For the first time in human history the race to grow and develop brainpower is global in scope. In the post industrial era, the barriers for entry into most commercial enterprises have less to do with natural resources and more to do with intellectual capacity.



Commentary


Insightful Articles


6/12/2012

It is easy to be depressed about the state of the world. The European economy is threatening to implode, dragging the rest of the world into a deep recession. The Iranians say they have no plans for developing a nuclear weapon, but no one believes them. The American people are convinced that the country's best days are behind her.  And, if the global warming experts are to be believed, we are about to enter a frightening period of hurricanes, tsunamis and drought. Depressing indeed.

But there is another side to the story. Earth's greatest natural resource is not oil or gas or gold or platinum. Earth's greatest natural resource is the brainpower of the nearly seven billion people who inhabit the planet. The solution to every problem we face rests inside the mind of a brilliant, inventive soul somewhere in this world.

What's exciting, revolutionary in fact, is that vastly more people than ever before now have the chance to put their brainpower to work.

In India, Pakistan, Brazil, Qatar, Russia, China and a hundred other countries, young people have real hope for a better future. Hundreds of millions of people who would never have had a chance for an education even a generation ago, now believe they can put their intellect to work to improve not only their own lives but the future of their countries as well.  The consequence of this explosion of opportunity can only be imagined.  Medicines will be invented that will prevent or cure some of our most threatening diseases.  Solutions to complex environmental problems will be uncovered.  Economies will grow and, as they do, violence will recede. No, the world won't be perfect. Difficult problems will persist. But, because more people will be participating in the pursuit of knowledge, the world will be far better than most people expect.

 


 

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3/17/2014
With college costs rising stratospherically, and student debt at an astounding $1.1 trillion, admissions officers often pitch the post-graduate opportunities, such as high-paying jobs or graduate school admission, their schools provide. However, data on student outcomes can be hard to come by; meanwhile, students, parents, and the government are asking for more information. More from WSJ.
3/15/2014
While national priorities and a good deal of federal funding once served as the impetuses for US scientific research, it is increasingly becoming less so. More and more scientific research is being funded by the wealthiest individuals, transferring what was once a predominantly publicly controlled sphere into a private one. Some argue that this arrangement harms basic scientific research, which doesn’t always have an immediate or obvious pay off, but can lead to some of the biggest breakthroughs.
3/1/2014
Frequently hailed as the means to upward mobility, college is now increasingly seen as reinforcing inequality. Ballooning tuition costs, coupled with the fact that 94% of graduates take out loans to cover these costs are leading to more indebtedness.  Further, for those least able to afford these costs, federal aid has been declining in effectiveness. More at the NY Times.
2/11/2014
The Atlantic reports that more and more schools are using single dorm rooms as a selling point.  While privacy and space are important, having shared space and roommates have long acknowledged benefits.  With the increase in singles and even “super singles,” should there be concern? This development has some interesting implications for interpersonal development and growth during higher education.
2/4/2014
Currently, just 32% of Tennessee adults hold advanced degrees, which is 6 points below the national average. In his 2014 State of the State address, Gov. Haslam is pushing his ambitious agenda to ensure that at least 55% of the state holds an advanced degree. In part, he hopes to accomplish this through free community college for all high school graduates in the state. Read more in the Washington Post.
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