It will be through the dissemination, internalization, and application of non-cognitive or intrinsic principles that human society will transcend what future civilizations will perceive as an archaic age. What human destiny lies beyond the genius of the current technological era? It is technology without morality, the perpetuation of individuality, and a lack of understanding between the micro and macro interconnectedness of all things that binds the human race to the functionality of a lower organism. However, without death there can be no life, without pain there can be little appreciation for pleasure, and without degeneration to a lower state, there can be no generation toward a higher human condition.
How did we arrive at such a state of flux? How did we lose all equilibrium with nature and the universe? Our journey to discover the answer will take us to the end of the dark ages, to the dawn of enlightenment. In the early 1600s, a man many refer to as the "Father of Modern Education," John Amos Comenius, a Czech and brilliant educator, was busy creating the inception of modern education. Comenius was a man who turned down the Presidential post at Harvard University prior to the founding of America. Ahead of his time, Comenius was the first to teach utilizing multiple learning styles by putting pictures with words in book form, in an effort to maximize the learning of information among his pupils. He also created the first encyclopedia, stringing together all known information, in hopes that if all people gained access to universal knowledge and education, and would therefore see the patterns between all things, that it would lead to world peace. His methodologies were no less optimistic. He penned the book called, "The Great Didactic", or the Great Moral Teaching, utilizing the teaching of character and morality, or in more modern terms non-cognitive principles, as the cornerstone of his methodological paradigm. His system of educating students would become the model for the K-12 American system of education, with one exception. The non-cognitive principles which characterized his teaching methods, were traded for the cognitive (reading, science, math), in order to fuel the Industrial Revolution and subsequently what has now become the Digital Revolution. But over time it has become more plain to see, that the technological advancement of a society must be balanced with non-cognitive principles, such as the moral turpitude required for the just and wise utilization of technology for the sustainable and socially responsible benefit of all.
It is a common belief that in a free market economy the desires of the individual will propel the advancement of society as a whole; such desires as profit and notoriety. Keeping such individuality in mind, what if the heart became selfish and decided to hoard the flow of blood, greedily preventing the revitalization of the limbs? What if the clouds suddenly stockpiled all the rain, forcing the rivers and oceans to become parched? It is the collaboration of interconnecting systems which maximize the flow of energy, ultimately creating a highly efficient operating organism. It is the death of one's self and the ego, that loosens the hidden power and potential of self-sacrifice for the greater good. It is through the disciplined collaboration and unity of all aspects of any system that allow its individually operating parts to function as a whole, thus turning a set of fingers into a powerful fist, drops of rain into a raging river, and a scattered group of bison into an unstoppable stampede. It will only be through the teaching of collaborative skills sets, such as the non-cognitive principles of self and collective responsibility as well as humility, that the human race will expedite its generation into a higher level organism.
Human capital pools of the future must be made aware of the universal laws that hold together all the universe. In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, "Realize that all things are connected." No longer can such information fail to reach the masses, haltering global growth. International educational systems must teach future generations the similarities that exist between the higher and lower orders of reality, so that they may understand the interconnectedness of all things. For example, the same laws of gravity, discipline, and organization that govern eight electrons revolving around a nucleus of eight protons and neutrons, forming an atom of oxygen at the micro level, govern the eight planets revolving around our closest star in a perfectly predictable fashion at the macro level. Neither of which are possible without the non-cognitive principle of discipline exhibited by each particle or planet, which is necessary to hold either formation together. Another non-cognitive principle which is equally important is persistence. If over a period of millions of years, the Colorado River can wear away rock and earth to create the Grand Canyon, then what can the stubborn and unrelenting persistence of a passionate entrepreneur accomplish in the face of a million no's? Or what about the non-cognitive principle of foresight? It is equally important for current and future generations to learn the similarities between envisioning and laying out tomorrows outfit, and creating a fifty year strategic plan, complete with Living Buildings, world-class educational systems, and a populace scoring remarkably low on the Corruption Index. The difference is merely a matter of effort, time, and scale. It is the teaching of the various connections between the micro and the macro, the individual and the collective, the present and the future that will propel the human race toward achieving a higher level of civilization.
Unless governments and educational systems around the world adapt by teaching human capital pools vital non-cognitive principles in congruence with an emphasis on technology, the human race will continue down its unsustainable track toward stagnation. It is the furtherance of non-cognitive principles in global educational institutions and workforce development programs that will further creation and innovation, rather than the memorization and rote regurgitation so ubiquitous today. All hands and minds must be on deck if the fate of the Titanic is to be avoided. Will future societies marvel at what we have created or destroyed? Will we grow to achieve the higher forms of civilization, or will we embrace our more uncivilized and primitive nature? Such questions no man alone can answer.
Ean Garrett, J.D., is the author of two books, "Rebirth of a Dream" and "The Immovable Race", as well as the Chief Innovation Officer of the consulting firm, Infinite 8 Institute, L3C, specializing in education and social innovation. Follow him on Twitter & IG: @eangarrett