We identified some global trends and assessed the knowledge, skills and capabilities our students will need to thrive in the future. Our campaign intends to address these trends and make our students fit for the future.
1. Learning skills for life
Schools will have to be more closely in tune with the needs of employers and career developments that may alter the way we teach and learn. A worldwide focus on the shortage of STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is exposing the gaps between education and employment; business and industry want this shortfall addressed.
International league tables, such as the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, show the rise of educational standards in Asia. Over the next ten years, we expect an increase in the number of highly qualified students entering the labour market from that region.
In a future workplace where employers have high-flyers from around the world to choose between, curiosity, tolerance, empathy and compassion will really count. Those who can see their work in its global social context, have the ability to determine the significance of information, and the capacity to think inventively will stand out from the crowd.
2. Digital transformation
We live in a world of multiplying technologies and big data and our relationship with technology continues to evolve.
In the age of digital transformation where almost everything digital can be measured, tracked and analysed, every important strategic decision can be supported by the application of data and analytics. Digital transformation has moved from a trend to a central component of modern business strategy and is forcing organisations to transform their business models and incorporate new technology.
Digital transformation is about bringing together the power of technology with a culture that embraces change. Businesses and employees with the ability to apply insight, proactively innovate to stay competitive, and an adaptive attitude where new technology can be easily integrated are more likely to thrive.
The rise of globalisation has seen the major world economies become increasingly connected in terms of trade and commerce, but also in education, health, science and technology.
The world will continue to change rapidly as people and communities are more closely linked through new digital technology. Our students today and into the future will need a wide range of knowledge and skills as well as the perspective to be able to adapt to global change.
4. The remote workforce
Digital technologies will continue to alter the relationship between organisations, industries and communities. Collaborative networks will allow work to shift globally, and virtual production and knowledge sharing will increase.
Employees no longer want to work for just one company in one office, they want greater flexibility to their schedules and the option to work for a mix of companies. Companies benefit from mobile technology which allows them to recruit and retain the best talent anywhere in the world.
Our students today, and into the future, will need a wide range of knowledge and skills such as creativity, critical thinking and teamwork.
5. Addressing inequality
Our students will have a significant part to play in the world’s economic and environmental sustainability.
According to the World Bank, global inequality, as measured by the distribution of income between rich and poorer countries, narrowed between 1988 and 2008. However, there is evidence that globalisation has also resulted in widening inequality and exclusion in many of the poorest countries.
Schools like ours must foster a strong service ethic and an appetite for social entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial mindset has the potential to transform life opportunities of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in society. Learning the skills needed to be successful and innovative global citizens, and to consider social, political and environmental dimensions to provide sustainable solutions to communities will be key.
6. Sustainable development
As evidenced by Rio+20 (UN Conference on Sustainable Development) and The World Urban Forum 2014, sustainability is on the global agenda.
As global citizens our students will be part of a world trying to understand and respond to the challenges of sustainability in the social, economic, environmental, political and cultural spheres.
Accordingly we must provide students today and future generations with an education which not only provides academic rigour but the intellectual character to consider and respond to wider questions of resilience, adaptation, security and reconciliation.