A global search for the geniuses of tomorrow

A Silicon Valley-based nonprofit is creating a talent program called Rise to cultivate and support young people from around the world.

Why it matters: Talent doesn’t respect geography — but too often, opportunity does. The new program seeks to identify future leaders wherever they are, which research suggests may be one of the best ways to help the world advance.

What’s happening: Schmidt Futures — a philanthropic initiative founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy — last week opened applications to Rise.

  • The program aims to identify young people between the ages of 15 and 17 who «need opportunity but whose talents can help address problems in their community and the rest of the world,» says Eric Braverman, the chief executive of Schmidt Futures.
  • The project is being carried out in collaboration with the Rhodes Trust, which oversees the Rhodes scholarships, as well as a number of other NGO partners from around the world.

How it works: Each year Rise will select 100 global winners and provide them with «individualized support to help harness their talents over the course of their lives,» says Cassie Crockett, head of strategy at Schmidt Futures.

  • That might include needs-based scholarships for higher education, funding for internships or social impact enterprises and, when the pandemic allows, in-person meetings and mentorships.

What they’re saying: «We are optimistic that the talent in the world is there to solve the problems that face us,» says Braverman. «We just need to give them extra help.»

By the numbers: Rise’s mission dovetails with a growing body of research that suggests cultivating human talent is one of the best ways to advance global knowledge.

  • An IMF working paperfrom 2018 found that individuals who demonstrate exceptional talent in their teenage years have an «irreplaceable ability to create new ideas over their lifetime.»
  • Since talented individuals in poor- and middle-income countries are less likely to work in knowledge fields — largely because the opportunity has been missing — policies that open up that opportunity could “accelerate the advancement of the knowledge frontier.”

The bottom line: We all benefit when talent isn’t limited by borders.

 
-Remote learners may suffer in the new economy

School districts are reporting declining grades as students struggle to adjust to the challenges of remote education.

Why it matters: It’s bad enough that many children around the country are receiving sub-par remote schooling. But in an economy that will increasingly reward cognitive skills, those struggling today risk being left behind permanently.

What’s happening: The Washington Post reported this week that an internal analysis by Virginia’s Fairfax County — one of the largest school districts in the country, and one that has been operating largely online — found that the percentage of middle school and high school students earning F’s in at least two classes had increased 83% from the same time last year.

  • More than 40% of students in Houston’s Independent School District are earning failing gradesin at least two of their classes, while nearly 40% of public high-schoolers in St. Paul, Minnesota, have failing marks.
  • In New York, the nation’s largest school system, 60,000 kids can’t even participatein remote learning because they lack the necessary devices.
  • A «60 Minutes» report on Sunday found that in a single county school district in Tampa, 7,000 students have simply disappeared, never logging in for remote classes.

Be smart: There are kids who would’ve gone to college but won’t, who would’ve graduated from high school but won’t, because this country has prioritized other, riskier activities over in-person schooling.

  • For too many kids — and especially for those who were already disadvantaged— remote education is like a band-aid that won’t stick.

What’s next: When these kids do become adults, they’ll be entering an economy that will place an even greater premium on the cognitive skills that can only be obtained through education.

  • Robotsaren’t coming for all of our jobs, but technology is automating low-skilled, repetitive tasks.
  • «Education and training are central to helping the current and next generation thrive in the labor market,» said Elisabeth Reynolds, the executive director of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, at an event last week.

The bottom line: CEOs and politicians love to tell Americans that they need to up their skills to thrive in a more competitive economy. Yet during the pandemic, we’ve crippled their ability to do so.

Πηγή: axios.com

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