This is a sponsored partner post on PCDN
By Gaurav Dewani
Exponentially evolving jobs and skill sets have created a disconnect between education and learning. As computer intelligence takes over – in truly inconceivable ways – our predictions of future hard skill sets are unreliable at best, and at worst, unfathomable. The future, it seems, is a race between the growing power of technology and the wisdom with which educational institutes adapt to it. And to make strides in adapting to volatile, mind-altering shifts, we need to move from intended learning to emergent learning. Amani Institute’s flagship program – Social Innovation Management (SIM) – does exactly that.
In the diagram above, the lower two quadrants illustrate the forms of learning that are prevalent across organizations today – intended learning. This kind of learning is based on information, knowledge from the past, and a rigid list of skill sets. During times of sustained growth and maintaining the status quo, intended learning is key for organizations to continually perform well.
However, what is to be done when incumbent structures fail? And when a paradigm shift is around the corner? Information based learning falters during times of crises.
The value proposition of the Social Innovation Management program is built upon two pillars: the fact that any organization – in order to engage and transform complex challenges – must learn and that we live in a generation in which socioeconomic change is perpetually brewing. In such an environment, constantly redesigning learning modules to adapt to new trends is effective in the short run but redundant in the long run. Instead, the Post-Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management shifts the focus from information-based learning to imaginative learning. This kind of learning stems from a place of reflection and sensemaking. The courses taught in SIM, such as Inner Journey of the Changemaker and Leadership Development, foster an environment that encourages imagination over information, and problem solving over compliance.
The bridge from intended learning to emergent learning is bolstered by the idea that all human learning entails experiencing. Given that various social, personal, and cultural dynamics gate experience, thereby undermining learning, SIM steps in with appropriately designed learning activities that liberate and restore experience. This in itself provides fresh ingredients for learning, which then spiral balls into creative action.
Confrey Alianji, SIM Fellow from Kenya, exemplifies this kind of perspective change that is brought about through the several aspects of the program. After completing SIM in 2016, Confrey joined World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as an Innovations Strategist and initiated PandaLabs, an “innovation for impact” accelerator ecosystem that supports environmentally friendly businesses. PandaLabs also collaborates with the MBA programme at Cambridge University to design solutions to incentivize communities to provide alternate sources of income through a Wildlife Credits model. Through the diverse community and skill sets that inherited from SIM, Confrey is now not only creating impact at his workplace, but exponentially scaling impact by establishing partnerships with stakeholders who share the same vision – which includes the ability to find and create common ground.
As Amani Institute scouts for its next batch of global changemakers, we hone in on the several silver linings of the digital edition. For starters, the online SIM program targets a wider geographical market, given that hopping on Zoom calls doesn’t require one to pass through often unjust and discriminatory immigration checks. Also, the SIM has expanded its demographic audience – now that the program is completely online, several mid-career professionals can afford to accommodate classes while continuing their jobs. And for people that fall under that bracket, they actually get to implement their transformative learning at their workplaces.
If you happen to find yourself intrigued by a model of learning that embraces boundless imagination and fluid innovation over archaic information and rigid theories, then do not let this opportunity slip by!
Learn more about the program and application process here:
Scholarship Deadline: June 14th, 2021
Final Deadline: July 5th, 2021