A culture of learning that operates through study, consultation, action, and reflection, depends on empowerment and capacity building on the level of both the individual and the institutions of society.
Individually, all are responsible to participate in the generation and application of knowledge according to each’s unique talents and capacities. Contrasted to current society’s depiction of education and learning as a filling information into the empty minds of passive recipients, a culture of learning recognizes the innate capacities of creativity, insight, and intelligence of all individuals. Opportunities must be created to develop these latent capacities towards the end of generating and applying knowledge for the betterment of the world.
Institutional capacity must also be developed – both creating systems which foster the empowerment of individuals through manifesting their latent capacities of knowledge generation, as well as consolidating, integrating, and diffusing generated knowledge. Learning is a collective enterprise, as consultation thrives on diverse perspectives and views from many individuals. Thus, not only does the role of institutions becomes the empowerment of all to contribute to learning, but to distill and synthesize knowledge generated from diverse settings and contexts. Knowledge propels the advance of civilization – the goal being a world civilization. Knowledge, therefore, has a global dimension, and institutions must discern universal patterns from local insights. Of particular significance is the impact these concepts have on the educational systems of the world. They need to be concerned with empowering students to be active participants in a process of generating and applying knowledge – not receptacles of others’ learning; and they need to compare knowledge from diverse contexts, identify patterns, and disseminate learning. In these ways will institutions be empowered themselves to guide a global collective learning process towards building a world civilization.