University Of Tasmania
145539-Conceptualizing the meaning, theory, and practice of learning societies during an age of disruption.pdf (244.6 kB)
Download file

Conceptualizing the meaning, theory, and practice of learning societies during an age of disruption

Download (244.6 kB)
posted on 2023-05-22, 19:15 authored by Rupert MacleanRupert Maclean, Wheeler, L
This chapter reviews the literature to provide a background on the historical development, definitions, and principles why the concept of a learning society continues to be relevant, more so in an age of disruption. It illustrates what is meant by “age of disruption”, which includes the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0, globalization, climate change, technological disruption, artificial intelligence, and geopolitical peace and conflict situations. In particular, this chapter presents learning societies against a recent, urgent, concentrated example of a truly global disruption: the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. While COVID-19 is global in scale and interconnected in complexity, its impact is still very local—hence the importance of place and context. This opens up the relevance and urgency of the learning society concept to be applied in practice. The current practice of utilizing a learning city approach to learning societies is growing. But to truly implement this concept, what is needed is an application of the theory of lifelong learning and learning societies that considers place and context. Implementation of appropriate policies; more responsive governance structures; multi-stakeholder partnerships; civil society engagement; and measurement and evaluation, are all key elements for a learning society in an age of disruption.


Publication title

Powering a Learning Society During an Age of Disruption




S Ra, S Jagannathan and R Maclean






Faculty of Education


Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

Place of publication




Rights statement

Copyright 2021 The Author(s) This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 IGO license which permits any noncommercial use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the Asian Development Bank, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Professional development and adult education; Other education and training not elsewhere classified