November 5, 2021 – Education

In case you missed it: “New Era of Learning” can benefit millions


On October 27, the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) sponsored an Axios “New Era of Learning” conversation. During the half hour event, business reporter Erica Pandey, Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson and Education Design Lab CEO Kathleen deLaski unpacked the future of learning, postsecondary education innovation, and career readiness after COVID-19.

Pandey asked speakers how the concept of the traditional learner has changed. deLaski discussed her concept of the “new majority learner,” which is “anyone for whom college was not originally designed.” As deLaski said, this could be single mothers juggling work, children, and their own continued learning; veterans returning from service abroad; or workers who want to learn new skills to advance in their field.

Carlson referenced increasing interest in skills-based learning, noting more than 17 million Americans will need to reskill over the next decade. She also said to keep up with changing workforce demands, employees will need to reskill about every four years. While each speaker represented a unique perspective, they all agreed Americans want an array of options to accomplish this. 

In a sponsored ‘View from the Top’ interview, CKF Executive Director Ryan Stowers was interviewed by Axios Chief People Officer Dominique Taylor. Stowers cited a CKF poll that found 72 percent of Americans who will need to acquire new skills want to do so outside of a four-year institution. He noted organizations like Education Design Lab, Guild Education, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, and the SkillUp Coalition, which helped reskill nearly half a million learners during the pandemic, are driving those needed education innovations. 

Speakers agreed that changing the landscape of postsecondary learning will allow millions more Americans to find fulfilling work. 

Watch a replay of the event. 

The Charles Koch Foundation supports educational opportunities that respect the dignity of all learners, foster a diversity of approaches, and are open to the free flow of ideas and innovation. Learn more about how we help all learners unlock their potential.