A Festival of Futuristic Ideas

Posted: June 30th, 2016

Dr. Jane McGonigal

Dr. Jane McGonigal

ACT Foundation and Institute for the Future (IFTF) continue to explore ideas about working and learning this week as futurist Dr. Jane McGonigal showcases the Learning Is Earning 2026 game to participants at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Learning is Earning 2026, developed through an ACT Foundation/IFTF partnership, asks players to imagine a future where people are paid to learn and collaborate in a discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of that system. McGonigal is director of game research and development at IFTF and creator of the Foresight Engine platform it utilizes. She will discuss the game and topics related to working and learning at the festival during a Friday, July 1 panel discussion on “University at a Crossroads: 2025 and the Next 50 Million.” She will also spotlight the power of creativity and the importance of game play in generating ideas during her Saturday, July 2 plenary session address and discuss the type of education and employment forecasting in which Learning Is Earning 2026 game players engage.

As Learning is Earning 2026 is based on the generation of ideas about the future, it is a perfect complement to the Aspen Ideas Festival. The decade-old event, produced by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, brings together the foremost thinkers and leaders in business, the arts, politics, sciences, humanities, policy, and philanthropy to share concepts and discuss issues. Some 350 presenters facilitate 200 sessions for 3,000 attendees annually.

The juxtaposition of ideas generated through Learning Is Earning 2026 game play at the festival with those from game play  at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference last week promises to be fascinating. Whereas the SkillsUSA participants were primarily high school students (who were often working learners) from the U.S., the Aspen Ideas Festival attracts international participants who often have advanced post-secondary educational credentials and are already ensconced their career. The extent to which the young people from SkillsUSA agreed with, disagreed with, or created ideas other than those proposed by the festival participants will provide a window into how the views of those who will shape the future of the workforce are similar—or markedly different—from those who are shaping it now.

Join in!! You can play Learning Is Earning 2026 NOW through July 7 at LearningIsEarning2026.org.