news and events

The Lab celebrates 5th anniversary with The Learner Revolution event

The Learner Revolution panel discussion | Ken Eisner (Amazon Web Services), Ángel Cabrera (George Mason University), and Kathleen deLaski (Education Design Lab)

Last week, we released our anniversary paper The Learner Revolution: How Colleges Can Thrive in a New Skills and Competencies Marketplace. We’ve been energized by the response our reflections and insights have garnered, not only from publications like Inside Higher Ed  and Education Dive, but also from fellow travelers in the field.

We celebrated the Lab’s 5th anniversary and The Learner Revolution’s release with an intimate dinner and fireside chat featuring George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera and Amazon Web Services Senior Manager of Worldwide Education Programs Ken Eisner, moderated by our very own Kathleen deLaski. An interactive conversation followed, sparked by a trio of discussants who shared their reactions with us: Wendi Copeland, Goodwill Industries International Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement; Frank Britt, CEO of Penn Foster; and Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College and Lab board member.

The panel discussion followed a core theme of the of the Learner Revolution paper—partnerships. How do employers and institutions alike need to align, collaborate, and innovate in order to “thrive in a new skills and competencies marketplace?” How do we work towards a postsecondary landscape that is equitable, relevant, and accessible?

Key takeaways from the discussion:

“We should not be embarrassed in higher ed to backward map our curriculum to align with jobs.” –Ángel Cabrera

“Education needs to be more modular and fluid, the four-year terminal degree that’s supposed to last your entire 60-year career isn’t cutting it anymore.” –Ken Eisner

“The couple million people who come to [Goodwill’s] door, or 36 million people who come online — they’re looking for a better opportunity. How do we lower the friction and increase the access to opportunity, and help people believe, or maybe doubt their disbelief, that they can’t make it? To me, that’s part of what [The Learner Revolution] is talking about.” –Wendi Copeland

Stay tuned for more of The Learner Revolution panel discussion. We’ll be sharing video coverage in the coming weeks.

This moment in higher ed and the future of work is so critical to our shared goal of creating greater economic opportunity for today’s learners and communities. We look forward to continuing to engage with you as we grow our efforts at the Lab.

The Learner Revolution is here and we are so excited to be on the journey with you.