Welcome to the future of your dreams and wishes, oh! digital generation.
Now that you have it, what next? Passion and envy simultaneously trigger my urge to convey my thoughts on what humanity has served your generation. And in so doing, I hope you can sift out and uphold the immense benefits and pass on the positive ends to the generations NEXT.
It is your world – going by the global population index. Before you judge this piece, remember there had been many futures in the past – collectively forming the current form of our perception/s of the future. As humans, we all hold the magic dream in our minds and heads.
The absolute requirement is, to innovate the equilibrium between the truth of the moment and the magical dreams to save humanity and the planet Earth. Your tasks are clearly cut out for you. Technology alone would not cut it. Try generosity, empathy, and love. Trust me, I was part of your mirror in the past world of my youth. A phenomenal experience you only live once!
The Digital Generation (Gen-D) is largely comprised of technologically savvy consumers, comfortable using all types of digital devices and apps. The relative assumption is that Millennials, born between 1980 and 1994, represent the largest segment of this audience. Therefore, the concept of Gen-D is more of a special mindset. Never has any human generation been so truly hype-connected to infinite sources and channels of information content reeled out in nanoseconds as swarms of zeroes and ones: 0100100100001110001110011101010101.
Are you a hostage of your digital dream? I know you are not and that is why I am writing this letter to you. Time to decode the want, aspiration and that magical momentum stirs you in the face with immense challenges.
Undoubtedly, youths are a significant group in the world. Available estimates indicate that young people between 15 and 24 years of age number 1.21 billion and account for 15.5 per cent of the global population. Projections suggest that the youth cohort will reach 1.29 billion (15.1 per cent of the world total) by 2030; that is, almost 1.34 billion (13.8 per cent of the overall population) by 2050 (United Nations, 2019c).
As you read through this letter amidst its embedded provocative submissions; please note that it is not intended to deter your mission; but to motivate, strengthen and ensure that your resilience and love for Technology-of-Things (ToT) does not lead humanity to a tragic irredeemable mindset. The tragedy construct should be deleted from the trajectory roadmap of your tech future.
This submission is because technology innovation and digital transformation is a life-marathon – not a dashing race. Above all, I therefore envy your understanding of the rare opportunity you have and fortunate to be born at this auspicious moment of digital spectrum of human history. And above all, to be part of this resilient movement of a special generation (Gen-D).
As you are aware, the advent of the Internet taught us that the way humanity models attitude, development, behavior, life, governance, productivity; as well as resource sharing and development has changed forever. Alas, “Can you decode what the future holds? As we migrate to space, we are vehemently challenged to interrogate and reconfigure the emerging trajectory….
How do we resolve and re-engineer the visible broken dreams of the Nigerian youth? Depending on the angle of the lens of the viewer, technology is here to take over our world. Usually, the mirror tells many stories at the same time. Some aspects are persuasive, some illusionary, myopic and/or confusing. But all the same, it remains a story of your life, and how to determine the sustainable pathway of the equation. That reminds us that ‘as we lay our bed, so we sleep on it’.
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The metamorphoses intertwined with the above assumptions reveal that your identity has now become #EndSars; also, that you recently celebrated your 1st birthday. This is regardless of the fact that, in your creative dream, you are indeed many decades older than your perceived age! Then suddenly, your surname has with impunity, been coined to become Cyberwarrior (instead of Cyberprotector) – all against your will!
And If Cybersecurity could introduce itself, it will sound like: ‘here I am, the youth of a new generation – innocently born into a digital world to shoulder the burden of humanity – going forward’. It has become a complex and exciting world you did not invent. You complain that you are grossly misunderstood as you translate your dream. But amidst the above struggle and the cacophony that police and confuse your thought; you are tasked to innovate and navigate the axiom of – everything is possible’.
Collectively, the youth continue to ask: ‘where did we go wrong with dreaming the possible of impossible?
Lessons learned from Bruce Schneier’s ‘Data and Golliath’ – a mind explosive book on Cybersecurity suggests that “The advent of Internet Security is a spectacular arms race, with the attacker having an advantage over the defender and that the advantage might be major.” Regrettably, the youth of the world are at the centre of this emerging tech cacophony and tasked to reconfigure the ultimate trajectory to the promised land.
So, how do we interrogate and navigate the roadmap to the promised land of the digital future of the youth?
Digital inequality, otherwise known as digital divide, still exists in absolute terms. Meanwhile, the current digital landscape dictates that acquisition of digital competence and related skills have become critical for professional success. According to the report on ‘How Many Children and Youth Have Internet Access at Home’; (a joint effort by UNICEF and the ITU), over two-thirds of the world’s school-age girls and boys; aged 3 to 17 years (1.3 billion children) and 63% of youths aged 15 to 24 years (almost 760 million youths); lack Internet access at home.
Globally, some 2.2 billion children and young people aged 25 years or less do not have access to an Internet connection at home.
With different digital access rules for different youth across the globe; it becomes crystal clear that conflicting outcome awaits global leadership and governance; especially with respect to addressing youth restiveness. This oversight is compounded by available facts pointing to reason that while young people are often misleadingly considered “digital natives”; majority of them may not actually possess sufficient job-relevant digital skills to fill vacancies.
Based on recent records from a survey presented in ITU’s report ‘Measuring Digital Development: Facts and Figures 2020’; less than 40% of individuals in 40% of the countries surveyed reported having carried out an activity which requires basic digital skills. Has the youth inclusiveness parameters escaped the minds of policy makers in the digital transformation ecosystem?
This, amongst others, is in consideration amidst the challenge that about tens of millions of future jobs will require far more advanced digital skills; including top-flight coding, software and app development, network management, machine learning, Big Data analysis, the Internet of Things (IoT); cybersecurity and Distributed Ledger technologies like blockchain.
There are multiple barriers wedging the digital development of the Youth.
Low ICT skills and absence of digital connectivity are just the primary barriers to obtaining the technological skills and education that young people need to succeed. Access varies widely depending on countries’ relative wealth: in high-income countries, 87% of children and young people have an Internet connection at home; but in low-income countries, just 6% do.
A young person’s access to an Internet connection (and hence digital skill development) often relies on the wealth; or income, and living standards of their parents. As this problem magnifies, this letter further reminds the youth that government alone cannot deliver the required and sustainable solutions. The civil society, the organised private sector, academia and concerned corporate governance organisations are obliged to fully engage, promote, and deliver digital inclusion to the youth – so we can all breathe the fresh air of digital transformation.
There are more challenges and shared responsibilities ahead of the digital generation. Time is now to refocus and reconfigure the digital trajectory of the future-of-Things.
One way to achieve this is by applying the fusion model of the struggle together with all; applying multifarious strategies, where no one is missing in action or left behind. What is at stake here is the struggle of and against self – individualism versus shared cooperation. Oh yes, involvement and having an eye on political participation is a panacea for success.
But do not miss the point with the assumption that you have all the answers.
Remember that attitude and character matters; that all successes beget unforeseen challenges from your look-alike who are yet unborn with different attitudes from what you currently perceive and demand!
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