Co create the work and the education of the future

05, April

By Martin Padulla for staffingamericalatina   Madrid was the unbeatable location. Everyone that should be ...

By Martin Padulla for staffingamericalatina


Madrid was the unbeatable location. Everyone that should be there, was there. It was the best scenery and the most prestigious organizations gave their support:  WEC Global, WEC Europe, the ILO in its 100 years anniversary, CEOE, CEIB, the Spanish Government, ASEMPLEO and staffingamericalatina.

In such context I made the official presentation of #FOWiberoamerica, an open, collaborative platform that shall be in permanent construction and that aims at co creating the future of education and work in Iberoamerica.

#FOWiberoamerica is the result of two years of research, trips across 16 countries, having meetings with over 100 relevant players of the world of education and work, and analysis of the dynamics and ecosystems that better connect education with work.

It is also the consequence of a certainty: despite the existence of multiple initiatives that address the future of education, and several others involved with the agenda of the future of work, no platform in Iberoamerica works of the connection between both worlds, and, no initiative based on collaboration, dares to imagine different scenarios that might be hybrid.

The connection between education and work is actually historical. Education has always been the key factor that enables ascending social mobility. For a long time, equal opportunities in the access to quality public education enable plenty of citizens to prevent falling into poverty.

One of the many changes we are undergoing due to the knowledge economy and the digital revolution is that education will no longer just prevent poverty, but will become the mean to leave exclusion, which is more complex than poverty and also includes it. If education and work fail to be connected, we will have exclusion.

New jobs, which take many different forms, demand different skills than the ones produced by our education systems.

Our education systems are a technology. Represented by school, for many years it was the technology that better enacted the Greek term panshopia,  developed by Comenius who claimed that human knowledge is for every human being, and created school in the 17th century.

After orality, writing, and printing, school was the most sophisticated technology to fulfil that promise. Is it currently the best technology to face technological revolution? Can we create pertinent talent using these education systems? Should we aim at a pansophia using other means to make sure we achieve inclusion and development? Is there an efficient connection between the education world and the productive world?

#FOWiberoamerica aims at addressing these, and many other questions, from an Iberoamerican perspective, with the conceptual wealth that can be obtained from both sides of the ocean, with the strength of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world, and the excellence of certain existing initiatives that currently take place there.

#FOWiberoamerica is the digital completion of a common ground for the academic environment, businesses, venture capital, and policymakers. In proper functioning ecosystems, this ground tends to exist in the real world, and it is in its edges where innovation and disruption occur.

We are going to co-create the future of education and work through different strategies:

  • Debate forums,
  • Contests of essays and papers that originally address this connection,
  • A scholarship fund for young researchers with disruptive projects,
  • An innovation center to experiment with ideas, concepts, dynamics, and new initiatives in education institutions, enterprises, communities, cities, regions or countries,
  • The #FOWiberoamerica Lab will promote young entrepreneurs with innovative technology based projects linked to the concept of the future of work and education,
  • The FOWiberoamerica HUB: every year, four events will be developed in different cities in Latin America, Portugal and Spain to share, spread and disclose information, ideas and achievements.

As I told the Argentinian Ambassador in Spain, Ramon Puerta, I know for a fact that the future of education and work is actually the future of our societies. The idea of sustainable development is not possible if we do not take a different, creative and professional approach to both variables, which some of us already consider a single variable.

This change of an era demands an urgent review of our regulatory frameworks, contents, institutions, education systems, and productive systems. These are changes that have an impact on the way we connect with each other, learn, work, enjoy our leisure time, and consume. An inflection point. A landmark in History.

For the staffing industry, which is too focused on the current world of work, this agenda will enable it, or not, to become a key player through the specialization on different forms of work and the organizational transformation that will involve them in permanent training of demand based skills. I welcome them all to join this project and make valuable contributions using the knowledge they have on the dynamic and changing demand of the world of work. They are called to take a leading role in social innovation. They must be up to the task.

We are all affected by these transformations. They will keep on coming, and become deeper and more exponential. However, the future is not a faith, but the consequence of a number of actions or omissions.

In Iberoamerica, when it comes to education and work, we have decided to co create it. It will passionate adventure.


About Martin Padulla

Founder and Managing Director of staffingamericalatina. Martin Padulla is Sociologist (USAL), MBA (UCA) and labour markets expert. He published “Flexible Work in South America” and “Regulatory framework for private employment agencies in Latin America” two books about the new realities of work in Latin America. He is working on the project #FOWiberoamerica.

Follow Martín Padulla on Twitter: @MartinPadulla

 About staffingamericalatina

It is the unique independent digital media specialized in Latin American´s labour markets.

Produce and spread contents, researches and developments about issues such us Employability, Youth Employment, Training for Employment, Decent Work, Private Employment Agencies, Active policies for employment, Teleworking, Public and private actions for the creation of decent work, Green Jobs and Corporate Social Responsibility.

It is the meeting point for companies, providers, candidates, service´s companies, academics and independent professionals of Latin America.

Follow staffingamericalatina on Twitter: @staffingal