On Tuesday and Wednesday, I was at the Capita FHE National Conference 2010 in Warwickshire, which was a good opportunity to hear other people’s views about the future for Further Education. Predictably there was plenty of gloom about future education budgets, with a prediction from KPMG that colleges should be preparing for 20% cuts in funding in the next three years, with an acceleration of the number of college mergers. And although there were plenty of references to what the FE world will look like immediately after the election, most speakers said that we’re heading into the unknown at the moment.

Which left me feeling a little nervous, as I’d agreed to give a talk looking beyond the here and now, and unconstrained by the uncertainties of policy and funding.  It was a look over the horizon at the future,  telling a story of how people may work in the future, and the technology and learning implications. I  used our ‘Productivity Vision’ video, which looks at the workplace of 2019, and then continued by deconstructing the technology behind the video – to look at what exists now – either in research labs or in real life - and how the components might build to get to the vision described for the future. Unfortunately, I can’t share the whole presentation (I used a multimedia, interactive piece of software to present it), but I can share the short video that I used as the introduction, which is the starting point for the story I told.

You can view the video on our Officelabs Envisioning website, and you can also watch a video as Ian Sands, Director of Envisioning, steps through the video scene by scene and describes in greater depth the story behind the people and technology on display