Perpetual Learning: Past or future?

July 11, 2022

Do you remember your history classes where you were taught about the trade guilds? Craftsmen, artisans and merchants within the same area teamed up in order to protect mutual interests, maintain standards, but mostly to learn from one another. Skills were passed on from father to son, generation after generation. The learning process is never-ending, or perpetual.

The last few hundred years, our way of working and way of life has changed immensely. We have evolved from an agrarian and handicraft economy to an economy dominated by industry and machine manufacturing (remember the Industrial Revolution? 🏭), and further on towards an economy focused on technological advancements. 💻 As our economies changed, so did we and our way of learning. 

Knowledge is no longer generally transferred from father to son, but often in groups by a teacher or a trainer. The one thing that has remained the same is the fact that people still maintain the idea of lifelong learning. We spend our whole life skilling, upskilling and reskilling. We often learn because we have to take the course and get the credits or the accreditation. 📝 Our current learning process is focused on the individual and the knowledge transfer often stops at retirement. So much knowledge is getting lost because of this.

However, when we change our mindset from lifelong learning to perpetual learning — or eternal learning —, we focus on our legacy. We no longer learn something just for ourselves, but for our community as well — whatever that community may be, eg. a working community, a living community or like in our case, we help building your learning community. We inspire, and are inspired by, that community to transfer knowledge to each other, so the knowledge does not get lost. 

For example: Your colleague Marco is about to retire after a career of more than 40 years. Imagine all the knowledge he has sitting in his head. How often does management acknowledge the amount of experience and information that someone like Marco has? 🤔 How often does Marco get to train his fellow colleagues? How often does this go to waste in organisations? Unfortunately, this happens way too many times! 

Do you see the power of perpetual learning? How can you both inspire and be inspired by the community you are in, so you don’t only want to learn something because ‘you have to’? Would you agree it is both our past AND our future? Thankfully the digital age helps us facilitate this knowledge transfer on a bigger scale. Our UQ coach uses very accessible technology so everybody is able to create a microlearning course. 🤩 

How about you? Do you have knowledge you feel you want to share with the world? Perhaps you are interested in learning which knowledge others have to offer? Maybe you know ‘a Marco’ in your organisation and you want to secure his knowledge? Or maybe you are ‘a Marco’ yourself and want to find an easy way to pass on your legacy.

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