World leaders will be gathering in Northern Ireland next week for the G8 summit. Like a bunch of well-dressed people standing around a car that won’t start, they will be looking for ideas to revive the spluttering engine of economic growth.
But is it time to think differently about what creates new industries and jobs? Should education be recognised as the key to innovation rather than a drain on the public purse?
Should we be pumping money into universities as well as banks and propping up schools and colleges as well as currencies?
Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s influential big thinker on international education, says that western economies have reached a fork in the road. It’s a case of up-skilling or downsizing.
An interesting thought, coupled with what should we as a country /society being investing in? Without a doubt a knowledge based economy is where we should be heading, trying to get cheap on a par with China, Vietnam, Indonesia etc is never going to get us anywhere.
I always find it quite interesting when our so called leaders in politics, business etc say we need to compete (seemingly on price) yet the German economy is a perfect example of a knowledge-based economy based on added value with a premium for innovation.
If we followed the cheap argument we would all drive Tatas, shop at Primark and live in one bed flats as that is all the majority of us really need. But we don’t and why is that ?Because we are prepared to pay to differentiate ourselves.