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  • Writer's pictureAUROGAMES

Education for human flourishing

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Artificial intelligence (Ai) has in the last few months become accessible to all. It is a very handy and useful tool to answer questions, generate content, reflect situations, understand conflicts and more. People all over the world start to use Ai to do their studies. We question if, behind this Ai chat box, there is also a hidden agenda aiming to control what you see and what you should be made to believe. Lots of the information that comes in the Ai chat will be spot on, and relevant to your search, but if we will go into economic, political and money-making agendas for example, we must be aware that behind these chat results

may be a bunch of men in suits, making sure their agendas will be written for you.

The team had the opportunity to take part in the conference Generation Ai - Shaping education for flourishing, organized by UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIP). It was encouraging to see UNESCO look beyond the SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals set in 2015), not just aiming to smoothen out inequalities and conflicts of interest in the world, but to envision a flourishing humanity for the coming generations.

If we look at peace beyond the existence of war, and at sustainability beyond capitalism, we can envision humanity evolving past its present mindset towards a new way of living and being. If we begin to measure flourishing as a marker for progress, we need to adopt flourishing as one of the primary goals of education. For this, we recognize that education has to develop a mindset supported by qualities, competencies and sense of responsibility though which students can grow to their full potential, by meaningful inter-connectedness to self, to others, to technology and to the natural world. How do we revolutionize education for this purpose?

Over the past 150 years the purpose and aims of the educational system has not changed much, since compulsory education was enforced though standardized curriculum to serve capitalism. Carlos Alberto Torres, the main speaker on the second day of the conference, questioned the educational system today and who it is serving. By promoting critical consciousness and deliberative democracy he sees education helping people to identify and challenge the sources of oppression in society and argues that education is freedom, based on Paulo Freire pedagogy. The Sustainable Development Goal for education is to "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all" and to “build peaceful and sustainable societies” (SDG4, UN). How do we transform education to serve all of humanity’s flourishing, by enabling every individual true freedom by ending oppression and division though deepened awareness?

Education should challenge the ideas of what it means to be human. Until now we have focused human progress on skills to enable outer physical manifestations in the form of technological advances. Today we need to revolutionize education to focus on inner change, by developing our consciousness to bring new human qualities and competencies to the forefront of how we live in the world we are creating. The need for social and emotional intelligence as well as the ability of systems-thinking, will require education to reinvent itself - where learning becomes about self-knowledge, introspection, paying attention to detail, critical and reflective thinking, problem-solving skills and holistic worldviews.

For Ai to support humanity towards a state of flourishing, it is critical that education builds these foundational skills to be able to handle artificial intelligence with responsibility. This can happen by shifting the purpose of education from learning content knowledge towards instead developing and refining the faculties of the human mind in connection with the heart. Evolving our human intelligence through education can bring individuals closer to knowing themselves, and driving their actions with acceptance of otherness, awareness, and goodness, building their knowledge and understanding of the world with open-mindedness, seeing different perspectives, valuing diversity, and being able to synthesize.

Within the coming months/years we will see technological advances such as Ai begin to transform current social, cultural and economic structures, where traditional trained workforce and repetitive work tasks will gradually be taken over by tech. This will free up space for human creativity, innovation, and skills, transforming work into the manifestation of personal development. The “new” education system should support each individual to develop to their full potential. The worlds diversity of cultures, climate zones, natural environments, rural and urban settings will show what is meaningful for individuals to thrive in their own setting, and education needs to emerge from these ever-changing realities. No two individuals are alike, and global education for peace and sustainable development should embrace this diversity through its methods and content.

For oppression and division to end, and for all of humanity to live within the planetary boundaries of sustainability, ego, power and greed of the men in suits will need to be dissolved, and education should contribute to shaping a new mindset. We envision a revolution of the educational system for the 21st century, to evolve humanity to a state of flourishing.

UNESCO’s MGIP recognizes and acknowledges that Ai will be a part of education whether we want it or not. Teachers are the Magic-Makers, the ones to create new methods and tools for education to flourish. Teachers of the world need to urgently build a new form of education/curricula to embrace compassion and kindness to support our humanness alongside Ai. It is also important to acknowledge that in this critical stage education is not just for children, but for adults, as transitioning from this present reality into tomorrow needs to include the parents, the teachers, and society.

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