Will automation undermine or enhance human development?

Will automation undermine or enhance human development?
Dr. Allan Wright, the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) economist in Nassau, recently gave a presentation at The University of The Bahamas (UB) on the economic climate of The Bahamas. Dr. Wright is seen here in several photos speaking to and posing with UB students and Natasha Turnquest, Adjunct Professor at the School of Social Sciences at the University of The Bahamas. (Photos courtesy of Sharell Carrol – IDB)

In an effort to spark dialogue and new perspectives, Dr. Allan Wright, the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) economist in Nassau, recently gave a presentation at The University of The Bahamas (UB) on the economic climate of The Bahamas in relation to the Caribbean region as well as current and future societal trends linked to the impact of technological changes.

A discussion on the role of automation in the economy of the future was a prevailing theme during the discussion.

“This will help young people to make wise career decisions in that they will be living and working in a labour market that will change rapidly and consistently,” said Dr. Wright.

The IDB economist shared his insight on how young people can prepare themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that will come with an increase in automation in the labour force, specifically on how the understanding of the global economic climate provides knowledge on the future of work and ways in which that will change.

Natasha Turnquest, Adjunct Professor at the School of Social Sciences at the University of The Bahamas challenges her students to be proactive and assertive.

Professor Turnquest emphasized that, “These traits are going to be critical to the success of students in the future.”

With the goal of engaging her students though interactive sessions, she indicated that Dr. Wright’s presentation on the role of automation in the economies of the future was meant to inspire and be instructive.

She specifically asked that Dr. Wright share his insights of his professional experience working in an international organization that engages daily with the Government and the people of The Bahamas to promote the nation’s economic development.

Professor Turnquest noted, “These young people will be living and working in a labour market that will be radically transformed during the next 20 years.” She added, “We discussed the future of work and ways in which that will change, and how they can best prepare themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that will come with an increase in automation in the labour force.”

As a case study, Professor Turnquest’s class watched How the Economy Works, a documentary developed by the billionaire hedge-fund owner Ray Dalio.

In this documentary presentation, Dalio strips down the complexities of the economy into fundamental components and speaks to the inter-connectivity of facets that comprise a modern “free market” economy. It is critical for anyone, especially young people, to understand how the economy works. Why? If you comprehend at the most fundamental level, the factors that drive the economy and understand its true nature, you can then operate in that environment to your benefit.

Ervinae Bain, a Junior Hospitality Management major at the University of The Bahamas, stated that Dr. Wright’s presentation was eye-opening to those unaware of the current financial state of Bahamas: “Our class enjoyed an insightful conversation about the current state of the economy, and how each of our degrees can be used to build a more sustainable Bahamas.”

Professor Turnquest expressed satisfaction that the overall student experience throughout this semester was memorable.

“Actually, being able to see the progression of a new mindset developing in many of the students over the course of the semester was encouraging. “I often challenge the students to think critically and to consider the deeper issues that actually drive the processes we examined this semester,” Prof. Turnquest said.

This article was written by Sharell Carroll, Communications Consultant & Allan Wright, Economist