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Learn Innovation in Iceland: The International Youth Summer School in Iceland is a Unique Opportunity for Future Leaders and World-Changers

Learning future skills for workplace sustainability is imperative for reparations and truly sustainable living in a post-pandemic world.

By Karina ThyraPublished 4 years ago 4 min read
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Image credit: Youth Time International Movement

The climate crisis and environmental degradation are persisting issues faced by this generation. Human recklessness is to be blamed for the current health crisis across the globe. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought businesses and economies at a standstill, now more than ever, humanity is forced to rethink the unsustainable ways of our systems and even how individuals live.

We face uncertainty as domestic and international industries and economies recover from the fall brought about by the pandemic. Moving onto automation and digital spaces have become a challenging transition for individuals, industries, and institutions that may not have maximized the use of ICT infrastructures to make work easier and more efficient. The Youth Time International Movement, an international NGO made by the youth for the youth - knows of these issues and the rapidly evolving marketplace, which is why they strive for active youth engagement through competitions in the the annual Global Forum and Summer School.

Eligibility and Benefits

Youth Time’s Summer School which seeks participants (18-35 years old) until May 30, 2020 offers an outstanding learning opportunity for young people - students and professionals of diverse backgrounds to pursue a fun and engaging learning environment.

This will take place in the magnificent and picturesque country of Iceland, which is also one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. It will be held at the University of Iceland in the city of Reykjavik from August 10-15, 2020.* With the theme of ‘Future Skills for Workplace Sustainability: Preparing for Transition’, among the topics that will be discussed are robotic automation, technical innovations and the digitalization of jobs.

(* changed from the original June 25-30, 2020 due to the outbreak).

Aside from the knowledge that will be gained through talks and workshops by esteemed experts, career boost and expanded networks, you will also have the unique opportunity to join the cultural exchange program with adventures at Iceland’s breathtaking nature and main attractions. Apart from being one of the countries that wasn’t greatly affected by the pandemic, Iceland is an outstanding case study for creativity, flexibility, and innovation. They have an abundant green energy resource that comes from their unique geological features — volcanoes and glaciers, among them — which they have harnessed to power households all over the country. Instead of trampling on natural forces, Iceland has found a synergy for nature and technology to thrive and complement each other.

[Want to know more about Youth Time? Also read: The 5th Youth Global Forum: 3 Important Take-Aways; Youth Time International Movement: The International NGO You Probably Didn't Know, But Should ; Youth Global Forum: Discussing Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Inclusive Development, and A Well-being Economy ]

Future Skills and Workplace Sustainability

To keep up with the pace of technological evolution, it is imperative for organizations, professionals, and even students to invest resources on the core skills that are fundamental to any career: The 4Cs of 21st-century learning. These are critical thinking & problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity & innovation.

According to the Future of Work Report 2020 by the World Economic Forum, 9 out of 10 jobs will require digital skills by 2030. Fifty percent of jobs will also be changed by automation and about 5 % would be eliminated. Further, young, low-skilled and vulnerable people would need to upskill.

The future of work is unpredictable. To adapt, we must 'learn, unlearn, and relearn': learn new skills, unlearn outdated business practices, and relearn to improve on the skills which we already have. This skilling, reskilling, and upskilling require investing in continuous professional development so that skills gained can easily be repurposed for other jobs. Core/soft skills (like adaptability, working in a team, and problem-solving) are essential competencies across the industrial spectrum. After all, there is still a human factor even in robotic automation.

Industry 5.0 is now a reality for many nations with increased human and machine collaboration. However, the unprecedented consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak could widen the digital divide for developing nations with inadequate ICT infrastructures.

Even mature economies like the U.S. are met with challenges, especially in schools. The outbreak and consequently, nationwide quarantines have made it tough for traditional schooling because of factors (like lack of access) that are out of control for both educators and learners, especially in developing nations.

In general, though, the pandemic has forced institutions to see their flaws in the digital space. This is particularly true for industries that rely heavily on face-to-face interaction.

What happens next?

Post-pandemic life would be another transition. Globally, we have learned we cannot go on with our ‘business as usual’ attitudes. National quarantine has also given more autonomy for workers at home. These prove that many jobs can be done more efficiently in a collaborative digital space in lieu of traditional offices. Furthermore, our times in quarantine taught us that we don’t have to build the same way as we did before the pandemic. Opportunities for creative and innovative growth have risen to adapt to pandemic challenges; we can use that to start reparations and improve in all aspects of life and living. If anything, all stakeholders in society - academia, civil society, corporations, and policymakers - need to collaborate for socially inclusive and environmentally conscious changes moving forward.

The International Youth Summer School by the Youth Time International Movement is the perfect platform we need to discuss, exchange ideas, and formulate innovative solutions to modern problems for our individual locales. As a result, we could test if these ideas and solutions could be scaled, replicated, and adapted so global communities could also improve.

If you’ve got a passion for learning, innovative ideas, and you want to change the world for the better, apply now for the Youth Time’s International Youth Summer School.

Don’t forget, sharing is caring! If you know people passionate about change, share this article with them! For more information on the Youth Time International Movement and the International Youth Summer School check their website here. For updates on Youth Time's fun contests and announcements for scholarship opportunities, follow their Instagram here.

(Author's note: An earlier version of this article had April 24, 2020 as deadline for applications. It has since been extended. Don't miss your chance!)

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About the Creator

Karina Thyra

Fangirl of sorts.

Twitter: @ArianaGsparks

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