Guest Speech | Atoka Jo, New York University Abu Dhabi and Tsinghua University


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Hello everyone, my name is Atoka Jo. I currently work in Japan at a global company, while also working pro bono for education in Japan and in Ghana. Today, I would like to talk regarding achieving prosperity through Education 3.0, since the big theme for this session is “Youth for Shared Prosperity.” Most of the people in the audience are probably wondering, what even is Education 3.0? So, please let me explain step by step.


Education 1.0 is the education centered around pen and paper. It is the most traditional type of education. Education 1.0 is focused on memorizing facts and inputting knowledge. For example, copying down word to word what the teacher writes on the blackboard. This type of education is quite typical in Japan. And, I experienced this when I attended my public elementary and middle school. I was constantly bombarded by facts and figures, and the exams were centered around them, which meant that it gave students no room to really think deeply.

The following statistics support how the one-way inputting style is the reality of Japanese education. A survey conducted by the National Institution for Youth Education asked a total of around 8,000 high school students in Japan, US, China, and Korea the characteristics of their studying method. The greatest gap was in the category of applying what they’ve studied to real life, where it was 65% in the US, but only 10% in Japan. So Education 1.0 may be a good fit for producing identical human machines, but it is not appropriate for establishing well-rounded human beings, especially in this complex era.

So then next comes Education 2.0, which evolves from Education 1.0 by having more of a balanced input and output, including Project Based Learning.


Having realized the importance of quality education from a young age, I founded the Himeji Girls’ Liberal Arts Summer program, which is a summer program that incorporates elements of liberal arts education such as workshops on bias and how to create elevator pitches, which students in Japan rarely experience in their regular school life.


I also hold a role as the Education Program Lead at TechEra, a non-profit organization in Ghana that provides digital inclusion training to women, children, and youth with disabilities for social inclusion and self-reliance. And, it has facilitated access to products, services, and opportunities to over 2500 people to date.


Of course, I have not forgotten that there is more to Education 2.0. It establishes the online learning and community, which has greatly supported students living in remote parts of the globe. However, as much as the online education has developed, in Education 2.0, there is still that digital divide between online and offline.

And now, I am exploring ways to bring greater prosperity to education by utilizing future technology, which brings me to Education 3.0.


I believe that Education 3.0 can be achieved by utilizing Web3. You may be wondering what is Web3? Currently Web 2.0 is what dominates the web. There are companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, where they manage our personal data. However, for Web 3.0, individuals manage their own information through platforms like the blockchain.


Blockchain can be used to keep track of educational records in a safe and secure manner. So even if any kind of emergency situation arise, if educational certificates were recorded on the blockchain, people would be able to access them whenever and wherever they are, and are not prone to any risk of losing the record.


Within Web3, there is the metaverse. The metaverse is a digital environment that creates spaces for border-less user interaction in a more “reality-like” way than a simple web experience. The metaverse opens up a new ecosystem where education can be enhanced using a 3D environment that is distinct from but related to the real world.


Then there are the NFTs. Since many education non-profits and projects tend to lack funding, selling NFTs in the virtual world and bringing that profit into the real world to fund education projects would be a great way to connect the two worlds and bring the best of two sides. This is still in the process of brainstorming the idea, but if this were to become the reality, I truly believe that it would bring a revolution to the education industry.


Education is the key to opening doors of opportunities, wherever and whenever you are. And I hope that with Education 3.0, more prosperity through education can be achieved.


Thank you.


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