contextere logo
Ë
By Carl Byers • May 17, 2018

Contextere Joins the World Economic Forum to Drive Policy

contextere recently joined the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution as a Member to actively contribute to and direct initiatives at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the future of work, and the acceleration of innovation. The objective of the Center is to partner with governments, leading companies, civil society, and experts from around the world to co-design and pilot innovative new approaches to policy and governance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. From AI to precision medicine, the Center’s aim is to unlock the potential of cutting-edge technologies to transform society. We'll discuss how technology disruptions, societal challenges, and contextere's objective inspired us to join WEF to help drive pilot initiatives into policies that are beneficial for humanity.

THE DISRUPTION

As contextere helps industrial organizations with their digital transformation, we also seek to have a positive impact on global society with the development of an engaged workforce that is able to maximize its productive potential. The combination of the IIOT, AI, augmented reality (AR), and wearables have created the conditions for massive disruption. How people work is in the process of a significant transformation. The convergence of evolving hardware, intelligent software, shifting demographics, and global supply chains have disrupted the traditional models of enterprise information sharing, resulting in skill gaps, lost productivity, and operational risk.

IIOT presents the promise of increased equipment efficiency and significantly reduced unplanned downtime through a combination of sensor-enabled machines, edge-based analytics, and centralized analytics. Automated analytics and intelligent machines represent an idealized future scenario. However, the foreseeable future requires hands-on management, operation, and maintenance of disconnected or semi-intelligent machines by a workforce effectively supported by smart digital tools and evolutionary analytics. 

THE CHALLENGE 

Across the world, industrial organizations struggle to hire, train, and retain appropriately skilled workers. Lost knowledge and expertise through accelerating workforce retirement further exacerbates an already urgent problem. In a 2012 global labor market study, McKinsey Global Institute estimated that the unmet demand for skilled workers would exceed 95M individuals by 2020. It is widely recognized that existing and forecasted training capacity in educational institutions and private organizations will not be able to address this gap in the workforce. This problem is in sharp contrast to the estimated 75M unemployed (or underemployed) youth unable to earn a livelihood worldwide – a ready and able resource if enabled with the appropriate guidance and technical infrastructure.

In a 2012 global labor market study, McKinsey Global Institute estimated that the unmet demand for skilled workers would exceed 95M individuals by 2020.

While we are experiencing accelerated technological change, we are also on the cusp of global societal transformation. The trendline of that transformation depends heavily on the direction and application of the technology; the question is: will that technology be implemented with a human-centric focus, designed to provide maximum opportunities for individuals, communities, and societies to thrive.

OUR OBJECTIVE

At contextere, we're focused on applying AI, IIOT, and wearable technologies to maximize global skills development capacity, productive workforce capability, and positive societal impact. We believe that by using these technologies to deliver smart, curated guidance to workers based on their location and competency, we can dynamically increase their skills and competencies, improve on-the-job training, and enhance cross-skilling and multi-skilling while reducing human error and increasing safety.

The founders of contextere launched the organization because of our combined passions for technology, the improvement of the human condition, and the transformation of the nature of productive work. The objectives of the Center are directly aligned with those personal interests and we look forward to engaging through the Center with WEF representatives, government personnel, academic institutions and private sector partners to drive pilot initiatives into activity-informed policy that benefits humanity.