Skip to main content
View Sidebar
Click on any book icon to see Table of Contents and/or to purchase a copy.
Post-COVID Needs of Society and Students

Post-COVID Needs of Society and Students

October 27, 2020

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

As some of you know, I am on the South Dakota Board of Regents, and in that role, I read and think a lot about the rapidly changing needs of society and higher education.  Our future seems to be accelerating.  Fast change is inevitable.

In the last 6 months I have read lots of articles about the future, but two books, in particular, really ring true for me: First, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari, and second, Ten Lessons for A Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria.

Our grandson, Luke, age 22, is an avid reader and has read much on this topic also. In fact, he has been reading Harari for months and encouraging me to do so, too.  I finally took his advice. I am now a new fan of Harari, as I have been of Zakaria.

It’s true: Luke and I really do not know the future, but in what follows we attempt to capture our learning by highlighting 5 categories of change, which will affect universities, students, and all of us.

First, DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, and to be ready,  universities need to focus on:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)


Machine Learning


Biotech – Bioengineering

Agriculture – Precision Ag

Machines which augment humans

All things cyber and digital

Math – Chemistry – Physics



Second, HEALTHCARE, and to be ready, universities need to focus on:

Preventative Medicine

Medical Devices

Medical AI


Nurses and Doctors


Third, the ENVIRONMENT, and to be ready, universities need to focus on:

Climate Sciences

Environmental Engineering



Fourth, EDUCATION, and to be ready, universities need to focus on:

Readers/writers/thinkers/educators for the future

Emphasize STEM and STEAM


Arts – History – Humanities

(STEM = Science, technology, engineering, math)

(STEAM = Science, technology,, engineering, arts, math)


Fifth, SOCIAL SCIENCES, and to be ready, universities need to focus on:


Social Justice

Demographic Changes

Title IX/Feminism/Cultures


Thank you, Luke Wink-Moran.  What a great time we had reading, thinking, and writing about these two books.  We look forward to your input on our delicate, fragile new ideas.

Everyone is a reader









  • Sharon Whitehead-van Loben Sels

    Thanks Joan and Luke! Looks like these 2 books will have to join my library. Have either of you watched the Netflix special documentary, “The Social Dilemma”? It is a MUST SEE.

    • Joan Wink

      “The Social Dilemma” on Netflicks. A MUST-see: As long as you put it that way, Sharon, I will definitely watch. Thanks.
      Thanks for the resource.

  • harry john naasz


    very interesting! and good on Luke for reading these.
    as gov’t-history major, i’d include these categories for obvious reasons…Victor Davis Hanson, classicist and all-round smart guy, should be on anyone’s reading list…

    Mobridge-Pollock, undefeated, so far in fb! play Thomas More on Thursday…


    • Joan Wink

      Vicor Davis Hanson: Thank you. Will check him out for sure. Always love to hear from you, Harry.

  • Chris Roe

    Catching up on some old Wink Worlds. Good thoughts here Luke & JW. What a world we are going to live in post-pandemic. So many changes in education. Distance learning for the masses was unthought of just 10 months ago, yet here we are. My Henry, a senior, has schooled virtually his entire senior year, along with everyone else in our neck of the woods. All of the fun things seniors do are put aside this year.
    Along with all of the other changes we are all facing, students are adjusting, adapting and embracing the new learning platform. Loving it, not so much, but living it. Connections are being made virtually. Friends are keeping in touch. Some teachers are reaching out and making learning engaging, and also are keeping it real- they know the struggles that the students are facing.
    Next year as Henry goes off to college, we don’t know what the scene will look like, but we know he will be able to adapt to either virtual or in person world.

Leave a reply