Recently, WatSPEED at the University of Waterloo convened senior leaders from the Canadian business community to discuss how new technologies are transforming industries and economies at an increasingly rapid pace, and how to accelerate skills development to capture the benefits of rapid technological change within organizations.
During the session, Waterloo experts provided insights on technological disruption, the resulting transformations in workplaces and society, and the significant challenges and opportunities to harness new technologies to meet business needs.
"Right now, we are at an inflection point,” said Dr. Joël Blit, “where the confluence of several disruptive technologies is set to transform our economy and society. If businesses are not to be left behind, they must embrace change by automating tasks, rethinking processes and structures, and building technology radar capabilities that scan the horizon.”
Dr. Michele Mosca echoed the need for action when discussing the exponential power of quantum computing. “There is a critical need for organizations to be quantum ready,” he said. “Companies can not only take advantage of its vast potential, but also mitigate serious risks that new cyber threats pose.”
With leaders joining the virtual discussion from across Canada and around the globe – as far as Sydney, Australia – the conversation illuminated three key themes:
First, the critical need for reskilling and upskilling to help individuals and organizations build the next generation of skills required to navigate disruption.
Second, the necessity for industry, government, and academia to work together to ensure Canada continues to develop, attract, and retain the talent and capital required to keep our nation competitive amidst economic, environmental, and geo-political uncertainties.
Finally, the crucial role that Waterloo can play to help Canadian business leaders foresee emerging opportunities and threats on the Technology Horizon.
Going forward, Waterloo will continue to support industry and government partners to navigate the profound transformational changes taking place globally. WatSPEED’s approach to lifelong learning is designed to enable current and future leaders to thrive through change.