The digital ecosystem is global, worldwide and not exclusive to any country, region, business or sector. The digital revolution cannot succeed without wide participation of all, across the globe, and is leading to a new paradigm that impacts the whole society.
The digital transformation of society is the main trend and the main challenge of this century. Soon everybody will be connected to the Internet worldwide. However, capacity building to ensure that everybody is able to contribute to the digital ecosystem, and to fully participate in the workforce is lagging behind.
Anticipating and preparing for the impact of digital on the workforce is urgent.
Next to the imperative technological skills, increasingly, the human workforce of the future will be challenged to cooperate, adapt to an ever-changing world and maintain a questioning mind.
In the coming years we can expect Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems to be increasingly used in domains such as transportation, service robots, healthcare, education, low-resource communities, public safety and security, employment and workplace, and entertainment. These systems must be introduced in ways that build trust and understanding, respect human and civil rights, and are in line with culture and social context.
“Many new jobs will appear for which skilled human workers are needed with a set of skills that combine technical education with humanities, arts and social sciences.”
In order to build the skills needed and promote a resilient and sustainable digital ecosystem, the following aspects must be central in education curricula across the world:
In the same way as the tools that we shape, will thereafter shape us, the digital ecosystem will bring along a redefinition of fundamental human values, including our current understanding of work and wealth.
Many new jobs will appear for which skilled human workers are needed with a set of skills that combine technical education with humanities, arts and social sciences. Consider the following examples:
“The drive for human activity is now quickly shifting from owning to sharing: ‘I am what I share.'”
Technological developments in the last century led to mass production and mass consumption. Until very recently, owning has been the main goal, and competition the main drive: “I am what I own”.
The digital ecosystem, including the possibilities offered by the responsible use of AI applications, will favour openness over competition: think about open data, open source, open access.
The drive for human activity is now quickly shifting from owning to sharing: “I am what I share”. Combined with the changing role of work, this novel view on wealth, requires a new view on economy and finance which favour circular economy.
The digital age is a time for reinvention and creativity. Capacity building must embrace these skills alongside technological savvy.
The Global ICT Capacity Building Symposium provides a unique opportunity for stakeholders to engage on access to relevant digital skills and to ensure that everybody is able to contribute to the digital ecosystem. For information on the ITU Global ICT Capacity Building Symposium (CBS-2018) see the event website.