The power of like-minded individuals and interest groups sharing similar passions has more potential impact by collaborating together. An expanding, global learning Alliance of changemakers and innovators who hold common goals around a paradigm shift for learning can provide the means for change to scale. The key to scaling is to ensure the growing learning Alliance is truly global. 

Many national and international groups currently attempting to achieve educational change continue to inspire. The Learnlife Alliance for global changemakers does not seek to replace these, but rather create a platform to provide connections for innovative organisations and individuals from anywhere in the world to aggregate their passion and determination. Facilitating cohesion will generate the momentum that is necessary to drive a deep change in the way we learn.

Executive Summary

Never before in the history of humankind have individuals had a more effective communication platform from which to spread ideas than the internet. Rapid advances in technology often referred to as The Fourth Industrial Revolution, make it easier than ever to communicate and share information remotely. Education is one such institution that has felt this great wave of change.

The purpose of this element is to highlight that the world is ready for, and badly needs a global paradigm shift in education. The best way for this shift to successfully embed is to form a global learning Alliance of changemakers and innovators, using their combined intelligence on the Alliance forum to connect, communicate and exchange ideas online.

Uniting changemakers and innovators is fundamental to building a learning Alliance that emerges in various parts of the world. As changemakers and innovators align with what a new learning paradigm encompasses, they can embed innovative learning in their local community context and broaden influence by sharing ideas that can deliver change.

Everyone on the planet deserves equal access to an education system that is both beneficial and relevant. Forming a learning Alliance is crucial if a global paradigm shift in education is to be shared and not owned. This echoes the global sustainable development goal for education; to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (UN Sustainable Development Goals). 

The world is ready for a global paradigm shift in education. The Alliance of changemakers and innovators, using their combined intelligence to influence, is the best way to achieve this in a world that is increasingly connected. Learnlife can provide the necessary platform where ideas can spread and action can commence.

Forming Alliances: Then and Now

Starting Questions

  1. Do you see purpose in having a learning Alliance that connects like-minded educators or communities that unite a passion for learning and commitment to change?
  2. Are you (or, is your school) operating as a separate individual/community or are there practical connections with other institutions or people?
  3. Have we entered a new phase in human history with the advent of the world wide web? How might this impact learning?
  4. Rapid advances in technology or the so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ has exposed a need to reimagine how learning occurs. How might this happen?
  5. How do we best create momentum as networked communities of change?

Key Initial Actions

  1. Sign up to the Alliance using the link provided:
  2. Contribute by participating in forum topics and discussions as much as you wish - anywhere, anytime. 
  3. Inform others of the learning Alliance. Word of mouth is immensely powerful so please spread the word. 
  4. Challenge the systems under which you operate, supported by the momentum generated by a learning Alliance, in order to ‘invent the future’, not ‘prevent the future’. 
  5. Share knowledge, wisdom, experience and best practice.
  6. Learn by using the learning Alliance forum to grow and to help others grow. 

On-going Actions

  1. Encourage all the community to understand the imperative for change in education and the benefits of joining a worldwide movement of grassroots changemakers and innovators.
  2. Connect the community to other communities of change and engage in regular dialogue, support and vision-sharing.
  3. Connect with local groups supporting change. Help these groups become part of a wider picture collectively increasing the momentum for change. 
  4. Provide avenues for any person in your community to connect with similarly-minded changemakers; provide local forums for all members of a community who want to press for change in education (teachers, parents, students).

Find out more about the Learning Alliance

In 1962, American physicist Thomas Kuhn published his book: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Although it essentially focused on contradictions in philosophy and science, Kuhn introduced the concept of a paradigm shift

Kuhn proposed that a paradigm shift was generated by fundamental changes in basic concepts and practices. He suggested that such shifts occur when a dominant paradigm becomes incompatible with new phenomena, leading to the necessary creation or emergence of a new paradigm. Since then, the paradigm concept has been adopted by wider audiences to talk about change in various contexts, be it organisational, economic, political or social. 

Similar conversations are occurring in relation to the need for a paradigm shift in education. There are multiple themes converging to create this context, including, but not limited to;

  • the impact of the world wide web on the accessibility, storage and sharing of knowledge;
  • rapid advances in technology and the so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’;
  • the potential power of networked communities;
  • solving the challenge of enabling access to education for all people and;
  • the increasing irrelevance of industrial era schooling for the changing workplace.

A new paradigm for learning needs to emerge

Key Ideas

  1. A paradigm shift in education is necessary to make it more relevant for the 21st century.
  2. A learning Alliance can unite change makers and innovators to strengthen the capacity to bring a new learning paradigm into the global consciousness. 
  3. The digital age presents a unique opportunity to unite changemakers and innovators on a global scale.  
  4. Learnlife will champion the emerging global learning paradigm, using a learning Alliance to unite and facilitate communication among its growing network. 
  5. A new global learning paradigm must be shared, not owned, therefore the learning Alliance is necessary to shape it together as a global community.


  • Why is a learning Alliance necessary? 
  • What are the perceived or previous failings of a networked community in succeeding to bring about change? 
  • What are the benefits for learning communities or other interest groups or people who unite under the Alliance? 
  • Why would Learnlife seek to share the success of providing a new learning paradigm?

1. A paradigm shift in education is necessary to transform education and make it more relevant for the 21st century

The existing and commonly adopted, yet outdated factory model for learning continues to prioritise content-heavy curricula design. Success in this model is largely measured by a student’s ability to memorise content. Learning has essentially evolved however, and content should no longer drive learning because technology is now an exceptional content-provider. Students across the world are increasingly aware of this and disengaging from formal education settings that no longer provide a suitable cultural context. 

Students continue to leave formal education ill-equipped with the critical skills and competencies needed to thrive in an emerging, increasingly complex world. Education must provide a more relevant framework and model. A new paradigm for learning is required. Government systems are either unwilling or unable to lead this shift, so it is the task of global change makers and innovators to unite and influence change. Like many other networked communities attempting to influence policy change, the education community must attempt to do the same.

The 21st century provides the global education community with a golden opportunity. 

Yong Zhao quote educational reform2. A learning Alliance can unite change makers and innovators to strengthen the capacity to bring a new learning paradigm into the global consciousness  

The learning Alliance is an emerging community of changemakers and innovators from diverse countries, cultures and contexts. It collaborates across a complex network to envision and prototype a new paradigm for learning. The Alliance invites and welcomes change makers and innovators to cooperatively construct this new paradigm and strengthen the capacity to increase the momentum for change. 

The new learning paradigm is based on a universal set of core elements that encompass the Learnlife model. These core elements have arisen from an aggregation of research and the best practices in education from around the world. The learning Alliance must assist to shape the new learning paradigm appropriately.   

3. The digital age presents a unique opportunity to unite changemakers and innovators on a global scale  

We are at a critical juncture in human history - the early stages of a technological era widely coined The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Much information conveying the effect of the current wave of technological change states that due to ‘scale, scope and complexity’, this revolution will be like nothing experienced before. Its impact will be felt across cultures, governments, people, industries and education. Many individuals, school systems and governments have sought to transform or innovate in education with varying degrees of success. Behind these attempts, however, lies a wider challenge. 

It is not just the application of new technologies driving change, but the fact that the internet has effectively democratised knowledge. This has enormous ramifications on how we learn. In the space of just a few years, content has shifted from being exclusively found in books or shared verbally, to a commodity that can be accessed online anywhere, anyhow and anytime. Education is in the painful process of attempting to reinvent itself as it tries to comprehend these shifts. 

The internet has ushered in a new epoch - the digital age - and suddenly the landscape for learning is very different. It has offered the unlimited potential for communities and networks otherwise removed from one another to connect in ways not possible before, providing the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences to enhance learning for everyone. There are many individuals and organisations working hard to devise new frameworks for learning, in some instances forming cluster groups to help deliver change. Now technology can unite these cluster groups on a macro scale. 

The 4th industrial revolution

4. Learnlife will champion the emerging global learning paradigm, using the learning Alliance to unite and facilitate communication among its growing network 

Learnlife was established under the founding wisdom that existing education and schooling models have outlived their shelf-life. One of the missions at Learnlife - to create a new learning paradigm - can be best achieved by connecting the individuals and communities across the world who can help generate the momentum to embed and sustain change.

Learnlife has created the Alliance platform to enable the sharing of efforts to respond collaboratively to the challenges encountered in improving learning opportunities in different contexts. This learning Alliance intentionally seeks a broad range of interested people - individuals and change makers, educators and education system leaders, non-profits, NGOs, small and large communities, entrepreneurs, businesses, research organisations and corporations - to deliver a new learning paradigm on a global scale. 

The creation or implementation of a new paradigm will not occur in a uniform manner around the world, so the learning Alliance is intended to support efforts wherever they occur using the crowd-storming strength of a wide community to support change. 

momentum by working together5. A new global learning paradigm must be shared, not owned, therefore the Alliance is necessary to shape it together as a global community

A learning Alliance conveys that the processes of educational change and innovation must be shared, not owned. Strength in numbers and global reach supports to increase overall impact. One of the overarching goals for a new learning paradigm is universal change, therefore collaboration must be encouraged. Collaboration includes everyone - from the developing and developed world. Educating and sharing key knowledge on the Alliance of the variety of innovative practices occurring in various places around the world can help motivate and inspire others to take risks to innovate and accelerate change in their contexts.  

The following principles are vital to growing a shared and cohesive learning Alliance;

  • a mission that communicates universal targets and goals;
  • principles that define the new learning paradigm;
  • inclusion through invitation and collaboration;
  • values that exemplify the learning Alliance mission;
  • continued research and evaluation of new discoveries and trends in education and; 
  • constructive feedback to increase understanding and improve actions.

The Alliance provides a cooperative code of civility to its members to ensure an online platform that encourages communication and free expression. The following parameters are necessary for the learning Alliance to thrive and reach its mission:  

  1. The Alliance is open to anyone who believes they can contribute positively to the community and its vision and mission.
  2. The Alliance will expand by invitation, recommendation, self-nomination and collaboration.
  3. The Alliance seeks to connect diverse people, organisations and/or communities who share a common view that global action is required to generate the momentum for a paradigm shift in learning/education.
  4. All communications and commentary will be exemplified with respect.
  5. The Alliance operates with mutual transparency.
  6. The Alliance will continue to identify and share relevant research related to its mission.
  7. The Alliance will endeavour to discover and share recognised global best practices in learning/education.
  8. The Alliance recognises that constructive feedback on individual and collective ideas is part of a growth process.

From the Alliance, a global movement can emerge that by its nature inspires change and becomes more powerful than the sum of its parts.

Charles Eisenstein quote

Act now

This section provides information about the learning Alliance and how you might wish to use it. 

  1. Sign Up
    Join now for free - help build the momentum for global change!
    The Alliance is supported by our website and forum pages, and presence on social media sites Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Regular posts keep individuals up to date and informed about events, trends and our paradigm principles and ideals. We have bespoke email subscriptions to gain specific information, insights and ideas at Learnlife.
  2. Contribute
    Share your vision and expertise!
    The purpose of the learning Alliance is to collectively envision and grow a new paradigm for learning. Members of the Alliance can participate as much as they wish - anywhere, anytime. Growth mindsets at Learnlife are a result of viewpoints being challenged and we seek individuals who can challenge and grow our thinking.
  3. Inform Others
    Spread the word!
    Word of mouth is immensely powerful - it is in fact statistically more successful than TV advertisements, print or brand presence on social media.
  4. Challenge the system
    Become a change agent!
    Building momentum for a new learning paradigm requires change agents. As the learning Alliance collectively challenges assumptions and practices, clarity will grow to help navigate the emerging system in the right direction.
  5. Share Knowledge
    Got ideas? Share them!
    Sharing stories of change is a powerful way to share wisdom and experience. This learning Alliance provides a great space to do this.
  6. Learn
    We are all learners!
    We are all learners. Learnlife’s learning Alliance forum can be used to help others grow.
  7. Reflect
    Use the questions below (and your own) to spark debate:
  • What does your educational ‘utopia’ look like? 
  • How do you view the future of education; under the current status quo?  if your educational utopia was actualised? 
  • Are global education systems equipping learners with useful knowledge and skills? 
  • Are you happy with the education your children are receiving or will receive under the current system? 
  • What are the risks of inaction for education? 
  • What one action would you take to change the current status of education?
"For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate."
- Margaret Heffernan


growth oriented

Examples in action

Creating or joining a learning Alliance encourages like-minded individuals and groups to emerge, and provides the necessary momentum to deliver meaningful change. 

Below is a list of organisations and change agents who have accelerated social change locally or globally. Examples span across social, education, environment and human rights movements. The success of these examples is rooted in ideals that other individuals and organisations can relate to. These are influencers whose principles and beliefs have created, and continue to create, the conditions necessary for change.


  • GELP Global Education Leaders Partnership   
    GELP is a partnership of education leaders representing 12 countries, who unite to strategise how they can transform education. Its mission is for every learner to develop the skills and knowledge to survive and thrive in the 21st century.
  • HundrED
    HundrED seeks and shares impactful and scalable K12 innovations with the world, for free.


  • Global Climate Change Alliance 
    The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) is a European Union flagship initiative helping the world's most vulnerable countries to address climate change.
  • ISEAL Alliance
    ISEAL is the global membership association for credible sustainability standards. ISEAL’s mission is to strengthen sustainability standards systems for the benefit of people and the environment across the globe.

Human Rights

  • Global Movement for Children
    The Global Movement for Children encourages and inspires every individual and organization to invest in children by doing all they can for and with them.
  • Amnesty International
    Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.


  • UN Sustainable Development Goals
    The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has inspired movements and change agents across multiple dimensions around the world to deliver on global changes that they have set out to achieve by 2030.   
  • Social movements that have changed the world
    A homage to some of the most influential figures in history, whose capacity to drive social change has had a lasting, global change.

Further reading

Download the file here