10 Years Out

Crowdsourcing the Needs of GenXYZ Learners in a Rapidly Changing Higher Education Environment

Archived Project from 2016


Only a fraction of students are on a “traditional” learning path. Think out 10 Years.

Will there be SATs? Classrooms? Robot tutors? Free quality degrees? New professions to prepare for? An Uber-style app that finds the best pathway? Employers bypassing universities and teaching what they want students and employees to learn? And, most importantly, who gets left behind? How do we harness the future to solve the problem we have now…that only 9% of low-income students get to degrees within 6 years?

This began as an effort to crowdsource the vision of the ecosystem for higher education in the year 2026, with a particular focus on the needs of students as technology drives more plentiful choices and pathways to more types of credentials. This project grew out of a White House session we facilitated with entrepreneurs and higher ed leaders and was followed up with a design session at the GSV Summit in April 2016, hosted by the Department of Education and the Lab. Some participants asked to take the design exercises back to their teams, which launched the crowdsourcing project.

Various college teams and during conference venues, facilitators used the exercise to tease out how we might support higher need learners as the learning ecosystem moves to a DIY delivery model. The information and data captured in this exercise was shared with policymakers, funders, entrepreneurs, and learning institutions as we collectively address the supports needed to make future pathways to success more affordable, relevant, and accessible.

Our Partner

Join our Innovator Network + never miss an update on our work.