10 Million Better Futures to scale up existing badge ecosystem to a global level to benefit 10 million workers and students by 2016.

Yesterday the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the Badge Alliance, announced a new Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, to further increase access to opportunities in education and the workforce using open badges – digital credentials for knowledge and skills – to improve the futures of 10 million students and workers worldwide.

Open Badges is an exciting new way to recognize and capture learning wherever it happens — in school, in the community or online,” said Erin Knight, executive director of the Badge Alliance. “Open badges can safely and efficiently store in-depth and verifiable information about what was learned, what skills were mastered and what competencies were attained. It’s great to see so many young people and skilled workers are already being recognized using badges, and we’re excited to be upping our commitment, and pledging to help 10 million people show a more complete picture of who they are and what they can do using a credential that can capture formal, informal and lifelong learning.”

Over 14,000 independent organizations are already issuing badges to document formal and informal learning and workplace training, providing more ways for students and workers to get verifiable recognition that can lead to increased access to opportunities for further education and career success.

Last year, the MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla and HASTAC made a commitment at CGI America to improve the lives of 2 million Americans, creating new paths to advancement for a million students and a million workers through digital open badges by the end of 2016. Within a year of that original commitment, partner organizations committed to providing badging opportunities to four million people, inspiring this year’s announcement to up the commitment to 10 million by the MacArthur Foundation and Badge Alliance.

With this new increased commitment, 10 million students or workers will have a more complete representation of their competencies, skills and potential, and can use open badges to craft their own pathways to reach their goals. As more employers and colleges accept badges as markers of achievement, students and workers can showcase nontraditional learning to gain access to the right jobs and to unlock opportunities that will connect them to a better future.

This commitment is bigger than any one organization, and requires participation across the ecosystem in order to build this future and reach the goal of helping 10 million people through open badges. As a new network of organizations actively building a new culture of credentialing and learning together, the Badge Alliance is committing to do just that.

The Badge Alliance will steward, shape and extend this growing ecosystem, building a sustainable skills currency that encourages and recognizes lifelong learning and achievement. The members of the Badge Alliance can leverage each other’s work, sharing resources and extending their reach to connect with others in the ecosystem.

Promoting openness, learner agency and innovation, members of the Badge Alliance are collaboratively tackling issues facing the badging ecosystem and supporting the continued development of badging networks on a global scale. By working together to build use cases across sectors, the Badge Alliance is expanding the possibilities for lifelong learning in formal and informal education spaces and the workplace. They are helping to connect learners and workers to opportunities that provide a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

A result of the success of last year’s CGI America commitment for 2 million better futures through digital open badges, and the increasing momentum and growth of the global badging ecosystem, the Badge Alliance was soft launched in February 2014 at the Summit to Reconnect Learning.

The Badge Alliance and its partners are committed to expanding the use of badges globally over the next 2 years – and beyond – so that 10 million students and workers will be able to use badges to advance their academic progress or further their career goals by being able to demonstrate acquired skills and learning.

The lead partners are urging learning organizations, universities, school districts, and employers across the country to join the open badges commitment. For more information or to make a commitment, watch the video below and visit 10MBetterFutures.org

One Response to “10 Million Better Futures Through Open Badges Commitment Made at CGI America 2014”

  1. […] to access employment via Open Badges.  In 2014, the CGI, along with the Badge Alliance,  increased the reach of this commitment from two million US students and workers to ten million students and workers […]

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