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Education Technology and the Twenty-First-Century Skills Gap

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Education Technology and the Twenty-First-Century Skills Gap
Source: Boston Consulting Group/World Economic Forum

Today’s fast-changing world requires students who not only possess strong skills in areas such as language arts, math, and science but must also be adept at skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, persistence, collaboration, and curiosity. The requisite twenty-first-century skills fall into three broad categories: foundational literacies, competencies, and character qualities.

All too often, however, students in many countries are not acquiring these skills. A study that included nearly 100 countries reveals large gaps in selected indicators for many of these skills. For example, the U.S. performs relatively well on many skills when compared with the entire world. But when compared with high-performing peers such as Japan, Finland, or South Korea, the U.S. shows significant skills gaps in numeracy and scientific literacy. Some countries display gaps between our broad categories of skills. For example, relative to other OECD countries, Poland and Ireland perform well on a range of indicators representing foundational literacies but lag behind other OECD countries in areas such as critical thinking and curiosity. Gaps such as these are clear signs that too many students are not getting the education they must have to prosper in the twenty-first century, and countries are not finding adequate numbers of the skilled workers they need to compete.

Numerous innovations in the education technology space are beginning to show potential for helping address skills gaps. These technologies could both lower the cost and improve the quality of education.

A new report by the World Economic Forum, written in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group and titled New Vision for Education: Unlocking the Potential of Technology, examines ways that education technology can enhance learning as one tool in a portfolio.

Industrial Internet of Things: Unleashing the Potential of Connected Products and Services

January 27, 2015 Comments off

Industrial Internet of Things: Unleashing the Potential of Connected Products and Services
Source: World Economic Forum

Over the past 10 to 15 years, internet-driven disruption and innovation have been about the “internet of people”, changing the way industries and businesses operate, particularly within media and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) relationships. In the next decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is expected to have a significant impact on manufacturing, energy, agriculture and other industry sectors.

The term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to the seamless integration of the physical and digital worlds through networked sensors, machine learning and big data. The explosion of connected products and physical systems will present an enormous new market opportunity for many types of companies. It promises to fundamentally transform and disrupt a wide range of traditional industries through improved operational efficiency, new business models and opportunities for job creation. It also brings new risks to business and society.

The objectives of the World Economic Forum Industrial Internet of Things project were to understand how this latest wave of technological change will impact industries, value chains, business models and workforces, and to determine action that business and government leaders need to take now to ensure long-term success.

The Global Risks report 2015

January 26, 2015 Comments off

The Global Risks report 2015
Source: World Economic Forum

The 2015 edition of the Global Risks report completes a decade of highlighting the most significant long-term risks worldwide, drawing on the perspectives of experts and global decision-makers.

Over that time, analysis has moved from risk identification to thinking through risk interconnections and the potentially cascading effects that result.

Taking this effort one step further, this year’s report underscores potential causes as well as solutions to global risks.

Not only do we set out a view on 28 global risks in the report’s traditional categories (economic, environmental, societal, geopolitical and technological) but also we consider the drivers of those risks in the form of 13 trends.

In addition, we have selected initiatives for addressing significant challenges, which we hope will inspire collaboration among business, government and civil society communities.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2014

December 8, 2014 Comments off

The Global Gender Gap Report 2014
Source: World Economic Forum

The Global Gender Gap Report 2014 emphasizes persisting gender gap divides across and within regions. Based on the nine years of data available for the 111 countries that have been part of the report since its inception, the world has seen only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, launched today, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by 4% from 56% in 2006.

The gender gap is narrowest in terms of health and survival with a gap standing at 96% globally, with 35 countries having closed the gap entirely. Despite all this, it is the only subindex which declined over the course of the past nine year. The educational attainment gap is the next narrowest, standing at 94% globally. Here, 25 countries have closed the gap entirely. While the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity lags stubbornly behind, the gap for political empowerment, the fourth pillar measured, remains wider still, standing at 21%, although this area has seen the most improvement since 2006.

This year’s findings show that Iceland continues to be at the top of the overall rankings in The Global Gender Gap Index for the sixth consecutive year. Finland ranks in second position, and Norway holds the third place in the overall ranking. Sweden remains in fourth position and Denmark gains three places and ranks this year at the fifth position. Northern European countries dominate the top 10 with Ireland in the eighth position and Belgium (10) Nicaragua (6), Rwanda (7) and Philippines (9) complete the top 10.

Impact Investing: A Primer for Family Offices

December 5, 2014 Comments off

Impact Investing: A Primer for Family Offices
Source: World Economic Forum

Impact investing enables high net worth individuals to be explicit about their shared values and to reflect them in their investment and wealth management decisions. In addition, an impact investing strategy aligned with family values can help to engage a younger generation in the leadership and management of a family office.

Family offices act as responsible stewards of the wealth of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, their families and their heirs. Yet after wealth is generated by one generation of a family, an estimated 60% lose that wealth by the end of second generation, and a staggering 90% by the end of third. Many multi-generational family offices are now exploring whether impact investing is a way to unite families around values and positive legacies, thereby more closely involving family members in responsible long-term investing.

While impact investing may not suit all family offices, for those that choose to become involved, there is a shortage of expertise, tools and frameworks to enable engagement. As a result, despite growing interest, many struggle with the initial steps of engagement. One of the main goals of this primer is to help family offices interested in impact investing to begin to understand how they can put it into practice. It offers useful frameworks and insights for multi-family offices, family businesses, family foundations and high-net-worth individuals as well as policy-makers and advisers.

Joblessness, Inequality the New Normal as Geopolitical Trends Climb Global Agenda

November 10, 2014 Comments off

Joblessness, Inequality the New Normal as Geopolitical Trends Climb Global Agenda
Source: World Economic Forum

Deepening income inequality and jobless growth head the Top 10 trends for 2015, according to the Outlook on the Global Agenda, which is published today. These long-standing economic challenges are joined in this year’s survey by growing political and environmental concerns.

The trends are based on a survey of almost 1,800 experts from the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils as well as other communities within the World Economic Forum on what they believe will preoccupy leaders over the coming 12-18 months.

The Top 10 Trends for 2015 are:

  1. Deepening income inequality
  2. Persistent jobless growth
  3. Lack of leadership
  4. Rising geostrategic competition
  5. Weakening of representative democracy
  6. Rising pollution in the developing world
  7. Increasing occurrence of severe weather events
  8. Intensifying nationalism
  9. Increasing water stress
  10. Growing importance of health in the economy

The prominence of inequality and unemployment at the top of the list signifies that they are viewed even more severely than in previous years, with stagnating wages contributing to a vicious cycle of entrenched inequality through suppressed growth and employment prospects.

Rethinking Arab Employment: A Systemic Approach for Resource-Endowed Economies

November 7, 2014 Comments off

Rethinking Arab Employment: A Systemic Approach for Resource-Endowed Economies
Source: World Economic Forum

Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have made tremendous progress in the past decades, building cities at the forefront of innovation, becoming global leaders in select industries, and continuously expanding their global aspirations. Yet, to sustain this momentum, dramatic progress needs to be achieved in how young people, a demographic majority, engage in the economy and society at large. GCC leaders are acutely aware that a job is more than a salary, and that the possible consequences of compromised futures, because of under- and unemployment, are deeply destabilizing. They understand that providing a dynamic, enabling environment in which these youth legions can realize their ambitions is critical to whether their economies can achieve their long-term aspirations, particularly in light of the current social context.

At present, however, even with wide acknowledgment of the importance of the matter and despite decades of economic expansion and extensive investments in education, infrastructure projects, and economic diversification, high youth unemployment rates persist, often reaching double digits.

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