Global Future of Higher Education
Futures Research · Strategic Foresight · Innovation
The McGraw-Hill Education Vice President of Design & Innovation wanted to look beyond the company to understand what exterior influences might impact the education industry around the globe.
As part of my role as Senior Design Researcher for McGraw- Hill Education’s International & Professional Group I initiated and executed the organization’s first strategic foresight initiative focused on the global future of higher education.
This foresight work was the first phase of a multi-phase process used to develop an organizational consensus on sources of change & plan the innovation & research team efforts for subsequent years.
This project leveraged a combination of futures research and strategic foresight methodologies; with language contextualized to the McGraw-Hill organization to make the effort more approachable.
As this was the first foresight effort for the organization, I chose to place a heavy emphasis using futures research to identify the macro forces driving change in the world as well as to capturing more education industry specific trends across the globe.
Across 12 weeks I led a comprehensive signal scan to identify over 120 signals of change which were tagged & annotated using hypothes.is. The full signal scan library can be viewed on Hypothes.is. As part of the research I also attended the SXSWedu to perform intercept interviews with educators & industry thought leaders.
The signal scan was analyzed & synthesized into 16 macro forces driving change across the world world and and 15 global education industry trends. One particularly relevant and contentious trend discovered was the rapid shift toward Open Educational Resources, particularly in emerging global markets like Southeast Asia & Africa.
Using Jim Dator’s scenario archetypes, I crafted four plausible alternative scenarios that were used to demonstrate how the drivers of change and industry trends might converge in ways that challenged the assumptions that McGraw-Hill held as an organization about the world and education industry.
The final deliverable came in the form of a 60 page report covering global drivers of change and trends in the education, alternative future scenarios, and implications for the education content industry and business. This report became the basis for the Innovation team’s 2018 project pipeline planning. The full report can be viewed below:
Client: McGraw-Hill Education Role: Project Lead Year: 2018