Universities should focus on imparting intergenerational wisdom to drive long-term solutions: Opinion

August 24, 2021
As the current pandemic upends how we live, learn, work, and connect with one another, Annelise Riles writes that institutions have the opportunity to engage in long-term, intergenerational solutions to global challenges. “The university’s greatest distinguishing factor is its ability to anticipate and care for the long term, beyond business or political cycles,” writes Riles. “They’re also sites of important generational struggle, [… such as] immigration debates, climate change activism, calls for racial justice, the Me Too movement, and more.” Riles notes that universities can go beyond knowledge accumulation to focus on imparting wisdom and judgment, and reflects on how this may require a rethinking of the learning experiences provided by the institution. “If a sustainable future is what we want to create,” concludes Riles, “intergenerational wisdom must be the goal of the university of the future.” Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)