ANDERS KÜHNAU: THE FUTURE OF SKILLS

By Nikola Jachanova

Why do we need technological skills? That might be a question that more politicians, whether they are local, regional, national, or global, should reflect on. Anders Kühnau, president of Central Denmark Region, shares his perspective here.

 

Technology without a purpose is just a collection of smart devices that light up time and time again. If technology however helps solving some of the world’s major challenges, then it becomes something more. It becomes a mean to the ultimate end, which is to build a better future for everyone.

Technological skills as sustainable growth enabler

In Central Denmark Region, we aspire to be an attractive and sustainable region where our citizens are able to live a good life with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN at our core. And it is an inescapable truth that technology can be both a solution and a challenge in reaching that aspiration. I do not believe that we can distinguish between sustainability and technology. Rather, we should focus on how we, as a society, are able to utilize technology to secure sustainable growth in the future. But it is clear that there are some major challenges in regards to technology as well. If our citizens are worried about how technology might affect their lives in the future, then it is very difficult for them to live a good life. Thus, the role of governance in the age of technology, I believe, is to balance the opportunities and challenges that technology presents. This is exactly why Central Denmark Region, in partnership with regional businesses, municipalities, educational institutions, and others, launched a Technology Pact for the region last year. Through the Technology Pact, we want to ensure that significantly more people choose to pursue an education within the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

 

More women in STEM

It has become evident that these are the skills that our regional businesses require if they are to achieve their full potential in building a sustainable future for the benefit of the region. However, building a sustainable future is as much about digitalization as it is about diversification, which is why the region is very concerned about ensuring more women choose a career within STEM. That is why; “Girls’ Day in Science” is a flagship project in the Technology Pact. Through this project, young girls and women meet role models in the regional businesses. Hopefully, this will inspire them to pursue a career within the field of science and technology. Yet, this is not only about securing a diverse workforce; it will also benefit the national economy.

 

Responsible and creative use of technology for a better future

Does this mean that everyone should seek out a career as an engineer or a software developer? Of course not! But we still have a responsibility to ensure that no one is “left behind” by the rapid pace of technology. Therefore, the Technology Pact also seeks to ensure that ever more young people are educated in responsible and creative use of technology. Because, whether they become lawyers, teachers or something else, technology will affect their future employment. That is why the Central Denmark Region through the Technology Pact has devoted resources to develop “computational thinking” among young people. In addition, Central Denmark Region also hopes that the Technology Pact can contribute to more people participating in lifelong learning programs within STEM, thus ensuring that they will find themselves valuable on the future labour market.

 

Through the Technology Pact, Central Denmark Region hopes to contribute to a better future through ensuring that more people acquire technical and digital skills. This is paramount for being one of the most technologically developed regions in Europe, as well as reaching the aspiration of being an attractive and sustainable region where our citizens can live a good life. We need technology to create a better future for our citizens and future generations.

 

Did you know?

Central Denmark Region has made a Technology Pact in collaboration with companies, educational institutions, municipalities and other organizations to ensure that more people choose, learn about and train in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). Central Denmark Region is a partner in IWDK.