Transhumanism and Innovative Leadership: A Question of Quality

Transhumanism and Innovative Leadership: A Question of Quality

Ebba S. I. Ossiannilsson (ICDE OER Advocacy Committee, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8431-5.ch006
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Rethinking leadership at all levels is required to reach the goals of learning and education in 2030 through which learners will take the lead in orchestrating the process and manner of their own learning and in choosing their personal learning journeys. The fourth industrial revolution will continue to change the ways we act, perform, live, work, and learn. Therefore, there is a need for a social revolution that includes the understanding of transhumanism and its effects. The term “cutting edge” does not concern technology as much as it concerns humans. Accordingly, transhumanism is crucial for a sustainable ecosystem of learning with and through technology and digital transformation, which encompasses all levels of institutions—macro, meso, and micro. This chapter is focused on future trends, issues, and challenges in management and leadership as well as on issues and challenges in communication, which is essential in both leadership and smart learning.
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Transhumanism, which is often abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international philosophical movement that advocates the transformation of the human condition by developing widely available sophisticated technologies that greatly enhance human intellect and physiology (Boström, 2005). Advocates of transhumanism study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations as well as the ethical limitations of using such technologies. Emerging technologies are those perceived as capable of changing the status quo. These technologies are generally new, but they include older technologies that are still controversial and relatively undeveloped in their potential. Rotolo, Hicks, and Martin (2015) considered that emerging technologies are characterized by radical novelty, relatively fast growth, coherence, prominent impact, uncertainty, and ambiguity. They argued that emerging technologies could be defined as having a certain degree of coherence that persists over time as well as the potential to exert considerable influence on the socio-economic domain, which is observed in the composition of actors, institutions, and the patterns of interactions among them, including the associated processes of knowledge production. The predominant influence of emerging technologies, however, lies in the future; therefore, in the emergence phase, they are still somewhat uncertain and ambiguous. O’Reilly (2008) argued that emerging technologies include a variety of technologies, such as educational technology, information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognitive science, psychotechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence. In short, the link between transhumanism and emerging technologies promises us freedom from the biological limitations inherent in our nature. It aims to enhance the physical, emotional, and cognitive capacities of humans, thus opening up new possibilities and horizons of experience.

Sisman-Uğur & Kurubacak (forthcoming) argued in the call and outline of this book, that:

[T]transhumanism must advocate the moral right to use technologies to extend individual capacities, to surpass natural limits, and to improve humans not only physically and psychologically but also educationally. In other words, cutting-edge technologies must be used to improve humans by enabling them to live longer, healthier, and more intellectual lives. At this point, transhumanists must be progressive, advocating the use of emerging technologies to improve not only human lives, including cybernetics, artificial intelligence, social networks, space colonization, cryonics, and curing aging but also human learning. Transhumanism, therefore, must be a sound philosophy by valuing scientific facts, reason, and logic above spiritual principles as well as viewing humankind as controlling its transformation and promoting rational thinking, freedom, tolerance, democracy, and concern for human beings. Improving human learning means improving the human organism so that it can transform beyond its natural and biological limits.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Internet of Things (IoT): The network of devices, vehicles, and home appliances, such as electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity, which allows these devices to connect, interact, and exchange data.

Transhumanism (H+ or h+): An international philosophical movement that advocates the transformation of the human condition by developing and making sophisticated technologies widely available for the enhancement of human intellect and physiology.

Innovative Leadership: The innovative leader’s focus is on the big picture and on working with creative thinkers who contribute to enhancing that vision. The innovative leader needs to be able to communicate her/his vision and generate enthusiasm for it. The leader’s team needs to be able to see the vision and be willing to invest their time and resources into making it happen. Innovative leaders know that leadership by demand is far less effective in encouraging creativity and innovation than leadership through motivation and inspiration. The innovative leader needs to have confidence in her/his team and their ability to work together to achieve the vision.

Smart Learning: Learning anytime and anywhere based on individual cognitive ability. It takes place by using an advanced electronic device. Smart learning is also called advanced distributed learning, e-learning, online leaning, hybrid learning, and blended learning.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (i.e., the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (i.e., using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions), and self-correction.

Digital Transformation: Digital transformation is the process of devising new business applications that integrate all digitized data and digitalized applications. Taking advantage of digitalization to create completely new business concepts. Because of digitization and digitalization, data are easily accessible for use across various platforms, devices, and interfaces.

Quality in Open Online Learning: In education and learning, quality is usually defined as teaching methods that successfully help learners develop the knowledge and skills they will require in the digital age. the short answer to the question of quality in open online learning. A longer definition requires examining, at least briefly, institutional and degree accreditation, internal (academic) quality assurance processes, differences in quality assurance between traditional classroom teaching and online and distance education, the relationship between quality assurance processes and learning outcomes, and quality assurance that fits the purpose, all of which are necessary for meeting the goals of education in the digital age.

Disruption: Disturbances or problems that interrupt an event, activity, or process. Events, activities, or processes are often used or understood differently than they were at the beginning. Disruptive innovation, which is an artistic term coined by Clayton Christensen, describes the process by which a product or service is initially offered in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then moves relentlessly upward in the market, eventually displacing established competitors.

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