Chapter 1
Our Journey to Graduation

Paradigm Shift: The Era of Living

Our wake-up call

The year 2020 proved to us what we never imagined and what we could have only imagined happen overnight. Like many others, we feel that what we see happening right now was bound to happen eventually but has prompted acceleration. We are referring to the wake-up call the pandemic brought to the world and the active discussions and changes that are taking place as we speak.

Our future is blended

Last year, during The Class of 2020 Conference in Berlin, we declared: The Future is Blended. We were not only referring to the blend of different living typologies, which we saw as the result of multi-layered blends that are happening in an accelerated manner, impacting the way future generation will live their lives. We were also referring to:

  • the blend of demographics and psychographics redefining diversity and students
  • the blend of physical and virtual redefining spaces and places
  • the blend of locals and internationals redefining global talents
  • the blend of products and services redefining values
  • the blend of industries redefining competition and collaboration
  • and ultimately, the blend of living, working and learning redefining life

It is an era of paradigm shifts. Typically, paradigm shifts take, very optimistically, a minimum of five years to be validated. But now, the blends we anticipated are happening at an accelerated speed and fast-forwarding our future. This demands that we evaluate the knowledge ecosystem in which our future generations will learn, work, and live

Our community at the center of shaping the future of cities

It is all about ‘Living’ now as what we do as human beings, whether learning or working, is living our lives. In addition, every component of our daily lives is increasingly happening in and around where we live. Life itself will become a school of continuous learnings with human interactions in different manners and scale, enabled by blends. This is the reason why we strongly believe our community has a very significant role to play in shaping the next generation cities. We feel the foundation will now become ‘live to learn’ to survive and thrive in this fast-forwarded future.

Our commitment to what really matters

We want our community to think about what really matters: our responsibility towards the future generation in designing their own learning pathway to become the best leader they can be in the space and place we create together. The blended future will present a new set of possibilities to overcome what we perceived as a barrier in becoming a community of global talent hubs. This one-of-a-kind year presented our community with a one-of-a-kind opportunity: to become students ourselves again. As students we are enable us to think, learn and act with our global talents to create solutions for the next generation and the cities they live in – the core purpose of our existence.

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