Technological advances are rapidly making it possible to automate many activities that currently require human skills and knowledge. This applies to blue-collar jobs through robotics and IoT, as well as to white-collar work through artificial intelligence (AI). These disruptions to work are ushering in a period of significant change for employers, workers, and civil society as a whole.
Nevertheless, several factors support being optimistic despite the considerable uncertainty around the future of work. As technology becomes more affordable, it can potentially open up new markets, increase productivity, and support new types of jobs. In addition, bringing more people online in new markets will also help to generate new ideas and create new opportunities as our world becomes increasingly connected. Thus, more focus should be placed on taking advantage of the opportunities that will arise from current and impending technological transformation of the workplace.
Under the theme of Responsive and Responsible Leadership, the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2017 in Davos urged business and political leaders to take collective responsibility for pursuing the interests of global society rather than their own narrow interest. Rising to this challenge, the Information Technology community agreed during the IT Governors Meeting to respond to growing concerns about job displacement arising from automation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. At Davos 2018, the community will launch an online platform that harnesses industry expertise and resources to provide access to critical IT and business trainings needed for success in the digital economy.
Partner companies are opening up key elements of their individual training libraries into one centralized portal, empowering individuals to take action to address the changing skills landscape. Users will have access, free of charge, to the most up- to-date self-paced training materials, ranging from general business skills, basic digital literacy and entrepreneurship to more advanced topics such as cyber-security, big data or Internet of Things.
The initiative will initially target the US market, with plans to build industry and public sector partnerships and scale to other geographies in the next year. We hope to showcase this and ongoing efforts from the IT community to advance the education, skilling, and well-being of workers worldwide through scalable, actionable, multi-stakeholder solutions.