06 Dec 2018


Soft Skills Are Needed to Complement Technology, Assert Experts on Day One of the Knowledge Summit 2018

The knowledge economy will integrate with the digital economy to create a better future, but it is important that soft skills are not lost, stated panellists at a session on day one of the Knowledge Summit 2018, taking place on December 5-6, 2018, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Organised by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of MBRF’s Chairman H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the fifth Knowledge Summit bears the theme “Youth and the Future of the Knowledge Economy”.

In the session titled “Digital Economy and Knowledge Economy: Rivalry or Alliance?”, Simon Galpin, Managing Director at Bahrain Economic Development Board; Ahmed Bin Ali, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications at Etisalat Group; and Sarfaraz Alam, Chairman of TEXPO Group of Companies; discussed how the digital economy and the knowledge economy are converging so that in future we will see children studying in smart classrooms and doctors learning to operate using augmented reality.

Within the next decade, digitalisation is expected to lead to the loss of certain jobs in the race to deliver services more efficiently and cost-effectively. Bin Ali said 45% of tasks today could be automated using existing services and 33% of the jobs that will exist in 2020 do not yet exist today. This is driving a change in what is needed of the workforce, and it is essential that governments make sure people have the skills to access the digital economy.

However, Galpin said he expected to see a backlash in the future against impersonalised, homogenised technology, where people want the human touch rather than interacting with a Chatbot. This means there will still be a need for skills that complement technology, such as creativity, interpersonal communication, and critical thinking.

The Knowledge Summit 2018 brings together over 100 speakers including experts, decision makers and stakeholders from around the world in more than 45 discussion panels.

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