Volkswagen’s Electric Car Moonshot and Higher Ed in 2028

What is our equivalent?

July 18, 2019

There are two websites that I never miss a day visiting. The first is the site you are on now. The second is elecktrek.co.

Electrek describes itself as "a news site tracking the transition from fossil fuel transportation to electric and the surrounding clean ecosystems." 

Each day, I then try to figure out what the transition electric transportation has to do with the future of higher ed.

This week, electrek published a piece on VW's new advertising campaign. The VW ad, A New Mission, ends with this graphic:


VW is the world's largest automaker, with sales of 10.8 million vehicles in 2018. If we can take VW at its word, the company seems to be determined to drive the transition from internal combustion engines to battery-powered vehicles.

None of us know the date when the majority of cars sold will be electric. Some estimates have 2040 as the year. In Norway, Tesla is the best selling brand - and almost half of the new cars purchased are electric. 

We don't know when electric cars will replace gas-powered vehicles, but we know that that day will come eventually. 

What is the comparative shift for higher ed?

What change in our industry will be as big as that of the shift from gas to electricity in the auto industry?

Are we as excited about anything as are the owners of a Tesla?

Maybe our big shift will be to high-quality/low-cost online degree programs. (We see you Georgia Tech)

Or perhaps our gas-to-electric story is the shift from publisher-to-open educational materials.

Is learning science our electricity?

How might you connect the story being told on Electrek every day to our higher ed story?

What is the sense of urgent change, and confidence in our future direction, that we bring to our industry?

I want to be as excited about the future of higher ed as I'm inspired by the future of transportation.

How different will higher ed look in 2028?


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