by European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning — published in 2012

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The enabling power of technology, especially information technology and social software, prompts a radical shift in economic and social interactions in societies around the globe. Existing traditional school based, formalized learning formats are unable to accommodate specific new learning needs. Hence, customized to the respective purposes of personal wellbeing, inclusion or requirements for professional performance, lifelong continuous learning is no longer a choice but a necessity. At the 2011 Davos World Economic Forum it was already stated that the lack of adequately educated people not only limits personal fulfilment but will also hinder prosperity and economic growth in the near future. Since the learning needs and learning possibilities today differ fundamentally from the 20th century the question is how to unlock the learning potential of people in a situation where mainstream education still heavily relies on traditional institutionalized closed formats.

Academic sector, Social, Technological, open access, open education, education, non-formal learning, informal learning, empowerment, business models, sustainability