When most of us are 14 years old, our priorities are generally school, friends, entertainment and our proximity to the summer holidays. For Cole Webber, his attention was focussed in a slightly different direction. At this age, Cole was already guest lecturing at universities about his ideas on education advancement and the structures needed to support it. This early success was the result of a contest he won that was sponsored by the Association for Learning Environments and which encouraged students to build a hypothetical school of the future. Cole provided ideas and building designs on how schools could improve learning for the individual. These plans were later submitted for funding and he liaised with the Canadian government through this process.
Now, 18 years old, he has worked on 23 school design projects, acted as a consultant to over 15 government officials and agencies across Canada, and given over 30 lectures and speeches on futurism, creativity and education.
At this point, it must come as no surprise why we have invited Cole to be a speaker at TEDxYouth@BSN.
“I am so honoured and excited to be able to talk with the leaders of the future. My favourite part of my activities to date is talking to and working with young students, and I hope to inspire the students of the BSN to broaden their scope of learning and start actively affecting their world,” stated Cole when asked his thoughts on speaking at TEDxYouth@BSN.
The focus of Cole’s talk will indeed focus on education. After years of experience from both within and outside of the school system, he believes that the future of education will no longer lie solely in the classroom but also on the individual. Cole summarised it best when we asked him what his idea worth spreading will be, to which he replied: “Knowing is no longer enough. Self-education to develop and demonstrate skills will be the currency of the future.”
Cole believes this to be empowering for the student and the teacher. The world is at our fingertips with mobile devices and internet connection, and this accessibility provides every student with the “capacity to become a thinker and doer that can improve lives.” Cole says that “…the ‘little individual’ now has access to vast capacities and information that can be used outside of the classroom, to create actual impact in the world”. With his Big Bold idea, he hopes that the young people of the world will understand and unlock their potential, and will continue to learn through self-education long after leaving the traditional classroom.
We couldn’t be more excited to have this forward thinker on our stage at TEDxYouth@BSN, and know that he will indeed inspire our students and many more with his talk for years to come.