Solving complexity with blockchain: At what cost?

In times of so much uncertainty, one thing we can be sure of is that tomorrow will be more complicated than today. And before one considers solving complexity with blockchain, a breakdown of some of the issues with blockchain requires deep understanding.

The rate that technology continues to advance is exponential, bringing more complex systems and attempts at solutions to simplify them. But the major roadblock to blockchain adoption is this:

The beginning of a blockchain-complete era will occur once regulatory frameworks fully recognize blockchain technology and its associated products, which in turn will empower business decision-makers to integrate blockchain into their core processes.

The greatest challenge in education is defining what students should do next. We need to help every student know where to start learning, how to learn, and what to do next when facing a new situation. This will prepare them for a future where they will be lifetime students.

We need to build into education systems’ confidence in how to proceed in the face of complexity.

Shift in thought

The World Economic Forum calls this shift the Fourth Industrial Revolution (the first three were driven by steam power, electricity, and the Internet). This new Industrial Revolution is powered by artificial intelligence — computer code that learns and adapts to situations.

The beginnings of modern AI can be traced to philosophers’ attempts to describe human thinking as a symbolic system in 1956. It’s only in the past few years that the capability of its power has rocketed.

We all take for granted that artificial intelligence is now a part of our daily lives. Whether we understand it or not, big data sets impact more of what we see on our screens, all made possible with cheaper computing and storage.

  • The view we see of our world through our screens becomes more curated every day
  • autonomous vehicles become safer with sensors and cameras
  • More energy-efficient manufacturing environments with robots that can operate in the dark
  • Supply chain and delivery channel made possible with drones

Following closely on the heels of AI is blockchain, a distributed ledger technology that eliminates the middleman in a transaction. Blockchain is already in use in many industries, making them more efficient and removing centralized processes. An excellent example of this is how it makes supply chain transactions more efficient and streamline this industry. The future promises for education are massive and far-reaching and will change the education landscape of the future. 

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

Your life experience is so vastly different from your parents, and the same goes for your children’s lives. The difference is that rate of change will far outpace what we experienced in our student’s lives. Preparing our children for this future and a lifetime of learning is our responsibility.

The question to ask is, how should education change to keep up with this?  And how can blockchain help with this fast-changing shift?

Our big challenge for the future of education is how we implement a new set of learning priorities and how blockchain can assist in creating a less complicated environment, rather than adding to the ever-increasing complexity.

A young man once assured me on blockchain adoption:

It will be so different in the future than what it is right now. I believe organizations should be ready to invest the time and energy knowing the risk that what they learned right now might not be useful tomorrow. It gives them the edge by staying out there, dipping their feet in something that could be the future.

Additionally, he exhorts those who would dare to use any part of the blockchain puzzle, fit that into a process, make that a focus. Evidently, we cannot solve everything:

I’m not saying that you cannot. You can probably but you cannot take up the responsibility for the whole system on your own.

We can be confident that what we know today may be outdated tomorrow, and the ability to learn and adapt will separate the successful from the unsuccessful. Today’s idea blockchain is not what we will have tomorrow, and our responsibility is to carry the torch forward for education.