Business, education and digital disruption
The digital disruption world is upon us and it’s going to take away a lot of traditional employment. It is going to force us to think about the kind of future that we want to create for our children and ourselves, providing us with opportunities to change our lives in fundamental ways.
It is difficult to try to hold back the tide of digital disruption and globalisation because countries will slide into uncompetitiveness. You can’t hold the waters back just by saying “I don’t like the inconvenience of digital structures changing”. Before long, other countries will be better connected, have better access to information and create better business growth processes. And countries that are not using that, face the risk of sliding into oblivion and irrelevance.
Countries need to be building their skills to be competitive. If they don’t, they will have a population that is undereducated and not geared for the changing job market. What also happens is that you will find that other people, especially young people, will use digital media in a creative and disruptive way in business, and so change how things are being done.
We need to find alternative ways for people to put food on the table and enjoy a quality life. Without this, we are going to face new forms of global crises.
Digital connectedness is also changing the educational landscape, and challenging business schools and other learning institutions to look again at their value propositions. With information so widely available on the internet, learning institutions can no longer just be places where people sit in classrooms and listen to an expert.
Learning institutions need to transform themselves into spaces of engagement and debate – places where there are no clear answers, but rather multiple perspectives. They must be in places where people come to learn to interpret information and use knowledge to make sense of conflicting opinions.
These skills are essential for business in the digital age.
We have to create a society that is going to make information a priority. Something must be done about improving people’s skills around the subject of digital disruption. We need to understand the effects of new communication methods, and how digital media can be used.
One of the biggest challenges is that anyone can have general information, but companies need to understand that this can be destroyed by the disruptive revolution.
However, we should not fear this because fearful people become conservative. The solution is to educate people about how to use digital assets to build a developing country. We have to find ways to organise ourselves, use funding more effectively, waste money less, build assets and save money by not importing things that can be found locally.
If leaders are thinking about the future, they need to invest in education. Start early by giving children access to decent information and simple computers. The value of education in disruptive technology facilitates global interaction. You can now bring Italy, the US, west Africa and Europe into one classroom.
You can access information and data that is also cheap, but this means that children need to have easier access to this information. This will help young people learn and invent things.
Digital technology allows children to be accountable and take responsibility from an early age to develop their own ideas.
Digital disruption will result in a more sophisticated and global orientation towards politics and business management. For Africa, we have to find a way to connect with other people, whether in China, the US or Europe, and learn lessons from them. Digital education creates more democratisation in a country, which is really good news because it allows your children and your children’s children to have better opportunities.
There are massive education opportunities available on the many online resources at our
fingertips, resulting in more ideas flowing in. The downside is that it can be more challenging to establish because of oligarchy in some countries, which still want to have a monopolistic control over digital resources. Economies that have embraced digital disruption, such as Rwanda, are driving a number of initiatives that have increased the amount of available information, increased employment and empowered people economically.
For example, Taiwan and South Korea are strong countries that have managed their economies in an excellent and democratic way.
What is needed is a good education system and critical thinking. On balance, digital disruption, like any tool, can be used for good or bad. What you can’t do is stop the tide of change.