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December 19, 2018

How To Look At Art: Creativity is key to jobs

The nature of jobs is radically changing. By early 2030, around third of existing jobs will be susceptible to automation from robotics and Artificial Intelligence according to the PwC’s latest report published in November, the UK Economic Outlook: 30 of jobs in the UK, 38% in the USA, 35% in Germany, and 21% in Japan. “No industry is entirely immune from future advances in robotics and AI,” says John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC. Sectors such as transport, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, education, and health will be affected, while entirely new jobs will be generated elsewhere in the economy.

According to the report, there is a slowdown in productivity growth across the major industrialised economies. Robotics are expected to boost productivity and prosperity.

Jobs that need lower levels of education are at higher risk of disappearing entirely. Automatization Economy needs workers who do not only have high levels of education but who are also creative. Creative employees with a positive attitude to embracing change will be highly needed and valued, getting a greater proportion of the economic wealth. The workers who lack creativity and cannot adapt and re-skill throughout working life will get a lesser proportion of the economic pie and be left behind. The report argues that supporting innovation in education and business is the main theme that should underpin governments’ strategy. “Low productivity is linked to low business investment in training innovation. Skills and innovation are key drivers of economic growth, so weak investment in these areas would be a dampener on productivity increases.”

In Kenya, the recent new curriculum reforms framework for Basic Education acknowledges the challenges, making “creativity” a “core competence”. This will create the right environment to support the next generation Kenyan workforce to drive living standards. Providing access to the creativity skills set and stronger incentives to people and businesses to innovate will create the conditions for more balanced growth. However, many businesses may be reluctant to invest in new labour-saving automation technologies while there is the alternative of using low-cost labour, including migrant workers.


What is creativity? The ‘creativity skills set’ includes:

Creative Skills. Creative workers are good at visual thinking that is observation and imagination. Art practices are very effective in fostering visual thinking. Such workers generate ‘at will’ new original ideas connecting knowledge across a wide range of disciplines. They think divergently generating multiple ideas to a problem. And they know how to evaluate, communicate, and implement ideas.

Positive beliefs about creativity. Creative people see creativity as a powerful force for the transformation of lives of individuals and societies. They enjoy being different and experience things in new ways. They are emotionally involved in a creative process and willing to take time to get more creative.

They possess creative character characteristics such as the courage to go against conventions, independence of judgement, openness to new experiences, willingness to take risks, resilience, and desire for self-realization.

They are team-creative: they create in a group and love sharing their ideas with others. Sharing moral and environmental principles of creative behaviour, they are also ethical in their creativity.

Alla Tkachuk is the founder of MASK that teachers the Creativity Skills Set to young Kenyans since 2007, [email protected]

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