The Acceleration of Skills – What the Legal Cannabis Industry Teaches Us About the Future!


Here’s a clip to grok over!

The slide I used? Right here!

The point? Organizations always need to be thinking RIGHT now about the skills they might need in the future.

Students in food science and food processing need to be trained in cannabis now, so that they’re ready to help develop new products in five years’ time, says Gilbert. More broadly a number of regulatory questions persist: “How do we standardise products? How do we test products? If it’s a CBD product, how do we make sure it’s not contaminated with THC?

Watch the video clip – when I put this slide up in front of a bunch of senior executives for major food companies, they all quickly came to agree in a follow-up discussion that this was one of the biggest issues they are faced with.

The context of your future? It’s to be found in one of my previous Daily Inspiration posts.

“You are going to need to recruit people for jobs not yet in existence based on skills not yet developed and you need to do this yesterday!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

“It’s the jobs that do not yet exist that you really need to prepare for!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

It’s not often in this line of work that you get booked by the same client on the exact same day just a few years apart!

I guess they liked my message!

That was the case on this day in 2016 and 2019 with the  Career Education Colleges and Industries group, previously known as the American Society of Private Colleges and Universities. The first event was their annual conference in Denver, and the second exactly four years later to the day in New Orleans. In 2015, I covered future knowledge trends involving careers, professions, and specialized skills; the second built upon that theme with a solid plan for enhancing and accelerating the education system.

There was a LOT of different content to each keynote, but I opened both events with a key bedrock quote that I’ve used for almost every keynote for close to 25 years – that 65% of kids in pre-school today will work in jobs or careers that do not yet exist. Here’s that opening in context:

I originally came across the prediction way back in 1997 in an Australian study; the original source material has long since disappeared.

Since then, this statistic has become a bit of a meme in the education, skills, HR, and knowledge industries; it was even often quoted throughout the Bush and Obama administrations. The fun part is that over the years, a few groups have tried to track down the source of the quote, and have made their way back to me; my original citation source has long since disappeared. Some take umbrage with the observation, demanding proof and scholastic attribution, which seems kind of quaint in the world of today in which it seems anybody can make up anything they like.

That key statistic has been one of three observations that I’ve often used to set the tone for my keynotes and the idea of accelerating change – the other two being that 1/2 of the knowledge for a typical college degree is obsolete or revised by the time of graduation and that most products are now obsolete within just a few years of release. Here’s another highlight clip of my first few minutes on stage at a manufacturing event in Chicago, setting the tone early on:

In New Orleans, I kicked things up a notch – check out this bold assertion as to what we really need to do to align to a faster future.

New jobs? New careers? I have no problem suggesting a few; there are dozens. Here’s five to start your day thinking about:

  • knowledge farmers: exponential knowledge growth, in part driven by social networking, is leading to information overload everywhere. KF’s are the uber-editors who immerse themselves in global data-feeds, extracting relevant knowledge and insight from data-torrents. They’re the new editors, and it’s their ability to apply their insight to knowledge-rivers that will place them in high demand.
  • location intelligence professionals: see my earlier post on this. I’ve been talking about this for years. These are the folks who are linking GoogleMap type data to existing business processes and services, and who are building entire new global infrastructure on spatial information.
  • mash managers: as innovation moves from the core to the masses, creative insight is emerging from those who learn how to take multiple new ideas, and input them into the innovation process. These people synthesize ideas from multiple sources, study markets, interpret insight, and decide how to re-evolve a product, service, brand, marketing campaign, or just about anything else. Their focus in “constant innovation,” and it’s their idea-immersive environment that drives them forward.
  • tactical controllers: in this wildly information-chaotic world, some people are busy searching for the next big thing. A new and very real profession emerges with those who step beyond the “minutiae-of-the-moment” and instead focus on providing tactical, strategic guidance on what-to-do-in-the-next-moments … they are the PR expert who knows how to steer the company through a global viral idea meltdown; the brand expert who knows how to re-energize a brand next week; the individual who studies what the global knowledge farmers are revealing, and who understands what to do next as a result.
  • analytical architects: the world’s big problems are being solved by those who are learning to throw sophisticated solutions at complex problems. These are the folks who will architect the smart-highway infrastructure; load-balanced two-way energy grids; just-next-week manufacturing processes for the era of the customization of one. They’ve combined education in combinatory theory with big server farms to generate the new smart infrastructure that is set to envelop us.

Reality? My son works as a drone pilot – a location intelligence professional. And with Covid-19, we’ve seen the emergence of vast numbers of analytical architects.

The future? It’s big, it’s bold, and it’s happening all around you!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.