A decade ago, in an article for the G20 Summit magazine (produced by Diplomatic Courier), Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-Chairman of Infosys wrote that businesses and governments across the world were just beginning to come to terms with the new reality of then post-financial crisis era. Unlike previous crises, success would be determined not only by the availability of financial capital but increasingly, human capital. This global war for talent involved three key issues: changing demographic profiles, technology development and consequent productivity increase, and skill gaps and demand-supply mismatches. Mr. Gopalakrishnan’s predictions at the Los Cabos Summit in 2012 were spot on. Today, we are dealing with a paradox: 200 million people unemployed worldwide—40 million in the advanced economies and 75 million of which are youth—and global companies still have millions of unfilled positions.

So relevant were his findings that they inspired our first Global Talent Summit. In 2013 we gathered at the National Press Club where business and industry leaders, civil society, media personalities, top diplomats, and other stakeholders debated the future of jobs and education. The conversations reverberated at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos a week later, and globally with over 88 million media engagements.

Fast forward to today, in the post-pandemic reality of the Great Resignation, Work from Home, Quiet Quitting, etc. we’re seeing a massive shift to the Next Normal. We convened four mini-summits virtually during the pandemic, across all time zones around the world and we learned a universal truth: the future had arrived.

The future is now and to thrive in a rapidly evolving, technology-focused world, job seekers must not only possess strong skills in areas such as language arts, mathematics, and science, but also skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, persistence, collaboration, and curiosity. Where are we attaining these critical employability skills? Our answer is everywhere.

This year’s summit’s brain trust, which includes our speakers and delegates, are endeavoring to answer that question with nuance and thoughtfulness and we are particularly proud to bring our partners, friends, and collaborators together for the ninth edition and the first in person Global Talent Summit post-pandemic.

The essays compiled in this anthology reflect learnings from our key contributors as well as key takeaways from previous editions of Global Talent Summit. We hope you find them useful and will reach out to us if you wish to contribute to a future edition. Thank you for being a part of this year’s Global Talent Summit. We look forward to learning and creating together.

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