Regular Article

The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 214, Issue 1, pp 215-243

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The FuturICT education accelerator

  • J. JohnsonAffiliated withFaculty of Mathematics, Computing & Technology, The Open UniversityThe Complex Systems Society Email author 
  • , S. Buckingham ShumAffiliated withKnowledge Media Institute, The Open University
  • , A. WillisAffiliated withFaculty of Mathematics, Computing & Technology, The Open University
  • , S. BishopAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, University College London
  • , T. ZamenopoulosAffiliated withFaculty of Mathematics, Computing & Technology, The Open UniversityThe Complex Systems Society
  • , S. SwithenbyAffiliated withFaculty of Science, The Open University
  • , R. MacKayAffiliated withEPSRC Complex Systems Doctoral Training Centre, University of Warwick
  • , Y. MeraliAffiliated withEPSRC Complex Systems Doctoral Training Centre, University of WarwickThe Complex Systems Society
  • , A. LorinczAffiliated withEötvös Loránd University
    • , C. CosteaAffiliated withASE Bucharest 6The Complex Systems Society
    • , P. BourgineAffiliated withÉcole Polytechnique, CREAThe Complex Systems Society
    • , J. LouçãAffiliated withFaculty of Informatics, Lisbon University InstituteThe Complex Systems Society
    • , A. KapenieksAffiliated withDistance Education Centre, Riga Technical University
    • , P. KelleyAffiliated withScience + Technology in Learning
    • , S. CairdAffiliated withFaculty of Mathematics, Computing & Technology, The Open University
    • , J. BromleyAffiliated withFaculty of Mathematics, Computing & Technology, The Open UniversityThe Complex Systems Society
    • , R. Deakin CrickAffiliated withCentre for Systems Learning & Leadership, University of Bristol
    • , C. GoldspinkAffiliated withIncept Labs
    • , P. ColletAffiliated withDépartement d’Informatique de l’Université de StrasbourgThe Complex Systems Society
    • , A. CarboneAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Politecnico Torino
    • , D. HelbingAffiliated withETH Zürich

Abstract

Education is a major force for economic and social wellbeing. Despite high aspirations, education at all levels can be expensive and ineffective. Three Grand Challenges are identified: (1) enable people to learn orders of magnitude more effectively, (2) enable people to learn at orders of magnitude less cost, and (3) demonstrate success by exemplary interdisciplinary education in complex systems science. A ten year ‘man-on-the-moon’ project is proposed in which FuturICT’s unique combination of Complexity, Social and Computing Sciences could provide an urgently needed transdisciplinary language for making sense of educational systems. In close dialogue with educational theory and practice, and grounded in the emerging data science and learning analytics paradigms, this will translate into practical tools (both analytical and computational) for researchers, practitioners and leaders; generative principles for resilient educational ecosystems; and innovation for radically scalable, yet personalised, learner engagement and assessment. The proposed Education Accelerator will serve as a ‘wind tunnel’ for testing these ideas in the context of real educational programmes, with an international virtual campus delivering complex systems education exploiting the new understanding of complex, social, computationally enhanced organisational structure developed within FuturICT.

Graphical abstract

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