exhausted its resources and does not correspond to 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, up-to-date, not yesterday’s knowledge and skills, because they are updated by almost 20% annually. The current classroom-lesson form of education is an outdated, performance-limited, hopelessly lagging and ineffective tool for planning the society of the future.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 its unpromising hostages. Where to get officials, managers, members of the government, educated in accordance with the current needs of society, and how to trust them?

Globally and regionally, the digital divide will become a digital divide if the teacher with the most up-to-date knowledge does not gain 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, 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 become 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 factual 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 and imperfect international mechanisms reduce the effectiveness of these activities. The young generation of developed nations of the world, the future managers and members of governments have long crossed the borders of civilized nations 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 Gentlemenб

Innovative change is also needed in ourselves. In the face of the destructive role of increasing unemployment, poverty, poverty, and, consequently, poorly managed migration, the tools of development and governance must be changed, lest we get even more neglected problems and crises.

It is my affirmation: 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.

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