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From White Collar Jobs to New Collar Jobs – 2

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Excerpts from Address to Matriculating Students of Mcpherson University, Ogun State by: Bolaji Ogunseye

Getting Nigeria’s Youth Prepared for the 4th Industrial Revolution
· Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the vehicle insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.
· Real estate (housing/property development business) will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood – far from the crowded and rowdy cities
· Electric cars will become mainstream (in some advanced countries) about the year 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve (increase) for 30 years, but you can now (as from 2020) see the burgeoning impact.
· Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that defensive strategy by the incumbent or large electric generation companies.
· With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
· The Tricorder X price will be announced this year (late 2017). There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample (when you) you breathe into it.
· It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years most people on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Big disruption and ‘Goodbye’ to the medical establishment. Only a few diagnostic and treatment specialists will be needed in the rarest specialities
3D printing:
· The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years (in the advanced countries). In the same time, it became 100 times faster. Nearly all major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.
· Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to carry with them in the past.
· At the end of this year (2017), new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D-scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.
· In China, they already 3D-printed and built a complete 6-storey office building!! By 2027, 10{ea8c11308c9c5919903708965b7b7a67d75ff567d88a1bebc318ff793fd0b309} of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.
Business opportunities:
· If you think of a niche in which you want to go into any business, (you must) ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we (the market or society) will have (need for) that service or product?” and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? What role will digital skills play in that; and HOW can you get those skills as soon as possible?
· Generally, if something doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And most ideas designed for success in the 20th century are doomed to failure from around year 2020 of the 21st century (e.g. the fixed land-line phone).
· 70-80{ea8c11308c9c5919903708965b7b7a67d75ff567d88a1bebc318ff793fd0b309} of jobs (that we now know) will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of ‘new-collar’ jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.
· There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.
· Aeroponics cultivation will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal (beef), is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018 (in some advanced economies). Right now, 30{ea8c11308c9c5919903708965b7b7a67d75ff567d88a1bebc318ff793fd0b309} of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several Tech Startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labelled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).
· There is an app called “moodies”, which can already tell in which mood you’re in. By 2020, there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they (politicians!!) are telling the truth and when they’re not.
· The ‘digital money’ Bitcoin, may even become the default reserve currency … Of the world!
· Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it’s 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one-year increase per year. So, we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100 Given right changes in lifestyles and better digitalized health-care systems.
· The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in (parts of) Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70{ea8c11308c9c5919903708965b7b7a67d75ff567d88a1bebc318ff793fd0b309} of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.
· Every family can use the ‘Khan Academy’ (apps) for everything a child needs to learn at school in the First World countries. There have already been releases of Khan Academy software in Indonesia and soon there will be releases in Arabic, Swahili and Chinese this summer. I can see enormous potential if we give the English Khan Academy app for free, so that children in Africa and everywhere else can become fluent in English and that could happen within half a year.
Part Four Recommendations
My first words of recommendation to you, dear Matriculants, is – Go ye into the world, fully armed with digital and robotics capacity, and disrupt incumbent knowledge, incumbent technology and even incumbent approach to learning!! Do something new, something different. A new world beckons. Get as much useful hindsight from the past as you can; but more important, acquire today’s innovative insights; but by far the most important, seek ye the digital foresights and capabilities of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and all other good things will be added unto your future, and the future of your society, as well as of the global society that will shape your dreams, innovations and exploits.
I challenge you to identify the new-collar jobs that would replace the white-collar and blue-collar jobs of today. Spend most of your spare time on learning more information on the various aspects of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Do so, whatever your course of study. I urge you to devote more attention and time to more serious things on the internet that will affect your lives in the near future; and less time on the fun things that though may give you instant (or Instagram!!) pleasure, do not add useful value to your future life chances. There are on-line specialist certificates, diplomas and other qualifications on the internet.
To the McPherson University leadership, I recommend the establishment of an Innovation & Enterprise Group (IEG) Initiative, which should accompany formal academic studies as an informal but crucial project. The IEG initiative will involve mobilizing groups of five (5) students into ‘ideas-to-action’ teams, where the students in each team will think, play and dream together in their spare time on campus and during their school breaks. They will debate, share ideas, research and jointly innovate over a 3 – 4 -year period, with the objective of jointly PRODUCING SOMETHING UNIQUE through the spirit of team work. Following their innovative project success, each IEG will be collectively rewarded and recognized (with a Special Testimonial or Certificate) by the university. If effectively implemented, the IEG initiative could prove to be a worthy replacement or a risk-reduction factor in tackling the problem of cultism, which though a non-issue for this University – I believe, remains a challenge for many of our universities.
I recommend to the McPherson University (as I would indeed counsel all Nigerian universities) to strongly consider an international twinning arrangement, as soon as appropriate, or a working partnership, with a reputable university, or Centre of Excellence in digital and artificial-intelligence sciences, to enhance in-house or institutional capacity for research, innovation and invention.
Needless to argue, Nigeria’s tertiary education system needs to interrogate itself as to whether it is getting adequately ready to help today’s matriculants, as indeed all students across the entire Nigerian education spectrum, in preparing to contribute to, and benefit by the twists and turns of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Is our educational system, from early childhood (pre-school), primary, through to tertiary schooling, prepared, equipped and adequately funded to transmit the knowledge-society skills that, as a country, we need for our economic, scientific and technological development, along with the behavioural, psychological and worldview adaptations and changes (or, the ‘soft values’) that go with them?
In conclusion, I should state, as the body of my address has repeatedly signposted, that the change that has begun to sweep the global village won’t wait for us. Therefore, Nigeria’s business leaders, educators and governments – all need to be proactive in up-skilling and retraining our people, so that everyone can benefit by the unavoidable impacts of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Every educator in particular should be a vehicle for sharing and spreading this clear Guidance to Tomorrow’s World among the youth all over our country. I should, at the risk of repetition, invite MOST ESPECIALLY today’s matriculating students, to find out as much as possible about the issues raised in this address and guide themselves accordingly. More important, our governments at all levels must take appropriate steps to embed in our educational and skills-building system, the processes required to ensure that all Nigerian students are made aware, early enough, of their areas of natural or innate competencies, and to be career-guided accordingly. The careful use of the technology of ‘psychometrics’ should be introduced in the educational system, so that youth who may not optimally benefit from a university education, are guided at the appropriate point in their learning and skilling cycle, to seek a Non-Degree Career Path (NDCP) that promises them a fulfilling future professional life.
Embrace it or ignore it, the 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us. The question is not so much whether our society’s education stakeholders can devise the means and methods, or mobilize the planning and resources, to prepare this generation of Nigeria’s youth for the brave new world ahead; the REAL question, distinguished University Visitor, Council, Vice Chancellor, leaders, ladies and gentlemen – the real question is whether we can summon the political, policy and nation-building WILL to do the needful. Can we?
· World Economic Forum Report (2017): The Future of Jobs; also, The Future of Software and Society (2016-2017)
· Kaku, Michio – Where Will the Digital Economy Take Us? on Cuckoo For Kaku TV program (Nov. 2017) *Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics, is a Japanese American futurist and popularizer of science. Teaches at the City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center. Kaku has written several books about physics and related topics and made frequent appearances on radio, television, and film. http://showtodaytv.com/play-clip-michio-kaku-where-will-the-digital-economy-take-us_tvK1EZWYqm-5E
· Zetsche, Dieter (Dr.) Managing Director of Daimler Benz – Talk on ‘TRANSFORMATION – Happenings in the World of Artificial Intelligence: Computers becoming exponentially better in understanding the world (May 2017).
· Ogunseye, Bolaji – Sundry newspaper articles, writings and public lectures to NGOs, Youth Groups, (2012 to date) etc, including Beyond Bread and Butter Governance (2016 article); also, Preparing Nigeria with the Skills, Knowledge and Education to Participate in the 4th Industrial Revolution; Special Guest Paper delivered at Rotary Club D-9110 Event, Lagos (2016)
Bolaji Ogunseye, a Developmental Economist, is a member of Voice of Reason

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