Collectively we stand a chance
Special Report In a country facing serious challenges, the burden of implementing solutions falls to its citizens. Five Change Leaders say why collaboration is crucial.
Chairman, Gaisce and co-creator, Change Nation
As we live in a world of immense change, a major factor in the future success of individuals and teams will be the degree to which people collaborate, support each other, and innovate.
This is a big change from the legacy model of organising around repetition where one masters a body of information that then defines both the individual and the organisation. Rote learning encourages the acquisition of information as relatively discrete bundles, whereas meaningful learning relates material to other relevant information and encourages independent thinking and connectivity.
Change Nation initiatives such as Scientist Factory, championed in Norway, are creating a new generation of creative problem-solvers, in this case by integrating experimental science into classrooms and the everyday lives of young people. Playworks is another example of these skills in action, creating safe and inclusive environments for play both within and beyond the school day to build empathy, increase learning, and improve behaviour.
In Gaisce, the focus is on the development of young people through meaningful applied learning. Gaisce will this year challenge over 20,000 young people to get involved in their community, and introduce them to the concept of active citizenship. These young people will seize opportunities to realise their immense potential and contribute as engaged participants into a society experiencing an exponential rate of change.
As against championing efficiency and repetition, Ashoka and Change Nation focus on the pillars of empathy, creativity, teamwork and leadership underpinned by meaningful learning through supporting a multiplicity of social entrepreneurs around the globe.
Managing director, Accenture Ireland
We are experiencing a serious dilemma in Ireland – high unemployment and an excess of people qualified to work in industries with limited job opportunities. Paradoxically we have a shortage of people with the right skills to fill thousands of positions that are currently open, particularly in Information and Communications Technology.
In research undertaken by Accenture among 1,000 individuals and 100 businesses in Ireland, we found a disconnect between employers and employees in terms of understanding what skills are in demand, how this talent shortage should be addressed and who’s responsible for addressing it.
Different sectors are all making efforts to address this paradox, but as a country we require far more joined up thinking. Change Nation has been designed to bring this multi-stakeholder approach to bear, connecting leaders from across sectors to implement innovative new solutions. First Works, who Accenture have been supporting since last year, is preparing to launch in September through the combined partnership of the business, education and citizen sectors. A model that provides top quality training and professional work placements to students from economically disadvantaged areas, First Works goes beyond developing skills for open job opportunities, changing the entire career trajectory for these students. In combination, this and other Change Nation solutions can help bridge Ireland’s skills gap and tackle unemployment.