The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


17 December 2021| Societal

Future is coming….and education?

I saw a poster that read: “The future is coming…” and as I cycled past it, my head completed the sentence: and how do we adapt education?

I really have no idea!

I know exactly what my ideals are for education. But do are ideals a match with the world to come, of which we already see a lot now, that I don’t understand and have no answers to?

The future is going to bring us problems that we cannot imagine now. Problems that we will saddle our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren with. Climate change is going to bring problems that we can only hope to have a solution for by then. But also the enormous number of people who will soon need care, a shrinking workforce and robotization that will soon become reality as a result. How do we educate the people who will have to live with this reality?

A thirteen-year-old boy asked his aunt which study profile he should choose in secondary school. She told him about her own career: her parents advised her to study to become a teacher, so that she would always have a job. When she finished that study program, there was no work for her, so she applied for a job in childcare. After a while, she started a business organizing children’s parties and doing drama with children. She did another theatre course and right when she was starting a theatre tour, the COVID-19 crisis broke out and the theatres all closed. Then she did a course in furniture upholstery, and now she repairs chairs and sofas. So what should her advice to her nephew be? After a while she advised: “You will have to keep reinventing yourself, so choose a profile that will give you the most self-confidence!”

This was also the answer Yuval Harari gave to the question of what education for the future should look like: “Teach young people to keep reinventing themselves.” And he added: “Teach them ethics, they will have to make terribly difficult decisions about who, for example, can receive care and who cannot. Artificial intelligence will take over a lot of thinking and human work, and soon it will even be implanted in human bodies and brains. Teach them those things that artificial intelligence cannot: to deal with their own and other people’s feelings.”

When I let this reality sink in, I realise that my ideas about what constitutes good education do not fit at all.

But I have such beautiful ideals for education! I am so attached to them!

It scares me, and I feel obliged to systemically look at what the future holds for our children and grandchildren – beyond ideals, beyond good and bad.

When I announced this workshop on social media, I immediately got a lot of thumbs up. And some people sent me videos of ‘ideal schools’. Part of me fell in love with them, and I would so love to have such a school in my village! But at the same time, I know that this is precisely what the future does not call for.

Our ideals are often based on a longing for what we did not get, or what we were unable to achieve. By envisioning our ideals, we don’t see the future we fear…

As much as I hate the idea of implanted AI, that won’t stop it. And worse, it deprives the children of today and tomorrow of a good preparation for their reality!

It’s a terrifying thought for me, but in the workshop ‘The future is coming… and education?’ I want to investigate what happens when we set aside our ideals about good education, and whether this allows us to really see what is needed. How will education be able to reinvent itself?

Who dares to join me?

Let’s see February 19!

Bibi Schreuder

Bert Hellinger instituut Nederland

Subscribe to our newsletter

We send the latest blogs, vlogs and our course offerings monthly through our newsletter. Stay informed and subscribe.


About the Bert Hellinger Institute

People are constantly evolving. With each other, without each other. In families, in teams, in organizations. Systemic thinking makes us aware of the “why” of our being and doing. Organizational and family constellations create room for movement. The BHI provides courses, workshops and training programs in the field of systemic work, constellations, leadership and coaching. This is how we contribute to the development of people, organizations and society.

For up-and-coming and established leaders. An initiative of the Bert Hellinger Institute.