Technology Changes Industry at a Rapid Pace

The exponential pace of technological development is driving forth changes in many sectors of the industry, up to the point where some are foreseeing a “fourth industrial revolution” on the way (and others claiming we’re already in its midst).

Industrial revolutions throughout history have been accompanied by a dramatic shift in the nature of work and in the distribution and nature of the occupations of the time. It is estimated that about 40% of all tasks may be automated in the next twenty years. Skills and occupations that are in need today could become irrelevant within the next 5-10 years.

@GlobalFuturist and @dunxd, what are your thoughts on this? How are governments and companies already trying to cope with the rapid pace of technologies change? And why are those efforts not enough?

@Ted, @temmmmm, @tjforsyth, I would like to invite you to join this discussion as well.

We’re looking for examples of how companies and governments are coping with the rapid of pace of technological change.

From the Canadian side, last year’s budget made a major move in extending a benefit scheme for continuous learning / education as part of our broader social security policies:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/programs/about-canada-revenue-agency-cra/federal-government-budgets/budget-2019-investing-middle-class/canada-training-credit.html

Might seem like a simple measure but it’s a big step to take at the federal level when education measures are normally designed and implemented at the province / territorial level here.

Will think about other examples!

At FutureFit AI, we are working on multiple national government projects in designing and deploying platform environments for citizen-wide use for national upskilling agendas and strategies.

Currently working with the UAE:

And the EU has put out a similar call for bids to work on a platform:

And Singapore has had this up for a while:
https://www.skillsfuture.sg/digitalworkplace

This looks very interesting! And something that’s probably near-term, given that the deadline for bids is February 17.

Thank you for sharing!

@tjforsyth thank you for sharing a link to the EU’s efforts to construct a platform that supports development of digital skills to meet the current skills gap. With regards to ensuring that as technology continues to evolve the skills needed, what tools might you recommend we consider adopting or putting in place to facilitate the type of communication between education providers and corporations to ensure that learners are equipped with the skills that employers need in workers over time?

I appreciate the desire to facilitate “the type of communication between education providers and corporations to ensure that learners are equipped with the skills that employers need in workers over time” but in my experience, there is often not enough specificity when people talk about skills gaps - both in terms of skills and the people. Strategies to address digital literacy/fluency are going to be very different from addressing specific “technical skill” gaps. I also think that in policy conversations such as these we assume that employers are better at articulating and projecting what they need than they might be, e.g. the employer practice of using college degrees as a proxy for critical thinking, problem solving, etc.

I think this goes to the discussion @Roey started earlier about how do we teach “soft” skills – and how do we define and measure them.

I’m skeptical that this is something that can be standardized, like technical skills.

@shurder, @Elizabeth, @Sandera, it would be great to have your insights on this discussion as well!

Is it skills or jobs!

@sternals - It’s both. The in-demand skills are changing rapidly, as are jobs.

It certainly will not hurt any more than wearing a mask to prevent coronavirus. But all evidence shows that when we are talking about the future of work the issue that will be key (like social isolation and washing your hands) is the number of work and jobs not who gets them.
We, of course, should reduce structural barriers to people of color and workers without “connected” parents to get help.
But let’s not be sidetracked by seeking solutions that help, but miss the big picture of the “phase change”, technological tidal wave that will make having enough jobs to raise a family the issue we need to find solutions for.