Fri 26-11-2021 20:50 PM
DUBAI, 26th November, 2021 (WAM) — Young adults engaged with experts in sustainability and technology from the industrial sector today at the Generation Future conference, part of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) Week.
Dedicated to empowering the new generation to make their mark in industries of the future and sustainable development, the event aims to advance knowledge transfer and skills development. Taking place from 26 to 27 November, Generation Future offers a series of masterclasses and workshops by partners from the public and private sectors as well as academia. The agenda on the first day included sessions hosted by Schneider Electric and Accenture.
The young generation holds the key to tackling global climate change but needs support from governments to unlock the intellectual power needed to innovate and develop solutions, concluded the panellists at the first session of the day, called ‘Together in Pursuit of a Sustainable Future’. An audience of students heard how 20% of children globally don’t have access to education, which blunts the next generation’s ability to come up with the tools needed to limit the irreversible impacts of climate change and keep the temperature rise below 1.5 C.
Natalja Kissina, HR VP – Gulf Countries at Schneider Electric, said: “We have a big challenge but a big opportunity. We are the first generation that has the internet, access to information, and a lot of intellectual power and technological advances. If it’s not this generation, then who? We have everything it takes to address these challenges.”
She added: “Access to education is a huge issue. We need all the intellectual power we can get to help us face up to challenges around climate change.”
Ashraf Abdelkhalek, Sustainability, Health & Safety and Real Estate Leader – Gulf Countries at Schneider Electric, said: “Economic recessions will continue to happen for years to come – they are cyclical. Pandemics also will continue to happen and will not have an irreversible impact. Cybersecurity can be solved. From my point of view, the most dangerous challenge is climate change. It is irreversible.”
He went on to note that 50 billion tonnes of CO2 are emitted to the atmosphere each year by humans. That’s the equivalent volume of 20 million Olympic-size swimming pools or the mass of 85 million Airbus A380s.
He added: “As mankind, we have the solution – through technology, innovation, and ideas. People who are studying now – the young generation, the talent, the innovative minds – need to support the local and global efforts to address these problems.”
In the next panel discussion, ‘The Future of Work’, Romano Massimo, Director at Accenture, pointed out that fear of job loss due to automation is often at the top of people’s minds when they think about the future of work. To allay the audience’s fears, he played a witty cartoon video, where robots used machine learning to ‘learn people’ and free them from boring and repetitive tasks so that humans could focus on doing the things that matter, which is what the future of automation should look like.
Massimo said: “The future of work is an equation with multiple variables – automation, upskilling, gig economy, and work space. There are two forces that have a big impact on these variables – scalable efficiency and scalable learning. Entities try to make work efficient and scalable – they simplify tasks, standardise them, and assign them to people. This way, they generate an algorithm that can be automated in the future. In the dark side of the equation, scalable efficiency prevails over scalable learning, and all tasks will be automated, leading to job loss. However, if scalable learning prevails over scalable efficiency, we get the bright side of the equation, because scalable learning has the potential to solve unseen problems.”
In the second part of the session, Anu Anna Mathews, Manager – Talent & Organisation at Accenture, provided a compelling overview of the latest forecasts on the future of work. She noted that by 2025, the time spent on tasks by humans and machines will be equal, and gig workers may account for 35-40% of the workforce. Meanwhile, 65% of today’s children will do jobs that haven’t been invented yet.
Mathews said: “Hybrid working models improve access to jobs for people who previously found it challenging, such as people of determination or mothers of small children. This increases workforce diversity, which is beneficial to employers, as it brings a wealth of new ideas and perspectives.”
She added that 94% of business leaders expect employees to pick up new skills on the job.
The speakers then discussed six examples of jobs of the future: personal data broker, AI educator, bioprinting engineer, autonomous vehicle profile designer, vertical farmer, and net positive architect. Massimo predicted that with its rapid rate of advanced technology adoption, the UAE will be one of the first countries where these jobs of the future will evolve and grow.
In closing, he expressed his belief that passion is the most important capability for the future of work.
Throughout each session, the panellists engaged with the attendees through QR code-based audience polls.
The GMIS Week runs from 22 to 27 November at Expo 2020’s Dubai Exhibition Centre. The platform also includes the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS2021), The Green Chain Conference, The Global Prosperity Conference, country-focused conferences in partnership with the UK, Australia, and Italy, and a six-day manufacturing and advanced technology exhibition showcasing some of the UAE’s most innovative capabilities.
Participants can join the GMIS Week live and access the full programme agenda at the following link: https://gmisummit.com/.
Fri 26-11-2021 20:50 PM