Finding the Black Swans: Highly Improbable, High-Impact Ideas

January 13-15 in Austin, Texas


The Internet. Tablets. 3D printing. Wearable technology. All once outliers in discussions of possible future learning scenarios, unlikely developments in their early days according to the common wisdom, but each laden with enormous potential impact even then. Imagine if we could have anticipated these developments as they were happening and maximized their educational value early on. How might we have influenced them? Taken advantage of them? What would we have done differently? How could we have used them — right away — to the benefit of teaching and learning?

The NMC Horizon Project has built an enviable record of highlighting emerging trends and technologies for more than 12 years, but even the best, most proactive environmental scanning can’t predict the Black Swans, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb called them in his landmark book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. This is the essential notion behind the 2015 Horizon Project Retreat, and the impetus for its informal name, “The Black Swan Ball.”

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