Breaking New Grounds


In order to change an existing paradigm, you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. Innovators, disrupters and changemakers would be likely familiar with these thoughts of American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist Richard Buckminster Fuller. Change has become more constantly imperative than ever before in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

My weekly column will be all about change, innovation, and disruption, hence, the column title.  In the debate whether one is divergent or convergent, I chose to be disruptive. Traditionally, calling someone or something disruptive is not a compliment until fairly recently when key influencers began to use the term as another word for innovative, trail-blazing, pioneering or ground-breaking to describe a person, company, an idea or technology that changes the way an industry operates. Large companies now have chief disruption officers and young people are now encouraged to learn about disruptive technologies.

In business, a disruptive innovation as defined by Clayton Christensen in 1995 is innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances. 

I am excited to share insights on many things affecting our community aligned with how we can leverage on disruptive innovation and technologies. Our communities need to transcend the never-ending discussions around traditional ways of doing things. Today, we are more connected than ever before though the Internet, exponentially increasing the range of sharing ideas and mechanisms for social, economic and over-all human development.

Disruptive technologies will continue to affect every aspect of human life. From education to business to governance, innovation is like a beacon that pulls the early transformers as late adopters fall by the wayside. Innovation connects all sectors and makes collaboration imperative for survival.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Digital Skills Insights 2019 citing the World Economic Forum 2018 stresses that by 2020, 85 to 90 percent of jobs will require ICT skills.

We need to close the skills gap or the phenomenon where millions of jobs are opening up around the world for those with advanced digital skills in the midst of a shortage of qualified people to fill the positions.

The ITU encourages all countries to create digital skills strategies to effectively move a significant portion of its workforce from having basic to advanced skills to be competitive with other economies.

In its latest Digital Skills Insights for 2019, the ITU Academy identified five skills groups to guide planners.

Basic digital skills are required for nearly all jobs, or those related to the effective use of technology, like web research, online communication, use of professional online platforms and digital financial services.

Mid-level digital skills include digital graphic design and marketing, desktop publishing and social media management, both for job and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Advanced digital skills are necessary to create, manage, test and analyze ICT processes, or related to technology development, including coding, software and app development, network management, machine learning, big data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity and blockchain technology

Soft skills are complementary to technical skills, necessary for all professionals to ensure collaborative in the digital economy, such as leadership, communication, teamwork and client focus, among other qualities.

Digital entrepreneurship or digital skills required by entrepreneurs, include online market research, strategic planning and business analysis, using financing and crowdfunding platforms, online marketing, online networking and establishing mentoring relationships.

Without clear and specific direction, but mostly reactive measures, any country, or city will continuously lose its talent to other countries or cities that have strategic roadmaps for growth. Thus, the need to disrupt traditional way of doing things. With this maiden column, let’s break new grounds for Bacolod and the rest of the countryside.

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Categories Opinion

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