STEM Foundation

Inventing the Future Think Tank

Date: 27 March 2014 : 13:00 - 17:00

NEF: The Innovation Institute is conducting a research study and running a Think Tank, which will be chaired by Baroness Verma of Leicester, to assess what technical and scientific careers will look like in the future, and what science, engineering and technology-focused skills will be needed to satisfy these new occupations. The Think Tank will enable us to better understand:
 

How science, engineering and technology-based companies view the future

How innovations today will redefine tomorrow's jobs and translate into new skills requirements

How this knowledge could shape new teaching and learning strategies and future funding models

 

What is the Issue? 

There is a crisis in the supply of high-grade technical skills for science, engineering and technology industries in the UK. These industries are themselves dealing with major and often rapid change – in products, services, markets and technology. Some of the larger science, engineering and technology companies can use their capacity to see the future coming, to adjust in a timely manner to ensure competitive positioning. Their developments impact greatly on their supply chains and on skills demand. At the other end of this chain, skills suppliers, more specifically colleges of furt her education, are often beset with short-term targets and policy incentives. The capacity of education and training providers to understand the future of the industries they
serve to make the necessary responses, may be limited. So, as industry advances, the supply of skills lags some way behind.

What can be done?

One important aspect is the way the future is understood by science, engineering and technology industries. What is predictable through R&D, through market change analysis and through the early impacts of new products and services? This is a rich seam of knowledge: however, its' availability may be extensive in the boardrooms of major science, engineering and technology companies whilst remaining 'almost unknown' in the skills supply industry. There needs to be an adaptative "intelligent connection" between the two.

How can this be done?

The NEF is keen to understand:

  • What can we learn about how science, engineering and technology companies view the future?
  • How would innovation in any major science, engineering and technology field today translate into tomorrow’s jobs?
  • What values enable companies to “invent the future”?
  • How can such knowledge and values be shared with and used by colleges?
  • How could this knowledge shape curriculum and funding models?
  • What values can lead to a better balance of risk and reward in providing sufficient skills supply?

The essence of this Think Tank is to find a means to understand how the future is being invented all the time and to translate this into meaningful, live knowledge transfer. This could enable skills suppliers to develop the intelligent college culture fully, to update their resources, to train their staff and to align with future industry needs.

BENEFITS

Join the thought leaders to address:

  • What are technology innovation trends that signal economic growth
  • How such trends impact employment patterns
  • The learning providers’ readiness to respond to such trends and patterns
  • Where best to invest for future employment to drive sustainable growth (from government, employer and learner points of view)
  • What levers could be used to influence and shape the UK technical skills capacity of the future

The best way to predict the future is to invent it!

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