Are Education Institutions Prepared for Digital Disruption?

Peter Hirst, the Associate Dean of Executive Education at MIT Sloan School of Management participates in Risk Roundup to discuss whether “Education Institutions Are Prepared for Digital Disruption?



For nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA), everything and everyone today can be characterized as digitally disruptive—or, if it is not disruptive yet, it’s only a matter of time before it become so. This “Digital Disruption Vulnerability Concern” from across NGIOA –as to who will disrupt and who will be disrupted, where would the disruption come from and when, and in what format is today’s greatest dilemma for each individual and decision maker across NGIOA.

Education faces digital disruption too, as computer code, connected computers, internet and digital connectivity creates new ways of doing things. It is this potential of new way of doing things that has made the once unchallenged “education institutions” vulnerable to disruption and fundamental transformation.

There is a growing concern that the education system: its framework, model, institutions, processes and structures are not able to keep up with the growing demands of digital services fit for a digital global age. Now looking at the changes that are already under way, it seems that the imminent digital disruption and fundamental transformation of “Education” is going to be a difficult journey for not only the educational institutions and the industry but also every nation.

The colleges, universities, and other educational institutions and their monopoly in the production and sale of education credentials at all levels seem to be collapsing right in front of our eyes. Across nations, we are already witnessing digital technology for free learning in cyberspace (online). “Massive Open Online Courses” that have been rolling out across nations are helping students of all ages, gender and location. Millions of people from all across nations have already started taking benefit from these free “On-Line courses or seminars” and other formats of educational material. There are also reports that some educational institutions have also been in talks to providing institution credentials for finished online courses. This is just the beginning!

As new ideas, innovations and new ways of educating, training, learning, coaching and mentoring become available in the coming years; colleges, universities and educational institutions are expected to go through fundamental transformative changes for which they are perhaps not prepared for. As colleges and universities are expected to undergo profound transformational changes, many may not survive in the way they exist today. This is a cause of great concern.

The road to digital disruption and fundamental transformation of education will require that each nation take a far-reaching look at their education system: framework, products, operating models, structures, content and other key elements of the industry at all levels-global/national and local.

Amidst the social media, mobile technology, analytics, the cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)—the coming together of these technological advances is on its way to disrupting industries. So the question is:

  • When the role of colleges, universities and educators is changing, how is the education industry preparing for the imminent transformative changes?
  • What efforts are under way to be prepared and survive the disruption?


To watch or listen “Peter Hirst, the Associate Dean of Executive Education at MIT (Sloan School of Management) participation in Risk Roundup with Jayshree Pandya to discuss whether “Education Institutions Are Prepared for Digital Disruption” please watch the video or hear the audio podcast. Risk Roundup: video/audio podcasts are available on YouTubeiTunesAndroid, Google PlayStitcher RadioRisk Group, professional social media and Risk Group networks.


About the Guest
Peter Hirst PhD is the Associate Dean of Executive Education at MIT Sloan School of Management. Peter Hirst leads the team of professionals who partner with clients and faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management to develop, design, and deliver innovative executive education programs for individuals and companies.

Formerly CEO of the commercialization, consulting, and executive education business of the London School of Economics, he has over twenty years of experience in international strategy, technology consulting and organizational development.  Peter has also served as a director and board adviser to businesses and non-profit organizations on three continents.  He is a past president of the British American Business Council of New England, for which he currently serves as a board director, and a founding member of its Energy and Environment and High Tech Committees.  Peter is a trustee and treasurer of the American Foundation of the University of St Andrews in Scotland and cochair of the Education Working Group of the Internet of Things World Forum and a founding member of the Internet of Things Global Talent Consortium.  He is also a board director and cochair of the Digital Communications Subcommittee of UNICON, the global association of university-based executive education programs.

Peter earned a PhD from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, for research in plasma physics and microwave engineering.  After a period of academic entrepreneurship in a variety of related fields, including optoelectronics, neural network computing, and the interfaces between technology and terrorism, he was appointed Westminster Fellow in the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, where he advised MPs and Peers of all parties on policy issues in the physical sciences, defense, and IT.

In 2012, Peter was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his service to British and American business and academia interests.

About the Host of Risk Roundup
Jayshree Pandya (née Bhatt) is a visionary leader, who is working passionately with imagination, insight and boldness to achieve “Global Peace through Risk Management”. It is her strong belief that collaboration between and across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA) will be mutually beneficial to all—for not only in the identification and understanding of critical risks facing one nation, but also for managing the interconnected and interdependent risks facing all nations. She calls on nations to build a shared sense of identity and purpose, for how the NGIOA framework is structured will determine the survival and success of nations in the digital global age. She sees the big picture, thinks strategically and works with the power of intentionality and alignment for a higher purpose—for her eyes are not just on the near at hand but on the future of humanity!
At Risk Group, Jayshree is defining the language of risks and currently developing thought leadership, researching needed practices, tools, framework and systems to manage the “strategic and shared risks” facing nations in a “Global Age”. She believes that cyberspace cannot be secured if NGIOA works in silo within and across its geographical boundaries. As cyber-security requires an integrated NGIOA approach with a common language, she has recently launched “cyber-security risk research center” that will merge the boundaries of “geo-security, cyber-security and space-security”.
Previously, she launched and managed “Risk Management Matters”, an online risk journal and one of the first risk publications, publishing “Industry Risk Reports of Biotechnology, Energy, Healthcare, Nanotechnology, and Natural Disasters” over the course of five years. Jayshree’s inaugural book, “The Global Age: NGIOA @ Risk”, was published by Springer in 2012.

About Risk Roundup

“Risk Roundup” is an “integrated strategic security risk dialogue” for nations: its government,  industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA) in cyberspace, geospace and space (CGS).Risk Roundup is released in both audio and video format and is available for subscription at (Risk Group WebsiteiTunesGoogle PlayStitcher RadioAndroid, and Risk Group Professional Social Media).

About Risk Group
Risk Group believes that risk management, security and peace walk together hand in hand. Though security is related to management of threats and peace to the management of conflict, risk management is related to management of security vulnerabilities as well as management of conflict, and it is not possible to conceive any one of the three without the existence of the other two. All three concepts feed into each other. Risk Group believes that the security we build for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for everyone across nations. Tradition becomes our security-so if we build a culture of managing risks effectively it will lead us to security and security will lead us to peace!

Copyright Risk Group LLC. All Rights Reserved