Getting future ready

We love to bask in the thought of being future ready, but often with half-baked ideas. Rather, thoughts that suit our short term interests with limited vision. It is time to broaden up and outwards to know what it entails for us.

Technology in our lives

Digital technology is so broad today that it encompasses almost everything. There is almost no area in which digital technology has not impacted our lives. Almost each of us regularly uses the internet to improve or inform aspects of his or her well being- be it health, fitness, diet, education, employment, education, commerce, finance, civic engagement or even social interactions.

When the Digital Renaissance came into force, tech magazines said that only those companies that had good futurists would be able to survive this storm in the digital world. Today we see children are benefiting through various job oriented educational courses like programming and coding.


Human response to crisis

Now, the world has suffered the Covid 19 pandemic and it was natural to expect our digitally literate world to be competent enough to face it confidently and help the world sail through. Let us examine some facts here. According to the Oxfam report published in January 2022, the world’s ten richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion during the first two years of a pandemic while 99 per cent of humanity saw their incomes fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty. Moral apathy and obscene inequality were even more apparent when rich governments allowed pharmaceutical monopolies and billionaires to cut off the supply of vaccines to billions of people, especially in third-world countries where the pandemic had taken its toll. Marginalised sections of India’s society, such as the poor and working-class, women and children, suffered the most due to a lack of health care benefits, security and welfare measures, and proper public education, all of which aggravated the situation. Although most of us from privileged backgrounds had easy access to online classes, the digital divide made gaining access to these newer methods of learning challenging for children from these backgrounds. So, what is the significance of the digital revolution in this scenario, when half the population is unable to reap its benefits? Can we truly envision a sustainable and equitable future without addressing the socio-economic barriers that obstruct it?


So, are we truly ready?

On a broader perspective, we see that the billionaire class, corporations, and governments have failed to address and take responsibility for climate change, austerity, the shortage of public education and hospitals, and violence against minorities, among other problems. We must reverse these trends. The ultimate goal should be for us as citizens and human beings to actively participate in our community and collaborate to develop a society, economy and democracy that is well-governed, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable. We must be able to build platforms that help people and make sure that technology is not being misused. As Rushkoff suggests, we need to reclaim our values that are in danger of being lost. In essence, we must formulate a more humane way of thinking about our future, rather than relying on the survival of the fittest logic that is being promoted. A future that is inclusive and ensures that no one is left out or deprived requires collective solidarity, engagement, and action from all of us. For it is only the choices we make today that can determine the future we want.

Being Future Ready is not confined to a moment because in every moment there is a future ahead of us. So with four skills – Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity we can take a step closer towards being future ready with a constant zeal to learn and grow.


About the authors

The article has been contributed by the following students from St Joseph’s HIgh School, Matigara, Darjeeling: Aarya Pradhan, Hridaya Pradhan and Prapti Sundass.

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