It was only yesterday that we saw the world through the eyes of our profession. Some of us still do, our identity defined by our contribution to the wheels of commerce, our aspirations limited by our financial returns from the machine of travail.
Education systems are now moving away from the ‘just in case’ scenario (where we learn the basics of different subjects) to the ‘just in time’ perspective (where we learn how to find the required knowledge if we need it).
The rise of the Internet has obviated the need to store all this information in our heads, with virtually all the knowledge available to man being accessible with the click of a mouse.
So how does this affect the way we see ourselves in a world that is changing rapidly, one in which students today are trained for jobs that have yet to be invented? Surnames that reflect our vocations such as Smith, Turner and Cooper no longer have their etymology rationale and seem to hark back to a time of lineage and class divisions that no longer apply.
The beauty of this ‘open source’ knowledge base is that the previous constraints no longer apply. A humble villager in an underdeveloped country now has the same access as a well-to-do silvertail. Higher learning is no longer the domain of the rich and innovation is becoming the order of the day as communication networks open up the final frontiers of ignorance and repressive thinking.
We are now global citizens with the means to redefine our existence by capitalising upon the information superhighway, whether by means of social media, webinars, courses and forums. Ultimately people are the most important asset for productivity and our self-esteem can now be boosted in so many ways. Being able to contribute in a valued and meaningful way is the new métier of success and identity and the more fluid and adaptable we become in this new kaleidoscope of knowledge, the more the world will change with us and become the place of opportunity for man.