Rebooting the System

Author:  Glen Shinn, Principal, Global Consulting Solutions

Thesis statement. “The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”- Heraclitus, c.540 BCE—c.480)

I hope your morning was as beautiful as mine. Stepping outside into 63°F was a refreshing change, along with a walk and a hint of autumn in the air. Returning to the desktop, I found another change—my computer had lost my password—again!Now it was time to refresh the login—not a change I embraced. I called the Aggie help desk with an familiar Apollo 13 phrase, “Houston, we have a problem.”

This morning’s challenge was coping with change and uncertainty and surviving in a digital world.

So, speaking of change, John Nasbitt, in 1984, warned us that “the world is in the middle of great transformation – from an industrial era to information. However, society’s perception as a whole has not yet made the mental adjustment to the new realities.” He continues that “we literally are watching the shaping of a new era, and can be part of the formative process. 1984!

Thomas Friedman, in 2007 wrote, “We are in the middle of the sweeping changes to the largest forces on the planet.” That year brought sweeping changes that included Apple’s iPhone, Airbnb, Facebook, fracking, IBM’s Watson, Kindle, the Cloud, Twitter. We get the idea. 2007!

Friedman, in 2016, wrote, “the three largest forces—Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)” ―are accelerating all at once. 2016!

Like my morning walk, sunrise and sunset are natural, so is change. Brock Yates, the former editor of Car & Driver, wrote, “Things that appear to be happening have already happened.”

Push out 15 years—2036!Today’s high school seniors will be 32. We will ALL be older. Are we preparing our students, schools, and communities for accelerating change? It will require a growth mindset. Texas 2036 explores the data and decisions in “Shaping Our Future—A Strategic Framework for the Future of Texas.

CEN’s purpose is simple—to dramatically improve rural education for students, parents, and communities. The essential ingredients include a blend of innovation, forward-thinking, creativity; collaboration; communications, and persistence. The raison d ‘être is to improve lives, schools and communities by changing the status quo. However, Mencken noted, “Change is not progress—but progress requires change.” Simple. Not easy!

The CEN P-20 model promises to keep the school traditions as we upskill from the factory model to the cutting-edge collegiate model, where all means ALL.

This transformation is a work in progress, but we must “pick up the tempo.” We invite you to join us in developing future-ready education for all. The future is uncertain, and like a pandemic, we cannot predict it; but we need to be open and ready for it. General Eric Shinseki, in typical General style, cut to the chase, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.


Heraclitus, c.540 BCE—c.480

Jim Lovell’s warning from Apollo 13 (1995)

Mencken, H.L. (n.d.). Chapter 1. The meaning of progress. Retrieved from

Texas 2036. 2021)“Shaping Our Future—A Strategic Framework for the Future of Texas. Retrieved from

Understanding The Collegiate Model. Retrieved from

Weise, M.R. (2021). Long Life Learning: Preparing for jobs that don’t even exist yet.” John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

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