Lessons for the future

If humans evolve through education, we should keep learning — but how does that work in the twenty-first century?

In a world driven by ever-changing tech, the safest long-term investment is educating kids, Alex Beard said. He is the author of Natural Born Learners, a book about education and the mind.

He joined Aaron Rasmussen, an entrepreneur who created Masterclass, for a conversation about education led by journalist, Liz Heron.

“Education is literally the way we evolve as a species,” Aaron said. “So depriving people of education is literally depriving them of the ability to evolve.”

Masterclass, an online learning platform was born started from a question: “Why can’t we all be apprentices to the greatest minds in the world?”

The idea was to create alternatives for the increasingly expensive liberal arts education that leaves students in debt. Today, Masterclass features video classes from the likes of Hans Zimmer and Natalie Portman.

So, is this the future of education?

Masterclass, though sometimes pricey, is meant to make good education more accessible.


Aaron added that collaboration is a key aspect of education. In the popular multiplayer game, Fortnite, players teach each other. The future of education, he thinks, will be similarly collaborative.

“There’s something so fun about experiencing the world with someone else,” Aaron said.

The two also discussed the role of technology in learning, seeming to disagree on it.

Alex told the story of a researcher who tried to teach a robot a language. “It’s dangerous to think that we learn like machines,” he said.

Aaron countered that machines won’t be the same in the future. He mentioned deep neural nets as a promising avenue.

Towards the end, an audience member asked Aaron why online education isn’t prestigious. He answered that prestige is online education’s biggest problem.

“You need to make it beautiful,” he suggested.

By Eduard Saakashvili

June 25, 2019