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Learning to learn: preparing humans for technological change

LondonLearning News

Insights from the opening keynote at Learning Live 2019 by Graham Brown-Martin.

Graham Brown-Martin, opening keynote speaker, Learning Live 2019
Graham Brown-Martin, opening keynote speaker, Learning Live 2019 

Learning Live took place in London last month, opening with a keynote from Graham Brown-Martin, an advisor on foresight and innovation for global businesses and author of ‘Learning Re-imagined’. Afterwards Graham spoke to Learning News to explain the essential messages he was conveying to the Learning Live audience.

Graham argues the work we currently do that is either measurable or based on rules will be automated and that humankind can prosper and thrive best when it doesn't try to compete with the machines. Graham suggests this process can be great news, as we can ‘automate the work and humanise the jobs’.

He sets out three areas where humans beat the machines and where future job creation will thrive: creative endeavours, social interaction and physical dexterity and mobility. “Each are areas where humans are uniquely adapted and where the machines tend to struggle,” points out Brown.

On education, Graham Brown-Martin argues that our approach through our schools, higher education and in the workplace is based on a past that is no longer relevant, reflecting the challenges from the second and third industrial revolutions of the late 19th and 20th century. ‘Here, education creates consistency - workers with uniform skills and measureable, consistent productivity.’

Graham explains: “Learning as a habit-of-mind is key. All of us are going to be put into jobs that we've never done before; surviving in the 21st century is going to be about the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn. If we mean life-long learning, shouldn't that by like a subscription; an annual thing where we constantly go in and out of Universities and constantly learn?”

Watch Graham Brown-Martin’s full interview here on Learning News. 

Graham Brown-Martin helps businesses and government agencies to navigate the future. He was the founder of Learning Without Frontiers, a think-tank on the future of learning. He is the author of ‘Learning Re-imagined’ and ‘Education and the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ - both are provocative, insightful, and essential reading for educators and learning leaders. More about Graham and his work, his writing and speaking, is available on his website at

Graham was one of many people Learning News spoke to at Learning Live. A news highlights page featuring all of the interviews from the event is available: Learning Live 2019 news highlights and interviews.