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Marc Prensky

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Marc Prensky speaks about young people in the future to businesses, parents, and educators. Marc is an internationally-acclaimed keynoter who has given talks in over 45 countries on 6 continents. He is the gold prize-winning author of 10 books, and the coiner of the term “digital natives.” 

 

Marc founded and currently runs The Global Institute for Empowerment, Accomplishment, & Impact by Young People, and The Two Billion Kids Project. His most recent book, EMPOWERED!: Re-framing ‘Growing Up’ for a New Age, was published in 2022. Marc’s next book, to be published in 2024, is THIRD MILLENNIUM KIDS: a guide for adults born in the second millennium preparing children born in the third. 

 

Speaking Topics -

 

RE-FRAMING THE FUTURE OF YOUNG PEOPLE

As we gradually change over from the world’s “Last Pre-Internet Generation”—raised almost entirely in the 20th century—to the “First Internet Generation,” raised entirely in the 21st, we need to see our young people through different lenses. First, more and more of our young people are tremendously empowered with new capabilites (capabilities that are soon comng to all.). Second, we are in a time of massive generational change in attitudes and beliefs regarding much of life, including : education, technology, privacy, property, personal relationships, security, sexuality, power, kids, violence, god, justice, money, love, government, creativity, and even time and space.  

 

The most important new generational beliefs, says Prensky, are “I CAN”  and “WE CAN.”  The consequences of these changes in beliefs and capabilities—as Prensky shows through multiple examples—are profound. Today we are already  far beyond the terms “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” that Marc Prensky coined only two decades ago, headed towards a world of new “AI Natives.”

 

Key takeaways include:

  • What is the best way to view young people?
  • How do beliefs differ between generations?
  • What are the implications for adults and for young people”
  • What are the best actions for us to take?

 

RE-FRAMING THE FUTURE OF WORK  

From “Jobs” to “Projects”  &  From Employer-focused to Employee-focus

We all know work is changing. But few have the perspective and re-framing that Marc Prensky brings. In this far-seeing keynote Marc helps audiences see the NEW AGE OF EMPOWERMENT THAT IS ARRIVING, and its far-reaching implications for human work.

 

Anything that two people can do equally well will soon be replaced by a machine, as Artificial Intelligence and Automation penetrate further into our workplaces.   BUT HAVE NO FEAR, Prensky says,  BECAUSE WE WILL NEVER RUN OUT OF: —PEOPLE WITH DREAMS, —PROBLEMS TO FIX, and —PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP. Nor will we will run out of people who want to do those things. Those  are the future of human work.

 

The way we will do these things better, says Prensky, is through SYMBIOSIS WITH TECHNOLOGY.  Our key 21st century challenge, in order o solve all our pressing problems—like climate change— is to BECOME SYMBIOTIC with our new technologies as rapidly as possible. This goes for people of all ages—and the young are starting faster.

 

In our New Age of Empowerment, individuals will FINALLY HAVE THE MEANS TO CONTROL THEIR WORLD, starting at early ages. They will need to understand not just how to take control of their world, but how to improve it.

 

Finally, work will begin to be seen not as “jobs” that people get and hold, as they do today, but as “projects” that teams of people accomplish. Says one Fortune 500 executive: “We don’t do job descriptions any more, we only do project descriptions.” More and more firms and—entire fields—are now moving to this “project”—rather than job—orientation.

 

This means that an individual now requires a specialty that can enhance many teams,. They need to be continually increasing their skill at that specialty, so they can move fluidly between projects at different organizations (rather than climbing a hierarchical ladder of job promotions in any single one.)  Everyone who now works in— or is considering — a so-called “permanent” job needs to understand this, and prepare for this new version of “work.”

 

In this keynote, Prensky shows us why it’s important to empower ALL our people, and how to do it quickly.

 

Key takeaways include:

  • Why and how work will be changing (and is already)
  • What the new models of work mean for you and your children,
  • Why empowering people is key we to the future of work, and
  • How to be successful In the new environment.

 

RE-FRAMING CREATIVITY, ‘THE METAVERSE,’ AND ‘THE CLOUD’ AT WORK

From Two Worlds to THREE WORLDS, and from 20th century beliefs to 21st CENTURY BELIEFS

 In this forward-thinking talk. People often think there is only one world to live and work in, says Prensky, ignoring the world of imagination in each of our heads—which is where all creativity originates.  Now, in the 21st century, says Prensky, we have a new third world: “The Cloud.”  Whereas before people could realize their imaginations only in the real world—which is often hard, leading many to give up—‘The Cloud’ is a brand-new world in which to bring forth imagination. Infinitely huge, with many dimensions. Growing far faster than the “real-world,” The Cloud offers a new frontier in which to be creative, and huge opportunities.  The ‘Metaverse,” on the other hand, currently so highly-hyped,  refers mostly to the visual dimension of the Cloud, i.e., the part that, through a headset or special glasses, looks like a real world. But the Metaverse only a small part of the exponentially evolving “Cloud. ” Unlike the Cloud, which is quickly developing, the Metaverse is far slower to emerge, and is still in its earliest stages.

 

In ALL the worlds, says Prensky, OUR CREATIVITY IS HIGHLY LINKED TO BELIEFS. Today, beliefs around the world are changing, radically and rapidly, between generations. This is going to soon have a huge impact on humanity, because OUR BELIEFS—embedded deep within our minds—DETERMINE ALL OUR ACTIONS.  Prensky shows how Beliefs are changing generationally regarding many things—including education, technology, privacy, property, personal relationships, sexuality, race, security, power, kids, work and jobs, empathy, violence, religion, justice and injustice, money, love, government, time and space—and creativity as well.  THE MOST IMPORTYANT CREATIVE 21ST CENTURY BELIEFS, SAYS PRENSKY, ARE “I CAN” AND “WE CAN.” 

 

In this highly engaging talk, Prensky shows both WHY re-framing our beliefs is key, and HOW to go beyond our old 20th c. beliefs so that we don’t hold humanity back on our journey to the future.  Marc Prensky highlights the creative opportunities of today— which are enormous — and opens people’s eyes to what is coming—far faster than many think.

 

Key takeaways include:

  • An understanding of how t be creative in the 21st century
  • New, 21st century beliefs
  • Ways to determine what “The Cloud” merans for you and youer business, and what to expect from the Metaverse—and when.
  • New keys to success in he 21st century.

 

RE-FRAMING DIVERSITY AND TRUST AT WORK

From a “you must have”  to an  “I wouldn’t want to NOT have”

It is time, says Marc Prensky, to re-frame both “diversity” and “trust” in the workplace,. Most of us think we are both trusting and trustworthy, and that we support diversity. The reality is that most of our workplaces are less diverse than many might like, and sorely lacking in trust.  In this eye-opening talk, Prensky helps audiences see diversity and trust in new ways.

 

“What makes us each unique,” says Prensky, “are the individual projects we each choose to do and be part of.” Prensky shows how when we are each working on things we actually care deeply about, diversity and trust become not only easier, but desirable and necessary.  Prensky helps us see how the right kind of diversity and trusting each other leads to far greater outcomes and satisfaction. He asks difficult questions, like: “If a team had members of every race, religion, gender and nationality, and yet they all thought similarly about the problem at hand—how much diversity would there be?” and “What happens when someone you trust lets you down?”

 

In this unusual keynote, Marc Prensky brings his famous “re-framing lens” to the issues of diversity and trust, showing audiences how to see those issues from a new and different perspective.

 

Key takeaways include

  • How to create situations where people NEED and DEMAND diversity and trust.
  • How to promote diversity of THINKING—and use that to our advantage.
  • How to measure diversity of thought? 
  • How to build higher performance through trust, diversity of thinking, and projects.
  • How to increase trust in the workplace.

 

RE-FRAMING COMMUNITY IN THE NEW AGE OF EMPOWERMENT

From “People who live and work near you” to “Global People Like You”

People thrive in communities, but communties are changing, says Marc Prensky.  An under-noticed and under-appreciated trend in the NEW AGE OF EMPOWERMENT we are entering, says Prensky, is that the meaning of “community” is shifting radically and importantly. 

 

Prior to the Internet, communities were almost all local, based on where you lived.  You went to school, typically through high school, where you lived, You lived, typically, near where you worked. “Community” meant mostly small and local. If your local community included few people like you, you were pretty isolated. Some larger communities did exist, but they typically took much work and much coordination to set up and maintain and often to join.

 

All that is now changing, says Prensky.  We live in a world where,  In the words of one professor, “Every person can find on the Internet the worldwide group in which they are in the top 10 percent.”  What has quickly begun to emerge are “affinity” or “shared interest” communities that are NOT local or location-based.  Almost all communities are—or have the potential to be—fully or partially global. While some are now partly local, other communities exist only in The Cloud, and come together physically only periodically. It is also harder , in our new world, to put “gates” around a community and keep others out. We are just starting to learn how to manage and participate in these new types of communities. Their implications are profound, and the surface has hardly been scratched

 

In this unique keynote, Marc Prensky explores the new definition of community, showing categories, examples and re-framing the new possibilities for communities that this brings to people and the world.

 

Key takeaways include:

  • What differentiates virtual, globa communities from local, physical communities?  
  • What are the advantages of each? Can they be combined effectively? 
  • Wht kinds of comunities can go global? which should? Are there any that can’t, oir shouldn’t? 
  • What does this imply for businesses, and for other adult and young people communities? 

 

RE-FRAMING HUMANITY IN AN AGE OF A.I.

From “People with Tools” to “SYMBIOTIC EMPOWERED HUMANS”

Many believe that as technology develops, we remain “the same people”— just with more powerful tools. In this controversial keynote Prensky re-frames this thinking to seeing humans as becoming “symbiotic empowered hybrids” with all the powerful new technologies we have created.

 

Marc believes technologies have effectively given humans new, helpful body parts—much like our having grown a new, useful tail—and we must learn to use these new body parts wisely and well.

 

This highly re-framing keynote explores the idea of symbiosis—first proposed in the 1970s— and how 21st century humans are becoming SYMBIOTIC HUMAN HYBRIDS.

 

The “new symbiosis” with technology IS NOT “addiction,” says Prensky. Rather it is the process of getting to know what we can do that is positive with our new capabilities. Figuring this out, says Prensky, is probably our most pressing 21st century task as humans—because it will help us solve all our other problems.

 

Key takeaways include:

  • Why we require a better way to look at humans and technology
  • What being a “symbiotic empowered hybrid” means
  • Why that is positive for all of us

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Testimonials

“Marc offers us a lucid, inspiring, optimistic, doable, and crucial blueprint for our modern, high-risk, highly complex, fast-changing, and imperiled world.”

J.P.Gee, University Professor, ASU

I love your ideas Marc! I think we need to try some creative ideas like this!!

Ravi Venkatesan, former Chairman, Microsoft India

“Such a creative thinker, Marc Prensky has always been ahead of his time. A gold mine and a powerful wake up call.”

Michael Fullan, Professior Emeritus, U. of Toronto, Canada

“I am willing to make a larger investment to engage you, because I can’t get rid of the huge inspirations I got when I read your recent book.”

Hae-young Lee, Country Representative, Ashoka, Korea

“Marc is a powerhouse of ideas”

Asha Kanwar, President and Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth of Learning
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