As the president and CEO of one of Saskatchewan’s largest post-secondary institutions, it is clear to me that a new generation of skills will be required to fill the jobs of tomorrow.
In some cases, we have no idea what those jobs will be. Who could have foreseen the need for cybersecurity professionals when the Internet era was just beginning 25 years ago? Or that drones could be used to help farmers predict crop yields or to help law enforcement professionals map crime scenes?
The point is that some jobs that will be required in the next 10 to 20 years have not yet been envisioned—and we must be ready.
Any opportunity I get, I try to ensure that others—from business leaders to those at all levels of government, to educators—are aware of the importance of being prepared for what is ahead. It is imperative that we not be surprised by the disruption the future holds. That we respond, rather than react.
This is one of the main driving forces behind THINK: The Future of Work, Innovation and Learning conference, which Saskatchewan Polytechnic presented last May in Regina. Its primary purpose was to begin the conversation in our province about the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Judging by the attendance--approximately 300 people with interests or ties to government, business & industry, education and other sectors—this is a conversation worth continuing.
So, mark your calendars. The 2020 THINK conference will be May 7, 2020 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon.
Another way we, at Sask Polytech, will keep the Future of Work topic at the forefront is by highlighting examples of disruption/potential disruption and the opportunities they bring - through a series of short videos called THINK Talks.
THINK Talks are the Saskatchewan Polytechnic version of Ted Talks, which are designed to spread ideas on a range of global issues affecting society. The big difference is that our topics will be more Saskatchewan and Canada centric. As well, we will shine a spotlight on innovation at Sask Polytech.
We have completed our first THINK Talks video, which I invite you to watch below. Our goal is to produce a new video every four to six weeks leading up to 2020’s THINK conference in May.
Feel free to let me know what you think, or maybe even pass along an idea for a future topic.
An exciting future awaits. I want to make sure each of us is ready.