The 4th Industrial Revolution, defined by the convergence of several technologies that bring together the physical and digital worlds, will radically change the world in which we live and will have a deep impact on employment and education in the near future. To promote a high-level discussion on the challenges and opportunities that this wave of change represents for Mexico, Laureate International Universities and Universidad del Valle de México (UVM), invited experts from different sectors to participate in a forum with representatives of the industry, the academia & the government.
Among the top speakers in the event was Otto Granados, Secretary of Education of Mexico, who said that the educational model must be adapted to prepare the country for the knowledge economy. The Secretary said that "we must develop a different human capital, much better trained and of higher quality. For that, the Mexican educational model must be modernized to the new conditions of an economy based on innovation and knowledge ". In this regard, he added that education and the current tech and business trends could generate better employment opportunities for many people.
Alec Ross, the author of The New York Times bestseller "The Industries of the Future", and who was Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, also participated in the event as a keynote speaker. Ross said that in the context of the 4RI, interdisciplinary education, access to other cultures, willingness to adapt to a changing world and never stop learning, are crucial for the new generations of students and workers.
In a world where robots could be soon taking people's jobs, "the combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics means that not only handwork will be replaced, but also intellectual work. The key question is whether we tell machines what to do, or they are the ones giving us directions”, said Ross.
Sharing his thoughts with about 400 people at the auditorium of UVM Campus Coyoacán in Mexico City, Alec Ross said it is wrong to say that we only have to focus on STEM: "we need interdisciplinary apprentices capable of combining skills, including critical thinking, emotional intelligence and communication skills. This is not theoretical, it is already happening. They need life-long learners (people who learn throughout their lives)”.
Luis Durán, President and CEO of UVM and Laureate Mexico, told the audience that the 4RI requires that the generations now being educated acquire new knowledge and develop the skills to insert themselves in the labor market of the future. It is key, therefore, to establish a new model of education that allows us to be successful, and we are already working on it at our university.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.