Human Capital Acceleration and co-creating strategies for Converging Technologies

Human Capital Acceleration and co-creating strategies for Converging Technologies

 

Rural transformation is a big global project in the world scenario for meeting the need of ambitious digital transformation worldwide. Around 50% of the developing world’s population (Nepal: 80%; India: 66%; China: 40%) is living in the rural sector, mostly in agrarian sectors with lack of incentive and facilities for modern education system. A large percentage of them are impoverished and do not have access to latest electronic technology and digital transformation revolutionizing the urban world because of the availability of information. This is becoming a situation of a digital divide between rural sector and urban sector.

 

There is a serious requirement of engaging Think Tanks of the country to explore strategic opportunities to ensure that converging technologies are integrated into public sector policies, plans and programs in effective and equitable ways. Some of these technologies are already being used by the private sectors, however, not extensively for human capital development. There is a further need to identify constraints that prevent the effective implementation at the ground level, including the sectoral silos that need to be opened up to incorporate these technologies to produce greater impact. And this is particularly pertinent in the context of implementing policies and programs in the relatively new (and fragile) federal structure, in which converging technologies could potentially offer more effective pathways to improve service delivery. IT forces of the nation should be integrated along with concerned stakeholders to strengthen better service delivery at the ground level of the fragile federal structure of Nepal.

 

 

In the context of especially pandemic and climate change challenges, there is urgency of reversing losses caused by the COVID pandemic; leveraging the cultural shift that has occurred in the use of technology in the human development sectors, but also the difficulties that have been revealed; and preparing for future shocks as well as adjusting to climate change.

 

The converging technology revolution comprises the synergistic combination of four groups of technologies: information technology, bio-technology, nanotechnology and cognitive technologies. They go beyond digital technologies, although they are underpinned by the latter. Data is central to the converging technology revolution; a unique feature is the integration of data from the human, physical, biological and cyber worlds. High speed computing power and connectivity are the other two factors powering this revolution. These characteristics drive both the potential and the risks from the converging technology revolution. The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), itself a combination of information technology and cognitive science and made possible by the availability of vast amounts of data, cheap high speed computing power and ubiquitous connectivity, is further enabling and driving the converging technology revolution. These developments have profound implications for human capital – creating the possibility of rapid accumulation of human capital through technological innovations in education (e.g., by improving learning quality), health (e.g., by improving stunting or reducing non-communicable diseases) and social protection (e.g., by addressing informality of the labor force) sectors; as well as supporting sectors such as agriculture, water, energy, sectors critical for Nepal’s development.

 

 

In the context of especially pandemic and climate change challenges, there is urgency of reversing losses caused by the COVID pandemic; leveraging the cultural shift that has occurred in the use of technology in the human development sectors, but also the difficulties that have been revealed; and preparing for future shocks as well as adjusting to climate change.

 

 

There is a serious need of initiating in collaboration with development partners to sensitize targeted stakeholders to gain an understanding of the potential for and risks of converging technologies for accelerating human capital in Nepal. There is a need to explore and vet the possible technology entry points – such as digital platforms, enabling digital access, local content, technology and data governance, community innovation etc

 

Humans as technological beings.

 

The advance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and the like) has produced a developing scenario in which the service of humanity seems too often eclipsed by the momentum of technology and commerce. This challenge has been highlighted recently, as some of the leading innovators of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have begun to relinquish their intellectual property because of the risks to them as the owners of it.

 

Youth and engagement

 

Putting humans and IT at the center means three things: distributing benefits, managing externalities, and ensuring that technology directly and indirectly empowers and augments the uniquely human aspects of ourselves.

 

Policies, institutions and processes can determine access to assets and influence decision making processes. Have citizens of Nepal been able to choose right people at the decision-making places? How much aware are our citizen? Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Augmented Reality and more such technologies have changed the technological landscape like never before. Let’s not forget how Artificial Intelligence has tremendously transformed, customer experience, in recent years.

 

 

Targets for progress

 

The third beacon of hope is the increasing prominence of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs provide history’s first universal matrix for achieving a flourishing future. Adopted by the heads of governments from 193 UN member states, the SDG framework addresses the key physical facets of life in our global village – social, environmental and economic.

 

Enriched society

 

The state must be responsible for guaranteeing education and health services for all, as well as for providing social security. It will be a transformative progressive force that will embrace and build upon human being's latest achievements in areas of knowledge and science. Citizens demand transparency, accountability, rule of law and zero tolerance to corruption in all our conducts and financial transactions. It should be grounded on principles of national sovereignty, prosperity, accountability/transparency, sustainability, and inclusive participatory democracy. A holistic view is aspired in understanding the stakeholders’ livelihoods as a whole, with all its facets, by a manageable model that helps to identify the most pressing constraints people have to face.

 

Emergency response department of Nepal has so far has not engaged technocrats during disaster times in bigger scale in more responsive way exploiting technology. This one and half year of Covid pandemic has accelerated Digital platform-based projects worldwide which provided lot of new opportunities for device manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, professionals and researchers specially in the sector of emergency response handlings.

 

Nepal had prepared a Digital Framework in  2019 announcing eighty initiatives in eight sectors. Some of these technologies are already being used by the private sectors but not extensively for human capital development. There is a further need to identify constraints that prevent the effective implementation at the ground level, including the sectorial silos that need to be opened up to incorporate these technologies to produce greater impact. And this is particularly pertinent in the context of implementing policies and programs in the relatively new (and fragile) federal structure, in which converging technologies could potentially offer more effective pathways to improve service delivery. Well-functioning good governance is missing for human capital development to take place for IT industry development

 

The evolving new ideas sits at the center of the SDG framework as the fulcrum to lifting all the others. SDG is about the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.  SDG-aligned movements are going global and becoming increasingly democratized. Forward-thinking international companies are taking note. Tech leader IBM, for example, is recruiting 200,000 girls into STEM learning programs in India to help change the gender imbalance in the tech sector. Tata Trusts, the philanthropic arm of the Tata conglomerate, is spearheading solutions to the country’s water and sanitation crisis through PPPs encouraging SDG-focused social entrepreneurship model. If women and girls are empowered to lead campaigns for human flourishing, all the other SDGs will rise. Are the rural citizens of Nepal aware of this opportunity?

How will voice, agency and empowerment be ensured for women, poor and marginalized communities, in the face of technological dominance by a few actors? By end of 20220, more than 1200 Nepalese have already received training through HIDA / AOTS in Japan and more than 3300 in Nepal itself. Human capital development specially of female citizens of Nepal needs to be developed at fast pace. Assistance from institutions like AOTS could accelerate Human capital development which will help accelerate the digital transformation of Nepal too.

 

With technology disruption being accelerated due to Covid 19 pandemic re-skilling and human capital development has become urgent in Nepal faced with limited resources. Sharing of lessons learnt in developed countries through virtual platform would give direction for Nepal for co-creating directives. With the common motto of "Progress Through Human Resources Development", Nepal AOTS cooperates, implements and organizes programs of skill and knowledge up gradation of Nepalese citizens. How can these technologies be used to improve service delivery in the HD sectors and other contributing sectors that help build human capital (agriculture etc.)? In particular, how can these technologies be deployed in a federal context where local levels have limited knowledge, capacity, infrastructure, etc.? Because of Covid pandemic digital deliveries have accelerated and there will a flood of new skills requiring re-skilling of existing youth force and preparing future Human Capital with resources constrained environment of academic institution the new demand of modular re-engineered curriculum. Institutions like AOTS can play role in providing trainings and in improving integration of academia and industry functioning.

 

 

In the context of especially pandemic and climate change challenges, there is urgency of reversing losses caused by the COVID pandemic; leveraging the cultural shift that has occurred in the use of technology in the human development sectors, but also the difficulties that have been revealed; and preparing for future shocks as well as adjusting to climate change. There is a need for building capacity to adapt technologies and innovate in Nepal’s context, especially in the context of climate change and building back. According to a Forbes analysis, Japan is home to almost 10% of the world's most innovative companies. AOTS Input could strengthen the talents of Nepal too. Tapping talents from rural areas requires investments. I have witnessed the talents of rural and economically backward students who have competed in open competition to get enrolled in premier public institutions. If the Digital Nepal framework has to be successfully implemented for overall growth of the society public institutions including universities have to be strengthened by encouraging public enterprise development models.