In Summary
  • It is certain that technology is fast changing the idea of work and at the same time making most of what we consider to be work irrelevant.
  • As bad as it sounds, we cannot protect certain jobs any more.
  • We must keep pace with the rest of the world or perish.
  • The political class must make a conscious decision to emancipate educational system from what it is today to something that builds an independent-minded human being with the capacity to create and conscientiously support others.

The famous Jewish victim of the Holocaust and author of The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank, wrote the following words: ''I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.''

Although there are very few incidences that can be likened to the Holocaust, there is misery in poverty, crime and hopelessness that is a likely scenario in the days to come if we do not act now to prepare for a future workspace through creative education.

As I reflect on what may happen, I am also encouraged that in the midst of misery, there could be beauty that still remains.

What is certain is that technology is fast changing the idea of work and at the same time making most of what we consider to be work irrelevant. Jobs that require repetitive tasks are dying. More people will be out of employment and more people will fall into poverty and crime.

As bad as it sounds, we cannot protect such jobs any more. The planet we live in isn’t just for us. We must keep pace with the rest of the world or perish. As long as we live on planet earth, we must adopt to the changes or leapfrog and lead the world into the future jobs.

What are these future jobs? The answer to this question lies in what Artificial Intelligence (AI) cannot do.

There are many jobs that can never be taken over by machines in the foreseeable future. Most jobs, even the ones that will be automated, will require additional human qualities.
These qualities include human creativity, empathy, morality, communication, planning and making strategic decisions or even creating music. They can be classified into two broad areas - creativity and morality, and each can produce many jobs.

CREATIVITY

Perfecting these qualities, however, require some specialised training.

For example, if you want to train future entrepreneurs, they must take such courses as creativity and innovation. Research has shown that training interventions in creativity and innovation is positively related to greater performance of enterprises.

Creativity and innovation are also deemed to be more important than financial resources, experience, time, and infrastructure.

The problem is that such courses are not too common in developing countries. While some countries have incorporated creative thinking in their educational systems from early childhood education to university, our system is largely characterised by rote learning and cramming to pass examinations.

That perhaps explains why many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) do not seek to exploit an opportunity and are often replications that are never sustainable beyond four years from their start.

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