Kimmel Education and Research Center


Date of this Version



Future-Focused Leadership: Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning will be published in the conference proceedings of the 2014 Distance Learning Administration Conference.


While many continue to question the skyrocketing costs and value of a college education, future-focused leaders are recreating learning experiences by blending technology with the human experience. What does the future of distance learning look like, taste like and feel like? It can be difficult to predict the future of education as the world continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace; however, distance learning administrators can use a future-focused leadership approach, which includes examining megatrends, to plan for the future. Megatrends are global shifts that influence society, the economy and the environment. The purpose of this paper is to touch on three megatrends shaping the future of distance learning: 1) The Rise of the #GigEconomy, 2) Living with Purpose and Meaning and 3) The Decentralized Marketplace.