Global Challenges

As I wrote in my previous posts about the upcoming elections, at the core of our work is the belief that globalization and technology are mega forces, far stronger than politics/policy, that are fundamentally changing our economy now and forever. There is no way to stop either of them. So that the change Michigan needs to make is not unique to us, but global. The entire planet is trying to figure out how best to align with new realities.

Two recent articles demonstrate the global nature of the challenges. The first from Reuters is titled “Lack of skilled workers threatens recovery: Manpower”. It is about the global shortage of skilled trades. In a recent post I wrote about manufacturers here and across the country having jobs available and not finding qualified candidates. Not surprising it is a global challenge. With machines now and in the future doing more and more of the work human used to, skill requirements are constantly being raised. And no country has yet figured out how to prepare, at scale, workers for those jobs.

The second from the New York Times is titled “Loss of Young Talent Thwarts Malaysia’s Growth”.  Sound familiar? Talent is increasingly mobile. And the competition is not Detroit and Grand Rapids vs. Chicago and Seattle. Talent from across the globe can and will go anywhere. Particularly young talent which is the most mobile.  And as Rick Karlgaard, the publisher of Forbes says, ” … where the go, robust economic activity will follow”.

The article quotes the World Bank reporting that a lack of human capital is a “critical constraint in Malaysia’s ambition to become a high-income economy.” It’s true for Malaysia, us and everywhere else. The places that do best will be those who retain and attract talent from anywhere on the planet. Nothing else comes close in determining how prosperous a country/state/region will be.

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