Preparing people for the future of work
KLAUS SCHWAB Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
The world is endowed with a vast wealth of human talent. The ingenuity and creativity at our collective disposal provides us with the means not only to address the great challenges of our time but also, critically, to build a future that is more inclusive and human centric. All too often however, human potential is not realized, held back either by inequality or an unrealistic and outdated faith on the part of policymakers that investment in small sub sections of highly skilled labour alone can drive sustainable, inclusive growth. The Global Human Capital Report 2017 proposes a new benchmark for leaders to build the workforces of the future. The approach it advocates, based on the principle that all people deserve an equal opportunity to develop their talents, provides leaders with the means and the tools to navigate the changes we are already witnessing from the current wave of automation and successfully navigate the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Underpinning the Report, the Global Human Capital Index provides a means of measuring the quantifiable elements of the world’s talent potential so that greater attention can be focused on delivering it. By measuring countries’ talent resources holistically according to individuals’ ability to acquire, develop and deploy skills throughout their working life rather than simply during the formative years, we hope to foster a true revolution in educational systems where education is geared to meeting the needs of the future workforce. Managing this transition towards deeper investment in human potential within the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is one of the most important political, societal, economic and moral challenges we are facing today. Our work in the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work provides a platform for leaders to collaborate on meeting this challenge. The System Initiative promotes the development of education that matches the needs of the future, a workforce that is better prepared for shifts in labour markets, opportunities for job creation and structures that allow for gains and opportunities to be shared equally, regardless of gender, age or origin. The Initiative offers the latest knowledge—including this Report—to leaders and the public for more informed decision-making, provides an exclusive platform for leaders to build consensus and share ideas, and works with leaders and organizations to take collaborative and coordinated action. We would like to express our appreciation to Till Leopold, Vesselina Ratcheva, Richard Samans and Saadia Zahidi for their leadership of this Report, and to the broader Education, Gender and Work team for their support of this project. We appreciate the unique data collaboration with LinkedIn. Finally, we welcome the leadership and guidance of the Partners and Stewards of the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work. It is our hope that this latest edition of the Report will provide a new, ambitious benchmark for countries and that the platform offered by the Education, Gender and Work System Initiative will serve as a catalyst for unified leadership by business, government and other stakeholders to positively shape the future of this system, helping unlock a new golden age for human potential and progress.