Knowledge acquisition and sharing is changing radically

August 13, 2007 at 3:00 am 1 comment

Lion Namibia KimUNESCO has released a statement into the nature of knowledge acquisition and sharing in a technology-mediated world. Adopting the “Kronberg Declaration on the Future of Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing” it highlights the following key points (and I’m quoting):

  • knowledge is the key to social and economic development;
  • Creation, acquisition and sharing of knowledge have been going through dramatic changes because of rapidly emerging new information and communication technologies (ICT) and the societal transformations that they generate;
  • New approaches are needed to bridge international knowledge gaps while ensuring cultural and linguistic diversity;
  • The Internet and new education technologies provide manifold opportunities for all;
  • There is a need to continuously harness new technologies and processes to develop knowledge societies that are people-centered, inclusive and development oriented.

It goes on to suggest some political and structural changes that might be needed to improve knowledge acquisition and sharing. The most interesting one I thought was the “concept of universal “knowledge norms”, which is defined as “…assessment and certification models for measuring competence in various areas of skills and knowledge”. But other changes were noted:

  • The impact of technology on the evolution of knowledge societies;
  • The impact of emerging technologies on models of knowledge acquisition;
  • The future role of classical knowledge acquisition structures including those of teachers/trainers;
  • The role of public-private partnerships in knowledge acquisition and sharing;

Specifically, looking at the next 25 years, the group of visionaries involved in the assessment anticipate that:

  • knowledge acquisition and sharing will increasingly be technology-mediated (ie online) and will create new knowledge communities;
  • there will need to be more focus on social and emotional abilities and skills;
  • the importance of acquiring factual knowledge will decrease, whereas the ability to find one’s way in complex systems and to find, judge, organise and creatively use relevant information, as well as the capability to learn, will become crucial;
  • the importance of the role of teachers as instructors will decrease or rather morph into one of coach, guide, facilitator of learners, whilst their role as validators and interpreters of knowledge creation, sharing and acquisition will increase;
  • learners will play a more active role with content creation and dissemination and open access to and free flow of content will be of increasing importance;
  • face to face knowledge acquisition settings will remain important (ie communities of practice) and will provide socialising environments.

The assessments calls for all stakeholders to come together to ensure that developing countries are included so that the digital divide is lessened. And very interestingly it states that diverse languages should be preserved but at the same time competencies for knowledge acquisition and sharing need to be identified “in one or more global languages”. New and creative business models need to be created it says to provide “high quality content”.

You can download the Kronberg Declaration here.


Entry filed under: Future trends, Knowledge Management, UNESCO.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Bong  |  August 13, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Great post! Very informative and enlightening.


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