Canada Association of Tourism Employees

New Know-how And The Digital Divide

The impact of new technology and the digital divide

Today technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and an end does not seem to be in sight. New and emerging technologies arguably have the greatest impact. A recent analysis of seventeen of these emerging technologies put projected economic growth in 2025 at just under $ 7 trillion. This number is higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of most countries! While many are focused on the financial impact of this era of technological advancement, the impact on society as a whole will be much stronger. Globally, the impact is likely to widen the current digital divide. Countries with the necessary resources will take advantage of the new and unique opportunities that these new technologies offer. The less advanced and less advanced countries are likely to see this as yet another setback and stumbling block in their efforts to improve their current way of life and social status.

Just recently the BBC published an article warning that automation “will take away 800 million jobs by 2030”. You are not the only one to utter such numbers. Most of these job losses will be felt by the ordinary worker, your everyday individual. Who prepares today’s workforce for such a job change? Another question is: who is preparing today’s generation to meet the professional needs of society in the years to come? An equally important question is: Who will prepare the coming generation for the world of work of the future? It is time to check the age of the content in the materials used throughout the educational setting. I was checking the copyright on a recent textbook used in a technology program. It hit the market almost 3 years ago. Add to that the time to research, write, edit, copyright, produce, sell, and bring the subject into class. With all of this it must be worrying considering the age of the content in this book. This is especially true given today’s pace of technological progress.

Retraining is the answer to this problem

There are several countries around the world that have entered the race to lead the technological revolution that is being created by several technologies that are just about to hit the market. It is important to realize that the race is going to be hot! Leading countries are Australia, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey and the United States. Additional technologies appear to be evolving and will be entering the new and emerging technology category very soon. With all of this happening over the next few years, one has to wonder how well prepared we are for the scale of the changes that are likely to come with the massive technology infusion and subsequent disruptions. This will undoubtedly widen the digital divide in our society.

Adapting to change brought about by this technology infusion is no easy task. It requires changes to our curriculum across our educational system. However, the work of adapting to this level of change does not stop there. Many in today’s workforce need retraining. While these are both significant challenges, there is another aspect. There will be a number of companies and organizations that are unlikely to survive and cease operations because of the disruptions associated with these technologies. The sum of all of this corresponds to a disruptive change in the next few years and in numerous industries.

The social impact of disruptive change like the one that appears to lie ahead requires action at management levels in business, education, government and industry. If board members, executives and executives cannot prepare, it is for most inexcusable and probably “unsurvivable”. The planning to take action and retrain the global workforce in preparation for this disruptive technology revolution must begin now. It needs to be addressed across society as well as at the highest levels of government in every country in the world. It is important to encourage proactive adaptation to what awaits us all. Many elements of this generation of emerging technologies have evolved beyond the research stage and are in the product / service development phase of evolution. This puts them one step away from advancing to the world market. This opens the door for their actual, effective, operational use throughout society.

Some elements of the current subject are interrupted. Now is the time to partner with and work with the agents of change of tomorrow to develop the courseware for the workforce for the next decade and beyond. It is in your best interests to do so. After all, they need a well-trained workforce for their organization to be successful. Today’s workforce needs the results of these efforts to adapt to the disruptive change that is on the verge of occurrence.

Communicating your strategy to support today’s and tomorrow’s workforce must include your approach and efforts to drive and support the technological change of this decade, and its implications will be far-reaching. It will likely reduce resistance due to fear of the future and distrust. It will also counteract the lack of trust of some individuals entering or entering the world of work. It is important that you clearly communicate what is driving the change and why the change is necessary. Nevertheless, part of the workforce begins with “their strategy” as soon as your change communication takes place. This could be a change of position within the organization, a move to another company (possibly a competitor), or leaving the workforce and leaving. Given the current lack of well-trained resources, improper use could be devastating.


Measures to narrow the social digital divide are not an option. Too much is at stake here and the outcome will affect society as a whole. Continuous flow of relevant content into the courseware used is the emergency solution today. Further analysis and a new approach to educational development and the educational life cycle is likely the only long-term solution. This is especially true given that these problems and challenges are likely to get worse for at least the next decade.

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