Talent Accelerates Innovation and Growth

By Frank-Jürgen Richter

April 3, 2023

The world is progressing at a faster rate now than in the past. Economies are growing, supported by increased trade, innovation and human capital. Post the pandemic, even traditional sectors such as insurance, banking and education that were hesitant to emerging technologies are now open to implementing them. 

The growth of insurtech, digital banking and edutech are proof of its popularity with the masses. But this growth also entails the need to have a supportive human workforce. Not everything can function by automation or artificial intelligence by its own. Human input still matters.

Singapore is a great example wherein its government started investing in STEM education among its citizen. STEM education is prioritized in schools, allowing students to start learning about emerging technologies. And the country also allows influx of talented workforce from abroad. This makes Singapore a favorable destination for large multinational companies to set base.

So, talented workforce is not limited to support companies, but can also help in the growth of a country.

But going by recent developments, we may think otherwise, as most large tech companies are divesting their workforce. Amazon laid off 18,000 of its staff, while Microsoft laid off 10,000 of its workforce most recently. There are many more such companies that have started downsizing their workforce in hundreds, if not in thousands; with most citing cost cutting as the reason.

Uncertainty surrounding the global macroeconomic condition, coupled with production constraints driven by aging populations; persistent geopolitical tensions; and the net-zero imperative has led to many investors holding off their investment plans.

The Great Reshuffle

An All-America workforce survey revealed how those who had lost their jobs amid the pandemic, either returned to different jobs; while others remained jobless and looked for better opportunities. But more than half, that is, 57% who were laid off amid the pandemic, chose to retire from work; while 43% said they will continue to work from home. A significant increase in people choosing to work from home.

Many also voluntarily quit their jobs amid the pandemic, realizing a far greater need to spend more time with their family and do more rewarding activities. A former full-time communications professional who took an early retirement from work amid the pandemic is now pursuing things that she really wanted to do. She is now a part-time teacher, which she finds “rewarding in a way that goes beyond a paycheck”.  

Many who have voluntarily quit their jobs have done so to invest their time and efforts in building startups that not only make them money, but also addresses the gap for such products and services in the market. We can see hordes of startups with fresh ideas to help build a sustainable future.

Sustainable Ideas

Climate Farmers is on a mission to transform traditional agriculture that has a larger carbon footprint into regenerative agriculture in Europe. Its Carbon+ program aims to help farmers de-risk their transition to regenerative agriculture, which is both economically and environmentally resilient. This is achieved through the issuance of Carbon+ Credits, which helps finance the initial cost of adopting regenerative practices by farmers. The company also helps in selling the Carbon+ Credits in the voluntary carbon market. The co-benefits of these credits include improved soil health, biodiversity, better carbon capture by the soil, and increased farm profitability.

MyWater fountains are another great example of innovative solutions that does both social and environmental good. It provides access to guaranteed clean water though eco-responsible stations. A unique redistribution model that accelerates the net-zero transition.

Going Forward

As more disruptions ensue, talented professionals will see more rewards in uniting their efforts to do greater good with their innovative products and services. Talented people are now increasingly shifting to doing what really matters. This will entail the creation of more innovative and sustainable ideas.

Even investors are now investing in sustainable ideas. This sudden change of heart is mostly driven by shifting demands from customers to go sustainable. 

Now talented individuals have both a means of using their knowledge for social and environmental good; while making decent profits. And all this while being out of the official workforce.

Photo Caption: A signboard at a co-working space.