After seven hours locked in a room with The Future Laboratory yesterday, it has become clear that the world of tomorrow will not only be cataclysmically different to today’s, but that it will call for a complete overhaul in the way we learn, think, and react. Two places that seem to offer this new approach are The School of Life and The Singularity University. The former is a low-key, London-based society which “tickles, exercises, and expands your mind” through a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well. In a city such as London, where moral values are blurred, lost, and confused, The School of Life seems to offer agnostic salvation.
In a different vein, The Singularity University, based at Nasa’s Silicon Valley campus and backed by Google, opens this summer with a range of courses on artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and biotechnology. The future-focused 9 week course ambitiously aims “to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges”. Suddenly that degree in American Studies is looking a little irrelevant.