Touchpoints, a tool for self-organized learning
There is a well-known concept in marketing communications called "Brand Touchpoints". You can read more about it here, but the basic idea is that a company has multiple ways (points) to interact (get in touch) with a stakeholder and therefore create or influence an opinion. Starting from the obvious logo color to the tone of voice used in all written materials; from the way customers are greeted at the reception to how a company educates its stakeholders (see Warren's annual letters); from the quality of toilet paper in a branch office to whether you offer or not phone support to enterprise clients. You got the point - every little experience with a brand and its products matters.
What a company (freelancer, political party, gov agency) chooses to map as its key touchpoints is highly contextual to the environment and the culture this entity operates in. The most important take away from the framework is - once you map your key "touches", you can design experiences around them, continuously measuring the impact and iterating for a better output.
Note #1: Creating nice little experiences like offering hipster brewed coffee at reception, while having a shitty product, will not save the business. Your product value proposition is a key touchpoint, the first one.
Now, let's get to the main reason I set down to write this piece - our education system. It is my belief, that instead of putting children inside classrooms and trying to "educate" them into fitting some jobs, which honestly, we have no clue how they will look 2 decades from now, we can show what the life "touchpoints" are about and then empower children to design learning experiences around those points. Basically teach children to learn for themselves and then get out of their way, as Sugarata Mitra puts it.
Let me explain the argument.
If we were to bring together a team of super scientists from various fields that study the human nature and our evolution through time, they would conclude that, while exceptions and cultural differences exist, most humans show common life paths / milestones. We all need a level of security (see Maslow), we want / need to reach self awareness (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally), we all belong to a "tribe" defined by location or shared beliefs, we all develop a certain craft that we make a living from, at some point we enter a life partnership and maybe give birth to another human being etc etc.
If one day, we manage to 1) map those key human life touchpoints (a compass of human life), 2) teach individuals how to learn for themselves and get what they need, 3) make sure the government data (economy, population, climate etc) is public and readable, I tend to believe that we will take ownership over our lives and solve the challenges we face, by ourselves.
This is already happening because of the Internet and thanks to self organized communities around topics like education, youth employment, environment, art etc. No Government intervention is needed. No need to be educated into becoming a conformity or mediocrity with high chances of unemployability.
Note #2: Government interventions are still needed in developing key infrastructure, legal frameworks (policies) and social security.
Note #3: The whole talk that schools and universities will disappear once self organized learning paths and spaces become a thing (they already are), it's a total bull sh*%. While I believe we should get rid of classes, I am a strong advocate of universities and school as a place for debate and peer reviews, along with public libraries, internet and public urban spaces. Teachers will not lose their jobs if they manage to turn into researchers and tutors, who exist to study the truth and guide students through their self organized learning paths. If that will be the case, there will be more jobs in the education sector because there will be a bigger demand for one on one or small group learning facilitation.