Having observed recent trends and issues that affect our nation and the world at large, I have come to the conclusion that we can no longer rely on the past to be the guide for the future. One of the human species greatest ability is the ability to adapt, little wonder why our story as a specie has been one of consistent development from the hunter age to this present technological age.
Having said that, there lies a great dilemma for this generation, the basic question we should all ask ourselves is ‘’if the need for change continues to grow at a rate faster than we can imagine, how do we deal with it?’’. The geometric change in the world today is one that affects education, business and politics. Using Nigeria as a case study, barely 10years ago no one would have imagined an occurrence of insurgency which is being carried out by extremists in the northern part of the nation. The Arab spring was also a demonstration and validation of the fact that indeed change happens at the speed of thought. The truth is change is becoming more complex and it would require deep critical thinking to cope with the speed of change our world is facing today. It’s been said clearly that it’s not just that the world is changing but that the speed of change is accelerating. Can we handle the complexities of this accelerating change? The answer lies in our hands.
Let’s consider the basic vital issues of Ebola outbreak in West Africa, insurgency and terrorism, political instability, AIDS, poverty, ozone layer depletion, Crises in Ukraine and pollution; Therein lies the reality of our complex world and these complexities are really begging for answers, answers that would depend on how much we are able to learn, re-learn and unlearn and also how long we are able to innovate new frontiers of development. Therefore as individuals we have a job to do, and that’s what I call the ‘’Work of the Future’’.
The concept of Paradigm shift was emphasized by Stephen Covey and I can’t agree any more to this fact. The work of the future is simply the work of the mind. If reality doesn’t give enough room for us to fully adapt before it changes in ways we can’t fathom, then we must learn to rise higher than our present level of thinking. The work of the future requires that we summon enough courage to tackle traditional biases, it emphasizes that we cannot always assume common sense will provide answers but a higher sense. The work of the future would require that we examine our present reality from different points of view thereby seeing new frontiers of possibilities, the work of the future seeks to represent reality in a way that’s better than the old. It requires us to re-evaluate our basic evaluations and rethink our basic thoughts.
Therefore there are three basic aspects of this job we have in our hands that must be tackled if we are to achieve the best result possible. The first work of the future is to find a new meaning to the work of educating our future leaders. Great thought leaders like Ken Robinson have spoken tremendously about the need to revolutionize and not just reform our education sector. I believe very strongly that it’s high time we changed our curriculum and pattern it towards critical thinking. I must say here that unless we de-emphasize on how smart a child is and focus on how a child is smart, we would never step up to the challenges of the future. There must be a meeting point between science and art for a stable society, it’s my believe that science is what keeps us existing but art Is what keeps us alive. As Ken Robinson rightly said ‘’Education is what is meant to take us into the future we can’t grasp’’
Secondly, in our task for the future we need a new way of parenting. In a world where information is at the finger tip of a whole lot of people, there need to be a way to guide our future leaders into a path of integration and not disintegration. There must be a new answer to the ‘’why’’ of the present child, I believe very strongly that adults and not just parent in general must learn to accept the vulnerability of their own ignorance and not strive to prove that they have the best solutions to all the problems in the mind of the present day child. The work of the future for parents would be to allow their children enter into the wilderness of their intuition, for they would surely discover something and that’s themselves. Children of the 21st century must learn to identify their general world views and assumptions and also question habitual and traditional beliefs. I believe that’s an aspect of parenting that has been neglected over the years and we must learn to embrace it.
Thirdly the work of the future would require a new way of working. It’s no news that even the workplace requires something different from its employees, companies have realized the need to emphasize on soft skills. The work of the future therefore would be that we have to attach meaning to whatever we find ourselves doing. A whole lot of people today do their work without fulfillment and happiness, but if we are to innovate in proportion to our changing society there has to be a significant shift in the way we work. The work of the future requires that we are fully engaged in whatever we do, it requires that we do something not just larger than self but other than self.
I strongly believe in the work of the future, therefore our greatest need for courage lies not in the physical battles of our world today but in the battle of the mind. Let’s join hands in this great work of the future. F-mod