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For generations, schools, universities and workplaces have prepared citizens to work in a linear fashion: identify necessary skills, devise a training curriculum, transfer knowledge and — voilà! — you have a workforce prepared to answer any number of specific demands in the market. This model worked well when change came slowly. Businesses could forecast future needs and students could train to fill those needs with the assurance that a good job would reward focused academic preparation. Not any more. The rate of change is too swift. Where once an economic paradigm shift could be absorbed over generations, we now expect to absorb multiple shifts in a single lifetime. We are in the Age of Accelerations, as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman puts it. He identifies three exponential growth and change trends: technology (Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every year while the costs are halved); the market (interdependent global markets)...

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