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Learn to Live! – a TEDxAshland Talk

Learn to Live – a TEDxAshland Talk

Trever Yarrish and I had the opportunity to present at the first TEDxAshland in May. Our “Learn to Live” talk focused on a new idea we have for applying agile principles that we both use everyday in our own software companies, to your own personal education. We spent months preparing for it. Brainstorming. Creating a full day of talks that in the end had to be whittled down to under 20 minutes. You can see the talk at https://bit.ly/2K9pUzJ. (case sensitive) 

The idea is simple and comes from two real places in our lives. Our grandparents had jobs that lasted a lifetime. Our parents were the first to work for companies only to get laid off as they aged. Our children are now asked to get a college degree and pick a career path. Yet the future doesn’t really support the idea of career because it’s moving very fast. We created a character named Jason for the audience to follow along with. We told the story of Jason’s child needing an intervention at school and how he learned what an IEP (Individual Education Plan) was. He thought it was a great idea and thought of ways to create a personal education plan for himself. He wanted to constantly future proof himself. He wanted to keep his education going beyond school. 

The story I share about Jason and the intervention really happened but it was with me and my family. 

What we know is that education by itself is fine, but we aren’t taught how to create personal education plans for life. 

We are raised to learn in the waterfall method. 

Trever and I both run software companies. Both of our companies use the Agile method which replaced the waterfall method of development over the last 20 years. We go on to show how adopting the agile methodology will help a person adapt to change.

Why is this important? 

According to Fortune Magazine, 40% of the workforce will not have a job in 15 years . We believe that adopting an agile methodology will help future proof yourself. 

We are living in a time of exponential change. Nothing is the same. We pay strangers to sleep on their couches with AirBnB, we pay strangers to drive us and/or our children home with Uber, we drive electric cars that are not made in Detroit and these cars are fully autonomous as soon as society is ready for it and there are 1.4 Billion people using Facebook every day and oh, by the way, Facebook upgrades twice a day, seamlessly to all 1.4 Billion users. 

If we know the future is all about change, what are we doing to teach ourselves to survive constant change? 

What’s next from this talk? 

We are hoping to get a dialog going. Let’s learn from educators and education policy makers on how we can start to implement this concept of an Agile Education. One where you ask yourself everyday, what did I learn yesterday, what will I learn today and what is blocking me from achieving my education goals. 

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