The most industrialized nations like the United States, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy now want to be technological and digital leaders because the cost of producing goods has reached its lowest levels, because they want to open up new markets and because data, Innovation, creativity and originality are the new raw materials for generating wealth in the 21st century.
Adam Smith wrote from 1776 that the wealth of nations is based on the way of organizing skills, operational skills and intelligence so that the work of people is capable of generating value from the transformation of a raw material into a good. or service that meets the needs of the population.
The wealth of nations lies in the ability to make work productive. Digital technologies, networks, telecommunications services, and Internet platforms are the tools that make virtually any job more productive. We have seen this during the pandemic.
Digital production introduces differentiations in products and services up to their personalization, but without giving up mass manufacturing.
Smith’s explanation is highly visionary for the global digital society: the productive capacity of work, that is, the possibility of adding value to raw materials such as data, requires skills, dexterity, and intelligence.
Therefore, the foundation of advanced digital societies is education focused on the development of talent in the use, adoption and appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Nations that want to take advantage of the opportunities of the digital revolution and want to deliver prosperity to their population, need to invest in education and digital talent.
The foregoing will develop the digital skills required by the jobs of the future, the operational skills to perform them correctly and the effective knowledge to know how to interact with the social environment and with the context to contribute to change.
Education promotes the basic skills and competencies required by the intelligent information society, that is, enabled and automated by ICTs.
This new educational model displaces rote learning and embraces creativity. It provides an intelligent and personalized education based on technologies. Educate and develop overqualified specialists to lead the development of future technologies.
Education for the digital society prepares its population to perform in the industries and strategic activities of the State. They can be national security, public administration, logistics, energy, finance, security, transportation, manufacturing, health, and/or biotechnology.
All these industries and sectors must be enabled in parallel by intelligent Information Technologies: mobile devices, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Big Data.
Precisely because these industries, factories and businesses have started to adopt digital technologies or will have to do so sooner rather than later to survive in their respective markets and business models, an education that develops skills, dexterity and critical thinking is required.
Connected and digitized strategic industries and sectors will have the ability to create new ICT-compatible jobs and will be able to improve labor market flexibility. They will reinforce the demand for workers. They will create smart jobs (digitized and automated) and adapted to ICT. They will strengthen worker protection, specialized training and expand the employment safety net.
Of course, this greater connectivity, digitization, and productivity have a higher purpose, which is the well-being of the population: expanding the social safety net for the most vulnerable members of society, eliminating blind spots in the provision of public social services, personalizing and adapt social assistance so as not to waste resources and get help to those who really need it.
Nations like China have fully understood the implications of digital transformation. The dynamism of the Asian giant is explained on the basis of increased investment in research and development in those sectors where production is increasing, in technoscience, the basis on which the world economy is based.
The Chinese industrial model interweaves science, technology, skills and society to respond to global markets, but also to the needs of each individual person.
China decided to invest in technology, talent and skills, which later became the pillars of the development of the country’s technology industry, led by companies such as Huawei, JD, China Mobile, Alibaba, Tencent and DiDi.
An advanced digital society requires a return to the origins of the wealth and power of nations foreseen by Adam Smith: strengthening the quality of human resources through education, investing in it and in research to trigger new creativity, capable of facing the challenges and challenges of the future.
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