Education

7.4 Billion

An Introduction to Beagle's Mission

I tend to believe, perhaps a bit naively, that everyone has more or less the same goals for Planet Earth. Most people, I think, want to see a peaceful world. They want to be able to live comfortably and happily. They want to live without fear of hunger, thirst, or sickness. And, of course, they want to have a bit of fun while they’re at it.

But achieving that goal for yourself isn’t necessarily easy. And achieving it for all 7.4 billion of us is really hard. In beginning our work on Beagle, we had to ask ourselves...

What single action could we take to make all 7.4 billion of us as likely as possible to achieve this goal — this positive future for all?

The answer we came to seemed pretty straight forward on its surface:
Make people better at learning about and solving problems.

And we believe doing so is a three step process:

  1. Identify the problem. (Harder than you would think)
  2. Develop a deep understanding of the problem. (Also harder than you think)
  3. Put yourself out there to recruit help and try a solution (Oh, but this one’s easy… Kidding.)

So far, we’re on step one. We’ve identified a big problem — that we as a world are not actually very good at solving problems. We — James Tanton, Lindy Elkins-Tanton, and myself, Turner Bohlen — are writing this blog to attempt to complete 2 and 3.

By the year 2060 there will be an estimated 10 billion people on Planet Earth.

We are challenging ourselves and everyone who reads this blog to accomplish a tiny, little goal: by 2060, design a learning solution that teaches the key skills necessary for building a positive future and spread that solution to all 10 billion residents of the planet.

This blog’s role?

Become the repository of how-to articles on designing, building great learning experiences. We’ll talk about all kinds of things — today’s math curriculum, tomorrow’s empathy curriculum, educational access, and online learning — but whatever we discuss, we will propose a how. How do we we make today’s math curriculum more engaging to students? How do we encourage empathy as a key part of young people’s education? How do we ensure that young women in certain countries are not prevented from going to school when they have their period? How do we make online education as engaging and social as in-person classes?

By writing about how, and not just what or what’s wrong, we hope to give everyone the tools needed to learn — and teach — in the world of 2060.

Author image

About Turner Bohlen

I like thinking about interesting ideas, especially when thinking about them with friends. I'm curious how people find and pursue passions, and believe our educational system should help them do it.
  • Olympia, WA