Economist / Future Work Event Chicago


I enjoyed listening to the high-level panel discuss at the kickoff of The Economist Future Works,  Jobs in the fourth industrial revolution in Chicago.   The panel was a facilitated discussion the needs and challenges around meeting current and future workforce needs.
Here are some quick notes from the discussion:
  • Diversity is not just demographics.   It is also about decision making and the need to have diversity in decision making.
  • What new leaders need:  More analytical,  more tech savvy,  mindfulness, more empathetic ( most important skill)
  • Professions will be disruptive over time.
  • Machine processes are different than human processes  though the processes can intersect / overlap in some areas
  • 4th industrial revolution:
    • earlier revolutions focused on simple blue collar tasks
    • this is a knowledge revolution
  • Have to reinvent learning at every level throughout people’s lives / careers
  • We will have over 2B children entering the global workforce
  • Entrepreneurial mindset; Comfortable with risk,  creative mindset
  • Have to start teaching people how to create their own jobs
  • Current academic models are not working
    • We have not evolved our content we are teaching
    • We are mass educating people instead of optimizing people
    • Change the teacher role from lecture to coach and the sooner the better
    • The teaching methodologies are completely out of date
    • Overhaul how we train teachers
    • Need better global standards and measurement
    • Students make fear based decisions about career vs. aligning with their strengths
  • Role of digital platforms in education will be critical on a global level
There was some Q&A in the session.   One key area was around the funding to change.   Today most public institutions are struggling with declining funding and yet need to change.  Funding for existing models, that are failing, will have to change so that money can be put into new areas.
I have been involved in this conversation for several years now with cities in the USA and globally.   In my next blog, I will introduce some additional factors involved in this space beyond what was discussed today.  (now posted) Building a Global Workforce

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