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Only those who understand the future will prepare for it

Dr. Francisco Miraval

Some countries and some people are preparing for a future that is no longer continuation of the past because they understand, while many others still don’t, that the historical changing we are living and experiencing impacts all levels of our existence and it is different from any other previous transition from one era to another one in human history.

“Our technological evolution is happening faster than most people ever imagined, and it is clearly happening faster than society is able to deal with it”, recently said Shelly Palmer, of The Palmer Group, a digital strategy and solutions company promoting “man-machine partnerships”.  

The lack of adaptation to this technological evolution, also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, many countries and many societies are not implementing the needed steps to enter that future, even when it is already known that at least half, and probably three quarters, of current jobs will soon disappear.

That means that in the near future about 2 billion employment positions will be lost in the world in the near future, according to Thomas Frey, executive director and senior futurist at DaVinci Institute, a center of futurist studies in Colorado, United States.

In other words, what you learned in 2015 will be of little use in 2018 and totally useless in 2020, according to a recent report by the World Economic Forum. Another report by the same organizations lists 12 countries as the countries best prepared in the world (if that’s even possible) for the new future.

The first three countries in that list are in Asia: Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. Then, a North American country: Canada. The next two countries are from Eastern Europe: Estonia and Finland, followed by the two countries in Oceania: New Zealand and Australia. After that, the first country from Western Europe: Germany. Three countries share the tenth position: United States, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

So, what are the top three countries in the list mentioned above doing that other countries don’t do (or don’t do it at the same level)? They focus on promoting the development of the soft skills each person needs to adapt to a future with no historical precedents and where our knowledge and devices will be obsolete. (At a time of constant change, the only thing we can take into the future is our selves.)

Those soft skills, according to the Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum, will be needed to live on this planet in 2020. Those skills including solving complex problems, critical thinking, creative thinking, working with others, high level of emotional intelligence, as well as cognitive flexibility.

In that context, it is appropriate to quote Dr. Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer at MIT and co-founder u.lab, Presencing Institute; when, in a recent article, he proposes to start “Rebuilding Our Civilizations from Source”, which means (I say) connecting with a future that is now emerging and it is already impacting us.

And we will seemingly have only one chance of doing it right. 

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