On the surface, the year 2030 may seem like a distant future. A far-away time that hardly merits considering today.
Today we are actually closer to the year 2030 than we are removed from the launch of Facebook. Despite this, in many ways we’ve never been more uncertain of what the future holds. We know it will be different. We know it will see increased automation, wide-spread adoption of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality. Yet there some things even the best among us simply can’t predict.
Currently, the World Economic Forum is hosting its annual meeting of the Global Future Councils. This is where the best minds and futurists across industries gather to prepare for what the future holds and its impact on society and the economy.
Even in this room of experts, many things remain uncertain. The list of questions is long:
- What impact will nearly omnipresent internet have on society?
- Who protects the internet from bad actors?
- Who owns what information?
- Where do we draw the line between metrics and privacy?
- If something goes wrong with an automated system, who is responsible?
The list goes on (and on, and on…) to include questions directly relevant to our work at SHP: what impact does this have on learning and jobs? For every single question that remains unanswered, there’s undoubtedly a new profession waiting to be created with an answer. Even more to the point: in a world of automation, how do we create meaningful work for the masses?
The answer is unclear, but the path to get there is more certain: learning. We have to embrace an across-the-board learning-first culture. Not just in schools, but also in the workplace, on the shop floor, in our homes and everywhere else. As the best futurists gathering at the world conference have noted, schools and universities are just starting to pick up the pace on meeting this challenge head on. It’s time for the business world to join them.