5 Big Questions: DR MONA MOURSHED


What does employability mean in 2022?

What are the best environments for people to thrive at work?

How and why is the education system broken all over the world?

In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to founding global CEO of Generation, DR MONA MOURSHED.


Twitter: @mona_mourshed 

The Possibility Club podcast - 5 Big Questions. Dr Mona Mourshed on 21st century skills, global education and the future workforce.Known for:


  • Founding Global CEO – Generation
  • Fortune Magazine’s ’40 under 40
  • Board Member – Last Mile Health
  • Board Member – New America 
  • Board Member – Teach for All
  • Member – US Council on Foreign Relations
  • Former Govenor – International Baccalaureate Organization
  • Former Head of Global Education Practice – McKinsey

The 5 Big Questions:

Measuring change How do you measure the impact of what you do?

Ready for anything - future proofingHow should people/businesses be preparing for the future?

Skills, talent & opportunityHow do we build the workforce we need for that future?

Embedded innovationHow do you use creativity to solve problems?

Bold connections, collaborationHow do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

“The tragic reality is that the global workforce system, or education-to-employment system is broken in many different ways. The system is broken for adult learners of all ages.”

“Generation is a global non-profit to support adult learners to achieve economic mobility through a career.”

“When they enter our programme, 90% of our learners are unemployed and half of those are long-term unemployed. Three months later we’re able to get to an outcome of 80% employed.”

“Unfortunately age is often not included, or not considered to be a part of ‘diversity’. But the reality is we live in an inter-generational workforce, so we need to hire — and have environments — that take that into account.”

“Frankly there’s a lot of shit that happens in five years! Here’s what I will say: the ability to do two things is critical when you’re in environmental flux. One is, you have to think about where the jobs are and therefore what education and training is required for those jobs. Jobs first, and then education and training required for them. Second is, how are you able to rapidly support an individual to achieve learning mastery of either a new set of skills, or to be able to transition to a new career?”

“There are absolutely critical care roles that require technical skills, behavioural skills, and a very resilient mindset and the reality is that in most parts of the world these jobs are not paid at a level commensurate with the effort and expertise required to do them. This is an endemic problem that becomes even more challenging with an ageing population. This is a very thorny issue that I have yet to see a country actually crack.”

This episode was recorded in October 2022

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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