Preparing for the future of work: Promoting creativity in the age of automation
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Preparing for the future of work: Promoting creativity in the age of automation

Preparing for the future of work: Promoting creativity in the age of automation

Building creative capacity requires a community of entrepreneurs, creatives, visionaries, and coaches to help local talent bring their ideas to life


In 2020, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report revealed how technological disruption would result in 50 per cent of all employees requiring re-skilling by 2025. Now faced with the ‘double disruption’ of the pandemic, coinciding with the accelerating automation of traditional roles, it is estimated that 85 million jobs could be displaced in the process.

However, the Forum has also suggested that if we adapt to the new division of labour between man and machine, even more jobs could be created than are displaced. This means responding to the dramatic shift in skill requirements and industry trends, with creativity named among the most necessary business competences of the future workforce.

Developing the creative economy

In the UAE, the recent World Government Summit 2022 heard Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of Dubai Council, reinforce the city’s ambition to become a leading destination for creativity.

So how can we help to advance local creative talent and nurture the regional creative economy, to successfully prepare for the emerging employment landscape?

· Create a grassroots community: Building creative capacity requires a dedicated community of entrepreneurs, creatives, visionaries, and coaches to help local talent bring their ideas to life. This means investing in potential rather than perfection, to make new opportunities more accessible without compromising on industry standards.

Education is critical to elevating the industry at grassroots level. Whether coaching and mentoring young talent, or implementing corporate initiatives that drive creativity, innovation, and opportunity amongst employees, advancement comes when people know and understand exactly how the industry works.

· Embrace technology: We need to view emerging technologies as an opportunity rather than a threat. When many ‘experts’ said publishing was dying in the face of innovation, those of us in the industry set out to bridge the gap between print and digital.

The capacity to leverage different mediums to make stories more accessible for readers has heralded a new and exciting era for the industry. What’s more, the potential for digital training, virtual events, and distributed workplaces had opened up a new global audience and opportunities for people all over the world to engage with creatives in the UAE.

· Build scalability: Creative ideas are easy to develop, but to execute, scale up, and deliver meaningful impact is more difficult, and yet key to a successful creative economy. Initiatives like the golden visa for creative industries and support from the National Media Council have laid solid foundations and now more needs to be done to ensure creative endeavours are financially viable.

To turn a creative passion into a business reality we can work closely with creative entrepreneurs on how they can market and sell their work, equipping them with the fundamental business skills that enable them to leverage their creative work for financial success. We must also work to dismantle the roadblocks that constrain the growth of the creative economy.

Supporting local talent to market and sell their creative products is not enough without the integrated distribution infrastructure that enables them to export it regionally and globally. We need better online and offline channels to get creative works into the hands of consumers.

· Go global Attracting talent is relatively easy as Dubai is a hub for innovation and inspired ideas. Exporting that talent and ensuring creatives and creative work coming out of Dubai has a place on the world stage is the next step.

A thriving creative industry will not emerge in our own bubble, so providing the talent we invest in with the same global opportunities other creatives achieve is the gateway for these entrepreneurs to truly scale their impact.

Inspire, educate, facilitate

The creative economy opportunities that are possible will not emerge if Dubai’s creatives are only able to pursue creative endeavours as a side-hustle. We need to support the next generation in going pro. To achieve this, our teachers, mentors, national agencies and the existing sector must unite to inspire, educate and facilitate the process, to ensure that, rather than displacing creativity, our automated future helps to elevate it into a flourishing sector of the economy.

Kira Jean is a success coach and founder of The Dreamwork Collective, an independent print and digital media company

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