How do we fuel the next generation of global leaders with skills of the future?
Updated: Jan 13
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
These are the last four lines in John Godfrey Saxe’s poem ‘’The Blind Men and the Elephant,’’ based on an ancient Indian fable found in early Buddhist, Hindu and Jain texts. It’s about the limits of perception and the importance of complete context.
The story tells the tale of six blind men who come across an elephant for the first time and try to make sense of it. However, since each blind man touches a different part of the elephant, they each have a different idea of what it is and perceive the other’s perspective untrue.
This timeless analogy well resonates in today’s world, where “constant change” is the “standard stable” and where siloed disciplines feed “blindsided” perceptions and distrust. Today’s fittest, the resilient problem solvers most adaptive to change, are therefore those able to open their prism wide and see the partial parts within the context of the holistic whole. They’re able to integrate rounded perspectives through close collaborations with cross-disciplinary experts in an inter-connected environment.
When I was a kid, Stark Trek’s Holodeck was fiction; today it’s a virtual and augmented reality. When I graduated from college (30+ years ago), “quantum computing,” “virtualized cloud native networks,” or “multilingual AI” were not yet imagined, let alone taught in school. Today’s college graduates, with the exponential acceleration in technology advancement, are challenged with an even greater enigma of what the future may be and how they can train for it.
And so, as an educator (both in the higher-end classroom and in the high-tech boardroom), I ask:
How do we fuel the next generation of global leaders with skills of the future, when we have no idea what future jobs will be like? How do we help them become effective influencers for positive impact in a world that’s rapidly changing on us?
We live in a multi-world: multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-functional, multi-screen, multi-dimensional metaverse. To effectively develop, design and market products for the diverse populations and channels of the world, we need to train the next generation of product developers, designers, and marketers to understand their consumers within the cultural context of their evolving regional environments. We need to integrate inter-disciplinary insights within our educational programs, in the same way that we need to enable cross-functional alignment and collaborations within our workplaces.
And so, the best gifts of resilience we can offer are these 3 core skills of the future:
Adaptive mind shift for constant change
Open awareness for relative realities & rounded perspectives
Cross-functional, cross-cultural compassion orientation
My father, David Zur, was a poet and an educator. He would have been 97 today (May 1st) if he hadn’t passed away 36 years ago. And still, he passed on the legacy of empowering teens and young adults to become proud positive leaders of the future. He was an advocate for equal opportunities in education and established a vocational engineering school in Nazareth for high schoolers from low socio-economic background, who otherwise would have had very limited career growth opportunities.
His work and values have been my source of inspiration in creating the GlobalSaké Mentorship Program, officially launching today, in his honor. This free, worldwide inclusive Mentorship Program is designed to fuel the next generation of global leaders—building, designing and marketing relevant-fit product experiences for the diverse populations of the world. This program exposes them to rounded interdisciplinary industry insights and to right-fit career opportunities across the globe. The mentors are subject-matter expert executives from some of the world’s most exciting, innovating multinational companies. The mentees are senior/graduate students and alumni from International Studies in universities worldwide. My end goal is to have mentors and mentees from every continent on the planet (we’re almost there!) Read more about it here. If you’d like to get involved, reach out to us at: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
More on GlobalSaké 2023 programs here. Please share your thoughts, experiences, and feedback in Comments, below.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn.