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I’ve arrived in Palo Alto, California for a 3-day Practitioners Course in Strategic Foresight at the Institute for The Future. I’m here because I think we need some new ways of thinking about the future of education, not only in Canada, but around the world. I’m here because I’ve read some of the work of IFTF Fellow Bob Johansen and was attracted by his insistence that we live in a VUCA world–volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. And I’m here because I’ve always been a fan of moving as close to the edge as possible.

Geographically, Palo Alto is not far from the Pacific Ocean allowing me a sense of exactly where I am in the world. Coastal regions always afford that vantage point. As a place of innovation, this part of the state is home to both the technology establishment as well as a vibrant start-up culture.

Finally, Palo Alto is home to Stanford University. Need I say more? The D-School, Carol Dweck, Jo Boler, Linda Darling-Hammond, Eric Bettinger–all Stanford and all on the edge of current thinking in education.

I believe that we’ll always find evidence of the changes we want to see by moving to the edge. Palo Alto is certainly not the wild west, but there is definitely an edginess here that is worth looking at!

Here are a few opening remarks that I made while out walking this afternoon.