The Topical Issues
On May 29, 2020, Impact Borderless Digital (IBD) conducted an international Zoom Forum on the topic: Education 4.0: Talents, Skills Development and Resilience During and After COVID-19. The topics covered included borderless learning resources, digital fluency, digital economy, and global citizenship.
The Forum Organisation
The Founder of IBD, Nashon Adero, was the main facilitator of the session assisted by Job Ogweno, a media expert, Taita Taveta University (TTU) alumnus and the CEO of Tsavo Media Group, Kenya. Lillian Musyoki of Tsavo Media Group assisted in the media team. The Youth Secretariat was composed of IBD mentees and young professionals and postgraduate students from Taita Taveta University (TTU): Dickson Wachira, Khadija Omar, Emmanuel Kiamba, and Beda Ogola (AIMS scholar and statistician). They reflected on their journey of scholarship and benefits from mentorship under the IBD Series. They had helped organise previous mentorship meetings and were, therefore, already experienced hands (http://impactborderlessdigital.com/our-programs/).
The IBD Founder’s Remarks
In his opening remarks, Nashon reminded the youth to work hard on networking and skilling themselves to be competitive global citizens empowered with transferable skills and digital fluency. He also introduced the key tenets and opportunities of the gig economy, sustainable development goals, and the 4Ds youth must cultivate for boundless influence: Discipline, Diligence, Determination, and Dignity. He explained the concept of Education 4.0 and linked it to the trending wave of digital revolution in Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution (the Internet of Things/Systems – IoT/IoS). Education 4.0 is about leveraging contextual intelligence using technological innovation. He noted that the “disruptive, distractive, destructive, and distancing disease” of COVID-19 has made a compelling case for integrating technology into progressive pedagogical frameworks.
The Guest Speakers: Key Message
Harry Mwailengo, Sote HUB Manager, Ashoka Change Maker, and Obama Foundation Fellow presented on global citizenship from the unapologetic perspective of volunteerism. Volunteerism took centre stage as a prerequisite for borderless influence, prompting a recall of several quotes, among them: “Brands volunteer their gifts first for fun for free for friends and following full refinement and fruition they get deployed for a fortune for firms,” Nashon Adero(2018), Founder, IBD. Harry Mwailengo reiterated that volunteers are usually not paid, not because they are worthless but because they are priceless. Volunteers don’t necessarily have more time than others, but they do have a bigger heart to impact than the majority. He challenged the youth to measure up to the challenge of volunteering as a key entry point into meaningful influence and global citizenship. David Ogiga, Chairman of the Association of Hubs in Kenya, reinforced the points.
Education 4.0: Digital Learning Resources and Communicative Competence
Online learning resources and change makers such as Khan Academy, Udemy, Coursera, Ashoka, Opportunity Desk, among others, were shared. Mulang’ Onando (www.mulangonando.com), a doctoral student from Bonn, Germany, presented on the amplifying role of technology in new educational approaches – complete with the benefits of agility, scalability, and resilience. He briefly talked on the prospects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for educational revolution as well. He attributed Germany’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic to the robust technology and health infrastructure in place.
Dr. Mjomba Majalia, a lecturer of Communication Skills at Taita Taveta University (TTU), spoke on the importance of cultural intelligence, communication skills, and packaging oneself to be compelling and convincing enough to be hired in the competitive marketplace.
Noah Mutai, a lecturer of Statistics at TTU and a doctoral student from Berlin, shared on the prospects of Data Science for intelligent decision-making based on (big) data in the face of rising complexity in this new era.
Ezra Abuga, a teacher and youth mentor, enlightened the audience on the disruptions COVID-19 has inflicted on schools, aggravated by the prevailing wide digital divide across Kenya and Africa. His coping strategy, he intimated, has been considerably leveraged by digital literacy.
Progressive Youth Mentorship Dividends: Tributes and Testimonials
Kevin Sang (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-sang-661090169/), a TTU graduate (2019) and mining engineer who got employment as Engineering Surveyor for a tunnelling project in Eastern Kenya even before graduating, narrated his fulfilling experience and the benefits he has drawn from digital literacy and mentorship. Dianah Achieng, a Biochemistry student at Masinde Muliro University, expounded on how her discipline is informing the fight against COVID-19 through laboratory tests. Florence Fundi, Clinton Kute, and Paul Ochara, all recent TTU graduates, also contributed on how communication skills, volunteering, and project-based learning have been promoting their impactful work engagements. Other interactive comments from all over Kenya were shared via speeches and live chats from Ken Dede, Kennedy Modi, Gift Mtambo, and international participants.
Francis Gitau, MSc (Mining) student at Taita Taveta University (TTU), shared on how he acquired GIS skills through self-drive, mentorship, networking, and training at Esri Eastern Africa,Nairobi. His colleagues, Dickson Wachira, Emmanuel Kiamba, John Okwaro, and Milton Kimori had tips to share on the benefits of the DAAD scholarship they received at TTU and the exposure they got in Germany through the educational funding arrangement. From Spain, Fridah Valencia, an alumna of TTU studying MSc in Environmental Engineering, briefly shared on the scholarship and research partnership opportunities available in Spain.
The Key Take-Away Message
The interactive Zoom session enjoyed the length of time it was allocated, more than two hours. The audience, mainly college students, asked questions and received answers from the experts on board. Facing the stiff competition in the job market and the disruptive effects of COVID-19 formed the main reference points. The following points summarise the pointed message.
- Technological readiness and volunteerism came out as the key entry points into the arena of sustainable youth engagement for progressive careers. The fast pace of digitalisation keeps reducing the half-life of skills, hence the necessity for frequent reskilling, upskilling, and deep-skilling through project-based learning beyond classroom theory.
- Volunteers are priceless, their fair compensation only possible through accumulated arrears in the form of long-term rewards for a long-term commitment to a consistent cause.
- Talents determine how well one excels in any given profession. Identifying, nurturing, refining, and matching talents with continuing professional development make an exciting, engaging, productive, innovative, and rewarding lifelong deployment.
- “The role of digital transformation in education is not debatable anymore. Progressive education in the post-COVID-19 era must integrate technology as a transformational digital nervous system. The powerful digital transformation wave is modifying pedagogy, quickly shifting the ground from the traditional teacher-centred learning to student-centred learning by self-discovery, which is the lifeblood of lifelong learning with teachers acting as facilitators,” concluded Nashon Adero, Founder IBD, 29.05.2020.
IBD appreciates all the participants for zooming in and making the session active, interactive, and resourceful.
Links to resources:
IBD Events Calendar: http://impactborderlessdigital.com/category/event-calendar/
Multimedia resources: http://impactborderlessdigital.com/thought-leaders-diary/
Keywords for young researchers: https://medium.com/@hopadero/keywords-the-building-blocks-of-authentic-communication-23514d9aa864
Sustainable Dev Goals – TED Talk
The Breakthrough Mindset
Creative Commons initiative:
Pencils of Promise
LIFT Economy, Impact-drive investment
Short Creativity course: Ideation
Somebody already though about your problem
Download the PDF of the above report here
This is the product of more than a decade of dedicated experience in research, skills development, training, and mentorship. Through mentorship and career development fora, IBD empowers youth with the knowledge, international exposure, and digital fluency they need to be emancipated global citizens with borderless influence for sustainable development.