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Mar 6, 2018 9:32 AM CET

Knowledge is rapidly ageing, but skills remain and let us learn again

Technology is rapidly entering our daily lives, and in this process, the companies should think about the introduction and effectiveness of the technologies, but also consider how the society responds to the change. Roberts Kilis, the social anthropologist, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, shared his thoughts on which of these changes we feel impacting our lives the most and how to prepare for them in the future on the second meeting of the disruptive morning talks “Tech Espresso” at the Tele2 Shared Service Centre (Tele2 SSC).  


Other fields besides digital technologies are developing as well

Roberts Kilis emphasizes, that not only digital technologies, but other fields are developing rapidly as well, and the pace of development is different for each industry. The institutional fields – state administration, the pension system etc. – are the ones to develop slower. They have remained unchanged for many years, while the fastest development can be observed in the field of digital technology as well as medicine – in the last century, increase in life expectancy is directly attributable to technological advancement. “We have recently witnessed the situation where women of six generations of the same family live at once. It is unprecedented in the human history, and largely due to technologies,” R. Kilis commented. At the same time, people need to learn to make use of this time, about 25-30 extra years to their life that they have because nobody has experienced this before.

Learning skills is of greater importance

The teachers now tell their students that their future professions do not yet exist, but it makes you wonder – what do they teach in schools then? According to R. Kilis, education is in a very difficult position at the moment, since it isn’t clear any longer what the pupils and young adults should learn at school. Knowledge ages rapidly in the ever-changing industry – at times, the knowledge a student has acquired in his first year of studies is no longer relevant at the time of graduation. Kim Leandersson, CEO of Tele2 SSC, also points out that, as an employer, he already sees that the students need to learn practical skills in addition to the knowledge they acquire at the university. For this reason, the company is open to providing summer internships to provide the young people with the opportunity to embrace technological changes in the industry.

Roberts Kilis emphasizes, that none of us know what knowledge we are going to need in the future, so it is more valuable to invest in learning skills which will not disappear, as well as skills that help collaborate with other people.

Undeniably, there are certain work and learning habits that are hard to change. The social anthropologist explains that we will have to change our habits to adapt to the changes brought by technological development. Although people’s professional responsibilities will be taken over by robots, there will be new posts and jobs for the replaced employees, and people will need to re-train to secure these jobs. R. Kilis believes that it is healthy, for it forces a person to constantly learn and to independently develop and further their knowledge.

The goal of the disruptive morning talks “Tech Espresso” is to draw focus to current and expected changes in the labor market and various of its industries as a result of technological development, to inform people and encourage them to prepare for the changes by improving their skills and knowledge.