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Learning 2030

How do we equip the next generation of learners to think creatively, independently, rigorously and collaboratively in full awareness of themselves and their social context?

This was the fundamental question behind WGSI’s Learning 2030 Summit. From September 29 to October 3, 2013, Summit participants explored best practices and promising initiatives in high school education aimed at empowering students in their creativity and potential.

Participants included leaders in education, teaching professionals, researchers, and policymakers together with young people who have innovated in their learning journey. This unprecedented gathering represented six continents, diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, and disenfranchised and disadvantaged communities to give a truly global and intergenerational perspective on learning.

Together, the group created a vision of a scalable, affordable, sustainable learning system for the high school graduates of 2030 and beyond.


Global reports indicate a persistent and complex shortfall in education: high school is the phase of education when students report the least engagement in learning and question the relevance of what they are learning. Whereas early childhood education and post-secondary education have been the subjects of much debate and change, high school – where children become young adults and determine their future paths – is a comparatively neglected piece of the puzzle.

High school is often perceived as a means to an end – a pipeline through which the highest-scoring students are funnelled toward post-secondary institutions or careers – rather than a crucial period of a person’s intellectual, emotional, and ethical development.

Even our most capable and committed teachers are sometimes struggling to prepare students for the 21st century while working within an educational model developed for the 19th century. The antiquated nature of this model is clearly causing problems for students. Today, about a third of the world’s children never begin high school, and many of those who do start will drop out before the end. Even those who finish often end up disengaged from learning. This represents an enormous loss of human potential – and a huge cost to society.

Recap Learning 2030

Recap the Learning 2030 Summit through blog entries, photos, and video of public lectures.

Since the Summit

Learn about the Learning 2030 Fellowship program as well as projects and collaborations that emerged from the Learning 2030 Summit.


Imagine a world filled with creative, confident, and adaptable young leaders capable of addressing the challenges of a complex and fast-changing society.

To explore this future, WGSI published the Learning 2030 Blueprint - a document that provides clear recommendations on building a learning environment that fosters critical thinking, problem solving, and innovation. It includes:

  • An ‘ecosystem’ point-of-view to approaching learning that integrates students, teachers, and caregivers with their unique local contexts

  • Case studies that showcase innovations in education from a diverse array of individuals and communities with variable access to resources

  • Implementation pathways

Master of Design Experience Innovation students from the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus developed a digital platform for the Learning 2030 Blueprint which has since been archived. Learn more about the project here.