Do you know what it means to be ‘Ready for Tomorrow’?

AOD initiates an open discussion on the future of business needs, human skills, knowledge and how it all links to making smarter career choices today

We are at the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. By 2025, ideas like advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics will no longer be laboratory tests, but rather, realities of the new workplace. Seven years from now, it is predicted that thirty five percent of the skills considered important today, will no longer be sought after by employers. This means that over one-third of the qualifications that many students pursue now may become redundant within the first ten years after their graduation. Some jobs will completely disappear while others will grow and new jobs that don’t even exist today will become commonplace. According to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future if Jobs’ report, current movements could lead to a total loss of 7.1 million jobs—two thirds of which are concentrated in routine white collar office functions, such as Office and Administrative roles. These developments will transform the way we work, and what we choose study and educate ourselves in. Tomorrow is a whole new world for the job market and the future workforce will need to align its skillset to keep pace whether they’re in the concrete jungles of New York, or the semi urban settings of Colombo.

Leading the way to this progressive discussion in Sri Lanka, is the celebrated design educator AOD. As a private educational entity that works closely with governments, businesses and young people to unite talent with economies, AOD has long been a promoter of futuristic career guidance and skill enhancement to meet tomorrow’s needs. In 2018, AOD looks to initiate a closer look at the employment, skills and workforce strategy for the future and has launched an open discussion on the topic for that reason. The discourse will happen through a series of events such as workshops, exhibitions and awareness building talks and forums with leading young business leaders, innovators as well as chief human resources and strategy officers from leading global employers. With this, AOD aims to help school leavers and their parents understand what the current shifts in business, technology and knowledge mean, particularly for jobs, skills and recruitment practices across industries.

Another major reason why AOD facilitates this progressive discourse on the future of jobs is due to recognition that ‘creativity and design thinking’ are receiving as one of the top skills of the future. A survey done by the World Economic Forum shows that creativity will become one of the top three skills that future professionals will need. With the overflow of new products, technologies and new ways of working, professionals of tomorrow will need to become more creative in order to survive in the tough job market where their competition will be not only human peers, but also machines. This is partly why creativity and design thinking are considered among the most essential human skills for tomorrow considering that though machines may speed things up, they cannot imitate the nuances and profound subtleties of human creativity, yet. In this light, AOD sees it as fundamental to understand the future of the job market and understand the significance of design and creative thinking before they plunge into higher education choices and career pathways. By organising a series of discussions, workshops and knowledge sharing platforms, AOD will shed light on how creative thinking comes into play for all kinds of industries from hospitality, apparel to exports. Simultaneously, these weekend programmes will also highlight how learning creative thinking will benefit young people going into a variety of career choices and not only roles that are traditionally associated with creativity, like designers. Therefore AOD will have a special focus on linking up creativity and design thinking in preparation for roles such as managers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, strategy officers and business leaders. AOD has invited young students and school leavers to become part of this discussion that is due to unfold over the next few months.

Within the month of May, the programme will evolve to host design focus weekends where ‘design careers’ will be highlighted as some of the most coveted professions of the future. Linking up with the degree programmes that AOD offers in partnership with Northumbria University UK, this design career focus month will bring out the jobs, prospects, incomes and growth opportunities of powerful new career paths such as fashion, interior architecture, animation, visual communication design and fashion marketing. ‘More from Tomorrow – Design Career Month’ will be held every Saturday in the month of May from 9.00am – 4.00pm. 5th May will focus on Motion Graphics & Animation Design, 12th May on Interior Design, 19th May on Visual Communication Design and 26th May on Fashion Design & Textiles and Fashion Design & Marketing.