The Fridays For Future (FFF) climate strike by high school students may well be one of the most important, yet hardly covered stories by the US media today. During the week of March 15th alone, 1.6 million strikers were counted across 125 countries. This environmental movement to reduce carbon emissions was started by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg in late 2018. In the meantime, a discussion has ensued among politicians in Germany about whether it is the right thing for students to take to the streets instead of the classroom on Fridays.
The principles in image above weigh in on this conversation from a bigger picture view: how to “update” the world’s educational system, particularly the university, to tackle the technological, environmental, and social disruptions of the 21st century.
The classical university was based on the unity of research and teaching; the modern university has been based on the unity of research, teaching, and practical application. I believe that the current historical moment, with one civilization ending and dying, and another being born, invites us to reconceive the 21st-century university as a unity of research, teaching, and the praxis of transforming society and self.