“Faster knowledge obsolescence. The rapid emergence of new knowledge. The disappearance of existing careers,
and the rapid emergence of new careers. THIS is the future of skills!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Six years ago today, I was in Sao Paolo, Brazil, with a keynote for the WorldSkills competition and leadership conference. It’s a massive global organization that focuses on accelerating young people into new skilled trades and careers, both new and old. The event itself is like the global Olympics of skills, with 3,300 competitors in 85 different categories seeking to establish their mastery of specific, unique knowledge.
They invited me to open this massive global skills competition and conference with a talk on the future of careers, the arrival of new jobs and the disappearance of old jobs, the rapid evolution of knowledge, and how to turn these trends into opportunities for national and corporate competitive advantage. This is one of The premier global HR/skills conferences and so it was an absolute thrill to be involved!
What was the focus? Here’s an extract of a report on the keynote.
“65% of children in preschool today will work in a job that does not exist now,” announced Carroll to the approximately 450 international leaders of technical and vocational education within governments, industry, education, and unions gathered at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 to build the global skills movement.
Carroll established that today is the era of major transformation and supremacy of big ideas. Organizations not only need to consider what their current competition will be doing in the future but also need to assume that new entrants to their profession will reinvent the approach of businesses that operate as they have always done.
“Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century,” noted Carroll. Technology will change every element of our lives at such a rapid pace that half of what vocational students learn in their first year will be replaced with new technology knowledge in three years.
To be successful in a fast-paced environment, Carroll recommended people “think big, start small, and scale fast.”
His advice to the WorldSkills community was to constantly question how the hyper-connectivity offered by technology will impact skilled careers. Carroll encouraged participants to look at the future with optimism, not fear. Carroll is recognized as a thought-leader and author of “The Future Belongs to Those Who Are Fast” and “Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast”.
The WorldSkills Leaders Forum is a global event on the most topical themes – based on input from WorldSkills Delegates and Members. The WorldSkills Leaders Forum event itself serves to kick-start dialogue among attendees – individuals and organizations striving to exploit and develop the power of the global network of WorldSkills to meet the needs of industry, commerce, and those who educate and train the next generation professional – to the mutual benefit of all concerned.