Knowledge Economy in Latin America: co create to co believe in a future for everyone

14, June

 By Martin Padulla for staffingamericalatina The Knowledge Economy, or Economy Based on Knowledge (EBC), is the ...

 By Martin Padulla for staffingamericalatina

The Knowledge Economy, or Economy Based on Knowledge (EBC), is the economy’s sector that uses knowledge as a basis to generate value and wealth.

Despite the fact that it is a sector by itself, it is extremely important as there is no single productive sector that is not being transformed by the Knowledge Economy in its way of doing things and generating new opportunities.

This sector combines an intensive use of technology and highly qualified human capital.

In our region, it is showing us how we are going through a very profound process of change; traditional growth models characterized by an economy based on raw material exportation, can be complemented and combined with opportunities that come from the orange or creative economy, which is linked to  knowledge, innovation, research, and technology with a positive impact on sustainability.

In countries such as Argentina, the Knowledge Economy employs over 430,000 direct workers, and exports over USD 6,000 million, which makes it the third exporting complex in the country. Estimations show that the sector will create 215,000 other jobs, and achieve USD 15,000 million in exportations by 2030. It includes sectors such as technology, research and development, education, software, telecommunications, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, exportable professional services, among many others.

These are activities that grow on a daily basis, and demand talent with digital and technical skills, as well as soft skills such as creativity and problem solving.

Technological revolutions are historical processes. The profound changes they cause generate social, environmental, economic and cultural impacts. It has already happened during the vapor, electricity, electronic and computer science revolutions, and can now be observed in an exponential and vertiginous way in the digitalization and artificial intelligence era.

Everything indicates that the future entails overcoming the industrial society and reaching the knowledge society but, how can this be achieved in societies with obvious inequalities? Is it possible to get on the 21st century having debts from the 19th century?

Clearly, such Deep changes demand modifications in both, the education systems and labour markets. The concept of work has changed and with it the skills required to reach development. Digital transformation is already questioning every link of the value chain. Concepts such as work, employment, employees, and professionals, are being reformulated. Concepts such as education, school, career, student, and apprentice, too.

We frequently hear talking about the urgent need to reconvert the productive engine, but there is no such mention about the need to implement different educational strategies to create relevant human capital. Neither do those who represent us and are responsible for public policies, address the urgent need to update regulatory frameworks in order to include different forms of work (both, already existing and to be created).

Apparently, they fail to understand that, for liberal professions, the digital transformation enables delivering services to distant locations all around the world using remote work. And that these people, who contribute with value and export services are full workers, regardless the type of contract they may have. Some question platform work or the gig economy, maybe trying to cover the sun by using their hands, without really addressing the complexity of this issue.

The region will have 718 million inhabitants by 2050, over 70 million extra citizens than today. We currently have a major deficit in terms of inclusion, and if we look into the future it is clear that we need to implement urgent measures. The Knowledge Economy reminds us that the lack of education will not only be an obstacle to access ascending social mobility; it will become a permanent certificate of exclusion. Social innovation is a prerequisite for innovation.

When we analyze reports developed by different international bodies that address the issue of the youth situation, they all agree on the importance of working in the transition from school to the world of work. Could school be the technology that shall provide us with relevant training? That very same school that currently cannot be accessed by everyone? Are there intermediate organizations? A transition towards what world of work? How can innovation and productivity be promoted?

The future is not an inexorable finish line. It is the consequence of actions or omissions.

There are many of us who believe that we deserve to create this future in a collaborative way. This is also the path to believe in a possible future for our societies. We need to co create the future of education and the future of work to co believe in an inclusive future, in a truly sustainable development.

We are looking for disruptive, technology based projects that shall change the world of education and the world of work. We believe that in this connection we will have the opportunity of the knowledge economy.

We are working on it…

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