The pandemic brought disruption that was detrimental to many aspects of life, but it also created new opportunities for lasting change. As the wave of the pandemic begins to recede, it has exposed an array of priorities that will need immediate attention. Both the recovery and prevention of a future global crisis rest on the new generations; now, more than ever, it is critical to prioritise education and equip young minds with the right skillsets that will enable them to rebuild a purpose-driven and socially cohesive world.
In 2020, Euromonitor Innovation partnered with Institut auf dem Rosenberg to uncover the entrepreneurs and leaders of the future, as well as the education necessary to help them thrive. As discussed in the joint white paper, Entrepreneurs of the Future, education should build back better, placing a critical focus on the following questions:
• What are the driving forces shaping the leaders of the future?
• What are the key attributes of a successful entrepreneur?
• What should education address to prepare the young people of today for the challenges of tomorrow?
The global forces defining leaders and entrepreneurs of the future
By consulting with thought leaders across different industries and educational institutions globally and testing against long-term shifts in the entrepreneurial landscape, Euromonitor has identified three pivotal forces that will shape leaders and entrepreneurs of the future:
Technology and connectivity
During the pandemic, technology and connectivity allowed entrepreneurs to solve real-time challenges from shelter-in-place orders and prevented business and education from coming to a standstill. The accelerated adaptation of advanced digital solutions and technology will be critical for future leaders.
Ethics and responsibility
As technology encroaches on privacy, the debate continues to centre around the responsibility of organisations to deliver safe and ethical services and, more broadly, to better balance people, purpose and profit. Future entrepreneurs will have to build with ethics and responsibility in mind, and education needs to equip them with the necessary skills to do so.
Creativity and adaptability
Over the past year, future entrepreneurs witnessed businesses pushed to the brink of collapse unless they evolved quickly. Creativity and adaptability will be another necessary force shaping future leaders and will fuel future innovation and success.
Who are the future global leaders?
Through extensive research and analysis, Euromonitor identified five key personas of the entrepreneur of the future, including the skills, values and tools they need to succeed.
The Innovative and Agile Leader will understand that all future innovation depends on the support and application of technology, combined with an Elon-Musk drive to dream for the stars.
The Purpose-Driven Leader will focus on authenticity and leading with integrity in order to build trust across stakeholders and the broader community.
The Multicultural Leader will be one that understands, values and effectively leverages differences to fuel creativity and originality.
The Lifelong Learner will have an innate need to continuously reinvent, upgrade and change themselves in order to evolve.
The Emotionally Intelligent Leader will be best equipped to work collaboratively in a rapidly changing world and be able to lead in a disruption.
These personas do not exist in isolation and must be carefully balanced in future entrepreneurs. Educators that understand these personas will arm students with critical transferable skills to become global leaders who will push positive change in the world.
What does it take?
To educate successful entrepreneurs and leaders for the future, students, parents and educational institutions need to collaborate and create a system that considers powerful long-term forces shaping the entrepreneurial environment, teaches futureproof skills and can be tailored according to students’ individual needs and preferences.
In response to this, education stakeholders are calling for a flexible, resilient and innovative ecosystem, leaving the one-size-fits-all school system behind and instead putting the student at the centre.
Many schools, like Institut auf dem Rosenberg, have made bold strides in delivering a more student-centred and future-focused education. It is important to develop a collaborative community where we can learn from such success to help pave the way for transformation in education.
This study’s finding can help shift thinking to better effectively nurture the right values and skills in our future leaders.
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