I met this little boy off a dusty road in a remote village in Tanzania. He was attending school in this dirt floor hut studying math with other students with a broken chalk board. There was no power or running water in the village and the nearest town was 45 minutes drive away. However, the tribal leaders all had cell phones and told me they walked to town once a month to have access to an internet cafe so they could “do e-mail” and communicate with friends in America and the UK.
Suffice it to say, they were extremely poor by American standards with few modern conveniences but they were very aware of global news and were extremely excited to show me this little boy with his President Obama shirt. The elders may have grown up to be Maasai warriors but they were trying to educate their children to live in a globalized world with technology.
Our world is connected like never before and our economies have become interlinked. Issues in the past that might only impact a country or region now spread like a ripple across a still pond with consequences. Knowing this, the following facts being discussed by the World Economic Forum this month should give everyone a cause for concern.
– 600 million new jobs need to be created in the next ten years to supply global demand.
– 563 million young people in developing countries are unemployed compared to 1.5 million in the European Union.
– 23.8% of young people (under the age of 25) are unemployed in the European Union (EU) while 42.1% of young people in the EU are part-time workers compared to 8.9% for adults.
– 87% of the world’s 1.2 billion young people (under the age of 25) are in developing countries.
– In sub-Saharan African the labor forces grows by 8 million people per year.
– In south Asia the labor force grows by 1 million per PER MONTH!
These statistics will have massive impact around the global and on local economies in the next decade as countries look to educate their youth, grow their economy to create jobs, globalize at a quicker rate to be attractive for foreign direct investment (FDI), and compete to have companies move or start new operations in their countries.
Are you prepared for the tectonic shifts taking place? Have you taken steps to prepare yourself, your children, or maybe your grandchildren? Disruption can be scary if you are not prepared but for those who are, disruption brings opportunity. The world is being divided into two groups…the group that will do the disrupting and the group that will be the disrupted. There is no middle ground.
There is no time like the present to start to prepare for these changes.
“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff United States Army