Ph.D. Francois Taddei
Founder and Director, Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity, Faculty of Medicine, Paris Descartes University
TF: How do think the way of teaching is going to change midterm?
I think universities will be very different within the next ten years. There have always been places where people have learned and innovated, as long as humanity exists. The way we are learning/teaching right now is based on the design of universities from the 19th century. They are supposed to produce new knowledge and innovate, but the way they produce this knowledge is still very conservative. I think that universities have to change and adapt, otherwise there will be other places where this new knowledge will be generated and we already see this. There are more and more alternative places outside of universities where people learn, innovate and even do research. The web is one of those places, but not only, there are more and more physical spaces as well, where this is happening. Universities have to embrace this change, contribute to this change and therefore reinvent themselves in the process. If they are not changing, they will be obsolete sooner or later. Universities do research on everything but not on themselves.
TF: What are the biggest opportunities of our time?
The fact that we can do things together at global scale. We have always worked together but only at local scale. Today it is possible to find the only other people in the whole world who have the same ideas as you. Thus allows us to do amazing things together, by creating synergies as well as profit from each other.
TF: What are the biggest challenges?
To make the best of collective intelligence. If suddenly thousands or millions want to contribute to the same thing – how do we define the best way to use this collective? and not suppress the individual thought in the process. Because you could easily have a sort of dictator of the crowd. We have to think of a way where the technology is there to serve the people and not the opposite.
TF: What new professions will evolve in your field?
We need catalysts. Catalysts of change, catalysts of new ideas, catalysts of learning rather than didactic teaching.
TF: What is your vision?
A world where we have a collective knowledge ecosystem. Where each time someone learns something, somebody else will be able to learn the same thing. Every time someone innovates something, somebody else will be able to innovate more easily. That all of our learning and innovation is documented and shared online and so we build a society of cognition and recognition, were we recognise each others contribution to a global understanding.