Guest Blog: 9 Billion Schools: Changing the World Through Education

By: Dale Heidotting

As we face the future, it is easy to become frustrated, even depressed, thinking about global politics, the environment and climate change, terrorism, hunger, health care and more. Doom and gloom win if we do not embrace our better, stronger emotions. For me, that means embracing education as a path to a better life and a better world. Education is a path to fulfillment, flourishing and human dignity.

That is the premise of the 9 Billion Schools movement. The 9 Billion Schools manifesto – that every person on earth deserves a school unto themselves and opportunities for life-long, life-wide and life-deep learning – recognizes that personalized education is essential to human flourishing and human dignity.

My involvement with 9 Billion Schools led me to reflect on my experiences as a lifelong learner. My education and my desire to learn have provided me with countless opportunities throughout my life and helped shape the person I am today. As an optimist, a problem solver and an architect, I have channeled my imagination and curiosity to contribute to the greater good. There is nothing more exhilarating than when your imagination sends your spirit soaring. I truly believe education is the path to improving the future for all.

The 9 Billion Schools movement is so named because, by the year 2050, there will be nine billion people on the planet. Nine. Billion. People. When I think about nine billion people, I see the possibility of nine billion contributors and collaborators working to make the world a better place. Nine billion people sharing ideas and experiences, working, playing and finding their passion. Sure, the number of variables is overwhelming, but we have history on our side. When we wanted to put a man on the moon, we did what it took to make it happen. And I believe we can do this, too.

So, where does lifelong learning for all begin? It starts with a simple goal. We have the technology, we have the need and we have the minds to make it possible. We simply need the will. It starts with a single book, a person who cares, a child with a need. It starts with each and every one of us. It starts today.

Join me and the 9 Billion Schools movement by signing our declaration to bring life-long, life-wide and life-deep personalized learning to all.

Dale Heidotting is an architect and retired partner at SHP Leading Design.  Throughout his life, Heidotting has epitomized the concept of lifelong personalized learning. In retirement, he continues to pursue his passion for writing, art, design, team building, video production and working with children.