Around the world, the COVID-19 crisis has overturned countless institutional arrangements and cultural norms surrounding how we work, learn, innovate, solve problems, and connect with each other. In colleges and universities, our models, practices, and ways of creating and disseminating knowledge have been blocked, travel bans, and digital technology disrupted-not only creating unimaginable challenges, but also creating opportunities for reimagining.
One of the effects of the crisis is that we are becoming more aware of Intergenerational justiceFor example, when we are fighting COVID-19, we often hear discussions about the obligation of the younger generation to take protective measures, such as wearing masks for the older generation who are more susceptible to disease. Similarly, in order to reduce the impact of climate change, our students require the older generation to care about the earth for the benefit of the younger generation.
How the intergenerational perspective accelerates the imagination of new university visions that may better generate the most meaningful ideas and reflections, the most influential innovations, and the most just and fulfilling life experiences—and those that are not facing the past but Oriented? future?
People usually think of universities as a place where thinkers and learners gather together within a specific institutional structure to create and disseminate knowledge. But universities are not unique in this role. Instead, they face competition from the private sector, government, and civil society—all of which claim to produce knowledge faster and cheaper, and produce more original and impactful results.
However, what makes this university unique is its unique positioning for the long-term. Universities will not be subject to short-term elections and sales cycles of government or corporate institutions. For this reason, they are in a special position to propose sustainable solutions to the thorny global challenges that future generations will inherit. The biggest distinguishing factor for this university is its ability to transcend the long-term expectations and concerns of the business or political cycle. The university is a place for important dialogue with the next generation.They are also important venues for generational struggles, as we have seen in many campuses, in a continuous context Immigration debate, Climate change activism, Call for racial justice, Me Too movement and so on.
Universities are already organizing in new ways to promote intergenerational dialogue and work together to address the major global challenges facing the next generation.Leaders of more than 50 universities on six continents are now newly established members U7+ World University Alliance, A network of higher education institutions, partly dedicated to keeping young people at the forefront of efforts to tackle the global challenges they are prepared to inherit.Through a series Intergenerational Roundtable, The alliance plays a key role in imparting inclusive leadership skills to students and faculty. At Northwestern University, we are rethinking our curriculum to prepare students from the perspective of how to prepare students to contribute to global sustainable development. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Ultimately, the view of universities as a space for intergenerational equity encourages us to think about research and teaching in universities in different ways: what does it mean to treat knowledge as a dialogue with us rather than an output? Future self and future generations? Northwestern University recently asked scholars from across disciplines and all over the world to produce “postcards from the present”-a time capsule to record the future self, to capture this moment of global crisis and transformation, as a record of the future, and also an exercise of reflection In the long run, what is important. As evidenced by a recent event organized by Georgetown University, Northwestern University, and University of Cape Town, we also bring together students, faculty and staff from around the world. Lively discussion and debate The main challenges facing future generations range from climate change and sustainable innovation to gender inequality and women’s rights.
Therefore, when we imagine the future of the university, we may wish to insist that the organizational work of the university is not only the creation and accumulation of knowledge, but the acceptance, practice and transmission of something greater than knowledge: intergenerational wisdom.
Wisdom orientation puts knowledge in its place: knowledge itself is no longer an end, nor is it an output sold to ensure the sustainability of the organization. Rather, it is a means of cultivating judgment, which requires the participation of the real world.It needs to give students the opportunity to apply knowledge in real time to solve global crises and develop key cross-cultural and ethical participation skills through collaboration with local community leaders, just like ours Global Participation Institute nourish. In universities that are oriented towards instilling wisdom and judgment rather than strictly imparting knowledge, the classroom becomes a place for co-creation and inspiration—a place where generations meet and learn from each other.
Focusing on cultivating smart students, not just professional students, will require different types of learning experiences—for example, experiences that support students to adapt to differences, or experiences that support teachers to show how they struggle with the limitations of knowledge. It will need to create space for curiosity and repair, not just the display of knowledge-in the forum, teachers and students may be harmed and admit what they don’t know.We are working hard to pass Creative incubation process with Meridian 180 Community, To promote dialogue and the sharing of different perspectives among global thinkers of different disciplines and professions. We also work hard to give students the opportunity to participate in social change projects with teachers and others from all over the world, and there is room for growth in this field.
If we want to create a sustainable future, intergenerational wisdom must be the goal of future universities.