UNIV NIGERIA 2019: Getting down to business
Did you ever think about the fact that only humans have hands? It may seem obvious, but it’s not. In the world of nature, we humans are uniquely vulnerable: wings, paws or flippers get you around a lot faster and farther; furs and feathers provide protection from the elements; refined senses, instincts, and defense mechanisms automatically kick in to ward off dangers and detect opportunities for growth.
But our vulnerability is at the same time our strength.
With our hands, we can build wings to fly.
With our hands, we can design our own habitat and weave our own clothe.
With our hands, we can provide care, establish relations, and protect ourselves and others.
Our hands are instruments open to infinite possibilities.
With our hands, we humanize the world through arts and Medicine, Gastronomy, Architecture, Fashion, Communication, Education, Domestic Work and Design.
Our interdependence creates employment opportunities in Commerce, Health Care, Politics, Law, Economy, Business and International Affair.
Our openness to infinite possibilities drives work forward creating Technology that entertainment us and innovations in research.
With our hands, we work. But have we always worked in the same way? Today the world of work is undergoing arguably the most drastic transformation since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century. Information technology, shifting social demographics and globalization are some of the factors that are shaping the ambiguous future of work, in which one-track careers are being replaced by multi-faceted professional trajectories, and personal capacities and aptitudes such as critical thinking, resilience, problem-solving and decision-making are increasingly valued over technical know-how.
The world of work in the 21st century is full of challenges: vast geographic and social inequalities, corruption, inefficient structures, forced labor, unrecognized and uncompensated work, human trafficking, unregulated activity in emerging sectors and high levels of youth unemployment.
So let’s get down to business. The 21st century professional is serious, dedicated, diligent, creative, focused and capable of persevering in an integrated cognitive and physical effort. What kind of personal development does a professional in today’s workforce need in order to convert needs into opportunities and vulnerabilities into strengths? How does one´s profession become an authentic service to society and the individuals who surround us? What can your hands do that a robotic arm cannot? What can you contribute beyond the scope of artificial intelligence? The challenges are many, but our hands are open to infinite possibilities.
Ikechukwu Onuoma is a lawyer and the national coordinator of