by Gabriel Mario Rodrigues
“I am convinced of one thing: in the future, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production.” (Klaus Schwab)
As robots increasingly take on manual labor, we need to foster what differentiates the human from the machine and value what it will never be able to do: to have ideas, to be curious, to create things, to write stories, to innovate and to undertake.
Growth in the first industrial revolution was driven by mechanics; In the second, by electricity and production lines, and in the third by technology and information. And the fourth industrial revolution is sustained by creativity.
According to China’s Hao Jingfang, a 33-year-old physicist and science fiction writer, two of the most discussed topics in the media today are the growing gap between the poor and the rich (especially in China, a country under Mao Zedong, lived with the desire for equality and collectivization) and the challenges presented by Artificial Intelligence (AI). For her, countries that do not prepare for these problems will face extremely difficult challenges, such as unemployment and social crises.
This concern is shared by philosophers, economists, educators from all over the world, since the requirements for jobs in the AI era are quite different from those of the industrial age. Robust, repetitive work will increasingly be replaced by robots and the new “jobs” that will require creative solutions are not yet the primary focus of education systems.
For Hao Jingfang, education is the key to solving the problem of inequality that can only be stimulated by creativity. According to her, there is a need for a group of professionals to lead the formatting of innovative educational programs (content and teaching methods) that allow students to learn exploratively and creatively, focus on promoting self-learning habits and thinking Independently, and whose most important objective is the creative strategy for solving problems.
And the most healthy and indispensable item of this process is sharing. Warren G. Bennis, an American psychologist and one of the leading prophets, has said: “None of us are as smart as all of us together.”
It can be utopia, but in a system of collaboration and cooperation, as well as innovation in educational content, it will be possible to improve sharing mechanisms so that everyone, regardless of social status, has the same opportunities.
How to guide young people’s career choices? How to prepare them for this imponderable future? Will university courses be able to prepare the new generations or will there be a complete break from the centuries-old traditional teaching-learning system? How to attend to a job market where professionals sleep updated and wake up obsolete?
The tip is from headhunter Luiz Carlos Cabrera, professor of people management at FGV-SP, who says that care must be taken not to confuse a university course with professional training. Cabrera divides the professions of the future in three dimensions: technology, globalization and demographics.
In the technological area, we highlight the e-learning mediator, who works on the Internet, and the software facilitator, who will be on the border between analog and digital, to explain the software to the user. “Before people worked to sell the software, now it’s to help the user,” explains the professor.
These are niches that do not count on a recipe, a path established to be drawn, since nobody is forming these people, who have been learning from day to day. The university cannot ignore this challenge.
Globalization has highlighted the need to improve trade relations, know the geography, language and culture of buyers.
As for demographics, it mainly refers to the aging of the population, which will generate a demand for specialized services. The market for this sector involves health professionals such as doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses, even those working in sports, tourism and leisure areas.
I believe that investment will have to be concentrated on fundamental knowledge such as mathematics, language, computer science, logic and modeling of reasoning, directly related to problem solving – and all of them supported by creative thinking.
“Much of what the future holds for us is absolutely unknown today. Therefore, reinforcement of behavioral aspects, such as leadership, the ability to build and maintain relationships, the ability to perceive and diagnose environments and adopt a position through appropriate attitudes, the habit of being attuned to what happens in the world and, especially, the training of creative ideas to overcome problems and challenges are what will make the difference, because even a traumatic evolution in the world of work, will never make them obsolete, ” summarizes FGV professor Luiz Carlos Cabrera.
In conclusion, there is only one strategy in order not fear the competition of robots: to be more human.
Translated from the original by the author’s permission. First published in ABMES