Monday, May 5, 2008

Paradigm Shifts .... 21st Century Skills

In my April 18th blog entry I introduced a chart from "Tough Choices or Tough Times" and discussed "Value Streams ...... 21st Century Skills". In today's News & Record May 5, 2008, there is an article by David Brooks which I think ties in with this discussion and addresses the paradigm shift of skills revolution we are experiencing.

He discusses how the globalization paradigm has turned out to be very convenient for politicians. "It allows them to blame foreigners for economic woes." .... ".. there's a problem with the way the globalization paradigm has evolved. It doesn't really explain most of what is happening in the world."

He goes on to say "The central process driving this is not globalization. It's the skills revolution. We're moving into a more demanding cognitive age. In order to thrive, people are compelled to become better at absorbing, processing and combining information. This is happening in localized and golbalized sectors, and it would be happening even if you tore up every free trade deal ever inked." "The globalization paradigm leads people to see economic development as a form of foreign policy, as a grand competition between nations and civilizations. These abstractions, called 'the Chinese' or 'the Indians,' are doing this or that. But the cognitive age paradigm emphasizes psychology, culture and pedagogy -- specific processes that foster learning. .... If you understand that you are living at the beginning of a cognitive age, your're focusing on the real source of prosperity and understand that that your anxiety is not being caused by a foreigner." "It's not globalization and the skills revolution are contradictory processes. But which paradigm you embrace determines which facts and remedies you emphasize." He further emphasizes that it's time to move beyond the globalization paradigm thinking.

What captured my attention in this article is the importance of the skills revolution which ties in with my previous blog on the importance of 21st century skills. In the global supply chain there are a triplett of materials, information and financial chains. The diamond in the chart shows creative work as high importance in a competitive marketplace and our educational supply chain must be developing the future workforce with these necessary 21st century skills.

In other parts of this blog and in our website we discuss Metaphors for the 21st Century (M21C) and the importance of the Innovative Engine in building competitive services & wares.