Education and Talent Can Build a Better World Democracy

The EdTech Ecosystem has a role to play.


Editor’s note: This is part two of a two part article. Part one entitled Learning the Value of Democracy covered There are still so many things to learn from learning. I would like to focus this reflection at a critical learning dimension: Learning the value of democracy.

EdTech has been experiencing a boom in the number of startups, events and mentions that are discussed in media around the world. 

 We are in the middle of one of the great revolutions in the history of education

Over the years, extensive resources have been invested in initiatives that combine technology and education, but, no great shake-up has taken place in the educational field as a result of this introduction and have not led to the required paradigm shift. 

It took us a while to learn the balanced innovation coming from technology and pedagogy that is required for education. 

In 2013, the world spent a collective $4.6 trillion on education products and services, across all categories. And yet, the combined market cap of all education companies that are publicly listed, and which possess market caps in excess of $500M, was approximately 2% of the total global spend

All of these operators combined constitute what is the smallest market capitalization index of any major sector in the economy

Just a few years ago, there were no more than 50 private EdTech startup companies, active with some type of professional investment. By the end of 2013, that number had risen, tenfold, to over 500, and there are hundreds more of these startups backed by angels and founder teams operating throughout the world. 

I have closely witnessed how some of the major obstacles to broadly impact education globally are beginning to fall down.. 

More impactful, how education has finally been perceived as an attractive field for capital investment and innovation. 


Creating value in education does not depend solely on policy, it has to be driven by an increasing and impactful supply of innovative approaches to the long standing challenges and to the new realities of life long engaging learners.

Next page-  The new democratic Challenges

Fernando Valenzuela
Fernando is currently head of Aspen Institute education program in Mexico and Partner at Global Impact Edtech Alliance. He was formerly President McGraw-Hill Education, Latin America. He is a recognized senior executive, entrepreneur, speaker and board level leader with international background. He has founded and led successful enterprises in Latin America for over 25 years. He holds a Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and an MBA in International Business by the University of Miami. Active member of Wharton Fellows, ENOVA Network of Latin America CEOs, Center for Hemispheric Policy and Council of the Americas, board member at Inroads. He was most recently President at Cengage Learning / National Geographic Learning Latin America and founder of LINNEA, the First Laboratory for Innovation in Learning Experiences in Latin America. There Fernando lead the transformation of the educational models and creating high value learning experiences by engaging students with technology. Website LinkedIn