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Universities Embracing New Roles to Catalyze Higher Education and Innovation Ecosystems

The fifth set of articles from The Future of Universities Thoughtbook |North American Edition introduces the Founder and CEO of Beloved Community, Rhonda Broussard, the Director of Business Technology Solutions of U.S. Small Business Administration,  G. Nagesh Rao, and Dean of the College of Business and Administration at CETYS University, Francisco Vélez Torres.

In the article “Towards a Liberatory University Experience”, Rhonda Broussard envisions a world that embraces the pedagogy of belonging and the freedom of education for every student without the burden of debt. Universities of the futures, free – economically, pedagogically, and culturally – will unlock their true potential of students as learners and creators.   

In his vision of the future, “Catalyzing Economic Innovation Ecosystems for the 21st Century”, G. Nagesh Rao emphasizes that universities will need to evolve from their mission of the pure dissemination of knowledge and expand to become effective stewards in spurring technologies and innovations within an entrepreneurial community.

Francisco Vélez Torres, in his article, “A New Generation of Universities Transforming the World”, imagines the future three roles of universities that will set them apart from other organizations. This vision suggests universities will embrace the roles of a beacon of wisdom, an equalizer, and a shaper of individual character. Regardless of their role, all universities will have to focus on innovation, accessibility, student success, and global sustainability.

The Future of Universities Thoughtbook | North American Edition is a compilation of 40 visions written by North American experts detailing what universities will look like by 2040.

The Future of Universities Thoughtbook | North American Edition

The Thoughtbook artfully collates a group of 40 diverse voices and narratives while sketching out the future roles of universities, their relevance, and their evolving position within the broader ecosystem of knowledge and innovation production. They are divided into 5 thematic sections – Disrupting Education, Collision of Technology and Humanity, Socially Engaged University, University-Business Cooperation, and Institutional Change. With different foci, each of them contributes to creating insightful for further dialogue on how universities would shape the future by 2040. In doing so, a wide palette of university future scenarios comes to light.

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