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In 2007 Karl Fisch uploaded a video to You Tube called “Did You Know; Shift Happens – Globalization; Information Age”.  To many, the statistics and predicted scenarios was seen as a ‘technological apocalyptic’ virtual world campaign that was predicting the world was heading into nothing short of an ominous period.

Whilst Fisch’s statistics and predictions provided much philosophical and at times, contentious debate within classrooms around the Globe, and many responded with the rhetorical chant of  “it will never happen” –  fast forward to 2017 and it’s clear that  many predictions have become actualisations and nor does it seem that such actualisations became a catalyst for an ominous period in the world as the pessimists of ten years ago would have had us believe.

The reality is – shift happens!  And in today’s world, it is happening fast and it’s bringing more clients and customers to businesses’ than ever before! Small business’ now have the opportunities to be multi-million dollar companies and CEO’s can be operating multi-national companies from the luxury of home, a yacht, a beach – anywhere really can be the ‘hub’ of a business.

What is undeniably true of Fisch’ predictions are as he stated – ‘we are living in exponential times’ and the question you need to be asking yourself is – ARE YOU READY?  Do you have the skills required to live in these ‘exponential times’?

Shift did happen and at Bridge Business College we have the foresight, we have the industry and training expertise, we have the resources to ensure you are skilled and ready to be an active part of this exciting 21st century workplace that is here now and continuing to expand.

Let’s rewind to 2007 to Fisch’ “fact, figures and forecast” and remind ourselves of where we have come from to where we are today and consider the skills that people needed and have acquired to be successful in 2017 in an innovative 21st century workplace which is undergoing an evolution more rapid than mankind has experienced before.

In 2007, ‘MY SPACE’ was the leading social media connector. There were 106 million registered users of MY SPACE as of September 2006.  The average MY SPACE page was visited a mere 30 times per day. As for Google – 2.7 billion searches was being performed per month. The number of text messages sent and received every day, in 2006, exceeded the population of the planet. More than 3000 new books were being published each day.

It was estimated that a week’s worth of information contained in the New York Times contained more information than a person in the 18th century would have come across in their lifetime.

It was estimated that 1.5 exabytes of information would be generated in 2007 – that was more information produced in the preceding five thousand years.  The amount of new information was expected to double every two years.

If there was one inauspicious prediction and one that still remains so, it is in the field of education.

A predicted example, that Fisch put forward relating to education was “for students starting a four year technical degree, half of what they learned in their first year would be outdated by their third year”.  By 2010 the rate of technological information generated was predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010. The rate of technology was expected to triple every six months and would continue to do so for 20 years – till 2026.

Fast forward to 2017 MY SPACE has all but dropped off the “virtual planet” and Facebook, in its’ 70 languages, is now the leading social media global connections’ tool, not only for social interactions but, is fast becoming one of the necessary on-line tools in the marketing sphere of businesses.  Twitter, a social media tool that in 2006, was not even a consideration in phone technology, is now closely following Facebook in its’ global connectivity, with up to 50 million tweets per day, breaking down to 600 tweets per second.  Google has far exceeded the predictions made and it is now believed that there are 31 billion searches per month.

Let’s put into perspective the opportunities for businesses and individuals to be successful in the 21st Century, which the technological revolution has brought about.

In the era when radio was the only form of communication, Fisch noted it would have taken 38 years to reach an audience of 50 million people. When television dominated the world of ‘global connectivity’’, it took 13 years to reach an audience of 50 million people.  With the advancement of technology and the emergence of the “virtual planet” of the internet, it took 4 years to reach an audience of 50 million people.  The I-pod took 3 years.  Facebook however, takes 2 years and this time frame is becoming increasingly shorter by the second.

As we can see, the last ten years of the ‘technology revolution’ has brought about significant advantageous growth opportunities for any business or potential business because of the online marketing availability and its’ tools that are currently available not to mention, the tools that have not yet even been born.

What is indisputable from Fisch’ evidence is that educators will continue to be preparing students for jobs and industries that do not even exist upon commencement of study. Technology is evolving faster than the human race and that brings us back to Fisch’ analysis of the future that “students starting a four year technical degree and that half of what they learned in their first year would be outdated by their third year”.

I think it is fair to say, that for the most part, many educators have responded to the advancements in the 21st Century more so, as a knee-jerk reaction, rather than being pro-active. 2014 saw the emergence of STEM – an interdisciplinary and applied approach to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Whilst STEM is a much needed ‘cohesive learning paradigm’ of the four disciplines, responding to the demands of the innovative and fast paced technological and manufacturing revolution occurring, there has been a slow uptake in its’ methodology and interest and in my opinion, this may be in part,  due to students just simply not being ready for the shift that was happening – mentally or in skill capability. Remember, in 2006 the global response to Fisch’ “technological apocalypse’ was far from an optimistic one.

Bridge Business College however, have been proactive leaders in 21st century education for many years now.

Our courses have been, and will continue to be, cohesive learning paradigms embedded with learning opportunities and tasks, designed to meet the demands of the future and assist students to develop or enhance skills such as problem solving, research and communication.  These skills, combined with organisation, teamwork, leadership, flexibility and time management are core skills that have been identified as being essential in a 21st century global employment market. Our relationships with external core industry leaders and businesses ensure we have our finger on the pulse of any shift that is happening in the world of business and education.

Being pro-active leaders in the education of English, Travel and Tourism, Business, Marketing and Human Resources means shift is always happening at Bridge Business College and rather than being pessimistic – we embrace it!  We embrace the ‘shifts happening’. Our Trainers and in fact, all our staff are a motivated team who are active participants in lifelong learning themselves to ensure they remain up to date with Industry knowledge and skills and the delivery of effective training required to ensure our students are equipped with the skills necessary for any shift that will happen in the world of Business, Marketing, Travel and Tourism and Human Resources.

Bridge Business College remain industry expert trainers because we know – shift happens!


Tracy Sedman is a Professional  Development Manager at Bridge Business College. 

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