At Idea-gen.com, we are convening the world's leading organizations to innovate and collaborate by identifying and developing emergent strategies and solutions to many of the world's most vexing issues. Our recent Ideagen Summit with the theme, The Global Empowerment of the Next Generation, addressed several areas that are highlighted in this article.
The future of our country lies in the hands of the next generation and it is the job of the current generation to establish and prepare the next generation with the tools needed to succeed.
As seen in recent years, the advancement of technology holds the promise of empowering the next generation and allow for a new economy based on innovative technology. Redesigning higher education will allow for a higher level of achievement nation-wide and help with national competition in the economy. In addition, racial equity will provide the biggest contribution to our country's advancement in the world market.
Technology is at its peak with the innovation of 3-D printing. 3-D printing makes it cheaper to produce goods and allows for them to be produced locally, near the consumption point. This bypasses shipping costs as well as any middle-men that would be used in the process from manufacturing to consumption. Companies will be able to personally manufacture their goods, and the need for the lower labor costs will diminish. Goods will become more customizable and consumer demand will increase. This shift in production will allow for the wealth that had shifted to other nations's to shift and provide the next generation the ability to become the leading power in the economy (D'Aveni).
Re-designing Higher Education
Redesigning higher education will enable people to achieve the five elements of well-being: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical well-being. Graduates need to be engaged in their work because, "72 percent of graduates who are thriving in all five elements are engaged with their work" (Gallup, "Great jobs great lives"). College institutions need to be made affordable, so high debts are not incurred. According to the Gallup report, "Only 4 percent of graduates who owed between $20,000 and $40,000 are thriving in all areas compared with 14 percent of those who did not take out loans." In addition, professors who are excited about their subject matter need to be employed and students should be given the chance to choose their professors to ensure they receive a professor who excites and empowers them. The study by Gallup revealed that, "Seventeen percent of those who felt supported are thriving in all five areas, compared with 6 percent of those who did not feel supported" (Gallup, "Great jobs great lives").
More emphasis should be put on STEM due to the increasing amount of STEM related jobs. STEM stands science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. As stated in Brookings Jonathan Rothwell's article on the Hidden STEM Economy, "20 percent of all jobs -- require a high level of knowledge in any one STEM field" (Rothwell). Economic and social well-being are increased in STEM-based economies. STEM jobs are extremely attainable even without a four-year college degree. These jobs pay 10 percent more than other jobs with comparable education requirements (Rothwell). Because of the promising future of the STEM economy, more emphasis needs to put on STEM in education.
Racial equity will have a momentous effect on the US and Global economy. As shown in The Business Case for Racial Equity by Ani Turner, "If the average incomes of minorities were raised to the average incomes of whites, total U.S. earnings would increase by 12 percent, representing nearly $1 trillion today." These earnings would result in higher federal tax revenues and a decrease in the federal deficit. It has been projected, that by achieving racial equity, national GDP would increase by 16 percent by the year 2030 (Turner). Not only does achieving racial equity create a more level socio-economic playing field, it also increases the well-being of the country's economy, which is imperative to the prosperity of a nation.
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D'Aveni, Richard A. "3-D Printing Will Change the World." Harvard Business Review
Mar. 2013: n. pag. Web. 12 June 2014.
Gallup, comp. Great jobs great lives: the 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report. Gallup Inc.,
2014. PDF file.
"New report shows largest year-over-year college attainment increase since 2008."
Lumina Foundation. Lumina Foundation, 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 12 June 2014.
Rothwell, Jonathan. the Hidden STEM Economy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute,
2013. Brookings. Web. 12 June 2014.
Turner, Ani, et al. The Business Case for Racial Equity. Comp. Altarum Institute. W.K.
Kellogg Foundation, 2013. PDF file.