Who would ever imagine that the world of technology would ever be heading into an imagination age? We can all understand that our future has always been unpredictable. A recent alarming report that was released from the World Economic Forum has indicated that around 65% of the future jobs that existing students in elementary school doesn’t even exist as of yet. When you combine that with the outburst of automation that it taking away many traditional jobs, it kind of makes us wonder exactly how many of us are going to survive in such a world?
Using your Imagination May be Key
The whole key to survival could be your imagination. Rita J. King was the first to coin the upcoming imagination age as a time that exists beyond our current information age where innovation, creativity, and our imagination become the main drivers of future economic value. This is being driven by tech trends such as virtual reality and also the boom of several digital platforms such as YouTube. These types of entities are increasing the demand for user created content and their unique brands of creativity. It is also being driven by automation, which is going to take away many routine jobs, which paves the way for more highly ordered job that will require innovation.
“In the imagination age, we can collectively imagine and create the future we want to inhabit before we lose that chance,” claims Rita J. King. “This isn’t just about generating utopian visions to make ourselves feel better about the challenges we face. We can rapidly prototype and test ideas to alter our systems and lives.”
The Imagination Economy
These new tech trends are bringing about what several thought leaders are referring to as an “imagination economy.” This is considered to be “an economy where intuitive and creative thinking create economic value, after logical and rational thinking has been outsourced to other economies.”
And automation has a very key role to play in future outsourcing processes. A recent study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute discovered that jobs which involve tasks like data gathering, data processing, and very predictable and repeatable physical work are going to most likely be automated by outsourcing it to technology. Conversely, the most difficult tasks to automate are the ones that involve complicated expertise in making decisions, those that required planning, any type of human interaction, those that need imagination, or creative tasks. Amazingly to few, human beings still continue to outperform machines on tasks that require innovation and those that push imaginative and creative boundaries.
Michael Cox, who is an economist, has indicated that jobs in the publishing industry are declining, whereas jobs for architects, designers, directors, actors, software engineers, and even photographers are increasing. Adding to this current trend, the past century has experience a huge growth in jobs for games as well as interactive media. These are all signs that seem to mark the start of this new imagination age.
Educational Reform is Required
Among the biggest tragedies of past traditional education is that most of it happened to be designed and intended for industrial age jobs and decision making.
Currently, we are not just living an information age, we are already heading straight into an imagination age – and we are heading there rapidly. Most of our traditional schools have neglected to keep pace with all the exponential growth and rapid changes seen in our world. Instead of placing their emphasis on knowledge of content and grades, our educators should start focusing on 21st-century survival skills. This would include understanding the how the new economic value is rapidly shifting to imagination and creativity.
In the past, many of us have viewed creativity and imagination as traits that were assigned to specific tasks, and it wasn’t necessary for every profession. But like any number of skills, innovative abilities could be easily cultivated and in fact, are going to be vital for people in virtually all professional fields. Innovation will become very valuable for entrepreneurs, writers, scientists, corporate leaders, and even those in the medical fields will all benefit from enhanced levels of innovation.
There are countless ways to cultivate these exciting new abilities into young minds. One way to enhance creativity is by placing a greater focus on multi-disciplinary activities and thought processes, and allow students to be taught to view and encourage cross-curricular connections and to view problems from all possible angles.