Changing economy = new focus on lifelong learning

Technology and increased global competition have changed the nature of work, making it less stable and secure than in previous generations. The announced merger of Amazon and Whole Foods provides the most recent example, and has raised concerns that many of Whole Foods’ 90,000 employees could be automated out of their jobs. With recent advances in the field of artificial intelligence, technology is capable of performing more and more tasks that were previously only performed by humans, changing the skills necessary to find and hold jobs and threatening to disrupt key areas of the workforce. While no one can predict the future, and technology will present both opportunities and challenges, building and maintaining a globally competitive workforce will require business, government, and workers to develop new partnerships and programs.

A changing economy requires a renewed focus on lifelong learning

Eat bugs

Veronica Shukla is teaching a class in entomophagy this fall at Sioux Falls.

“Entomophagy” means “bug eating.”

Shukla is founder of Project Food Forest, a nonprofit aimed at making Sioux Falls’ landscape more edible. She decided to take her bug-eating knowledge to the community.

According to Shukla, grasshoppers are crunchy and taste like chicken.

That first bite is a leap of faith, but it can open a world of possibilities for sustainable eating and managing garden pests, said Sioux Falls resident .

“You have to push past that gross factor … and then once you do it, you realize, oh, it wasn’t so bad,” Shukla said.

Lifelong learning increases employment

In order to retain and increase employability, 86% of the global respondents say that they need to keep learning, according to the latest Randstad Workmonitor.

The Workmonitor, which covers 33 countries around the world, showed that overall, on average, the percentages of those who consider lifelong learning essential reach between 80% and 95% with the highest figure in Mexico (97%) and the lowest in Sweden at 39%.

“These results are really staggering,” Ola Eriksson, Head of Marketing Randstad Sweden, said. “Unemployment in Sweden is not that low. So, my best guess would be that people might underestimate that the world is changing and consequently different skills are needed.”


Outschool, live online classes offered by outstanding educators, is a new way of learning that we may all one day be using.

The online startup has pivoted a bit from its original pitch as a go-to shop for homeschooled kids to take classes online. The company is now billing itself as an online marketplace where anyone (who’s been vetted by the company) from professional teachers to everyday professionals can sell modular, online, live-streamed classes to students from kindergarten through high school.

The Lifelong Learning of Lifelong Inmates

These men are not perfect. They are complicated. They have made mistakes. In other words, they are human. And it is precisely this humanity that demands a space where they can ask and question and create and grapple with all that makes the world what it is—a place where social and intellectual community might be restored in a way that reestablishes an individual’s agency. The agency a carceral institution inherently attempts to strip away.