The transformation of academy to Economic and well-being clusters


We are in an age of complex challenges which demands a broader vision, capabilities in critical thinking and logical deduction without which we cannot have constructive progress.

Students are entitled to expect that they will succeed in learning something of value when they are groomed by schools and colleges. If they don’t succeed, they are entitled to know immediately that they have not. And when they have not succeeded, they have the right to expect that they will be involved in learning that makes success more likely on their next try. Education, which cannot subscribe to these ideas—neither in their words nor in actions—are not likely to manage effectively.

Young Kids should be more engaged in open possibilities with unbridled curiosity, passion for problem solving, taking risks and strong ethics. Present education and society’s wrong expectations are shifting them from those great characters which are the need of the hour.

Unpredictably is the norm of the day. The magnitude of cultural, societal, industrial, technological, environmental and other unforeseen events is so complex that, in order to handle those complex challenges we need to prepare this young generation very differently.

Here are the transformation steps we need in academy.

  1. Fitness first and then everything else falls in place. Academy should make it mandatory in keeping everyone in the society hale and healthy by introducing yoga, meditation, sports and community service. Transform universities, colleges/school campuses to have the required infrastructure and grade students accordingly.
  2. Citizen resources: Redesign the whole university, college/school campuses for active participation of Citizens, Professionals, scientists, businessmen, industry,  students or anyone who wishes to learn, experiment, tinker and create products.
  3. Wellbeing Centres: Redesign classrooms into wellbeing centres where anyone can use the resources for increasing their physical, mental and psychological fitness.
  4. Business Academic centres: Remove the legal and all boundaries of identifying academy and business separately. Every business activity should have participation from fresh minded students, faculty along with the employees of the business.  Many a times, Business experts are trapped by their own knowledge and fresh graduates creates innumerable possibilities for some real challenges business faces.  This will be a win-win situation for both industry and academy in areas of working in real world challenges and gaining skills and talents in sustaining business with low costs, higher profitability and new innovations.
  5. Clusters of Expertise:  All universities, colleges and schools should be grouped as clusters of specific expertise and that should be based on the knowledge, skills, talents needed in industries, software technology parks, special economic zones and other industrial clusters in and around the academic institutes.

For example if there are many pharmaceutical companies and Petrochemical industries in an area then the academic curriculum of that area’s colleges, schools and universities should be on those specific domains and also on emerging trends such as Robotics, artificial intelligence and data analytics ,drug discovery, Health innovations  etc. in the above sectors.  By clubbing universities, colleges and schools based on the specific domain expertise and emerging trends,  students, faculty will gain real time working experiences.

  1. Academic Project clusters: All government funded initiatives, projects , infrastructure developments and all kinds of commercial works of state and federal programs should be initiated in university clusters by making them as part of the stakeholders in that specific projects. This will erase the boundaries between Education and commerce. The initiatives will create employment for students who will be getting grading on their progress in real world work.
  2. Functional Degrees. Degrees should be awarded to students and remuneration and other rewards for faculty on the work accomplished in live projects. Those certificates should be based on the expertise gained in specific functional areas rather than general certificates such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering etc. These way each clusters of universities will be building on specific domain skills, talents which can be mapped to business requirements and other such needs.

The proposal is a major structural, legal and strategic change with immense benefits for the good of academy, business and Government.

Since a new business model requires disrupting the present, it’s important to be thoroughly conversant with prevailing model and how present system creates value.

There should not be any confusion about the new business model with changing the activities performed within the present framework. If it is done that way then its plain old business process reengineering. This inside-out view has the potential of labelling mere internal alterations as a new model. Don’t. Instead, academy, government and all stakeholders should take an outside-in view, focusing on outcomes, not activity, in addressing whether the business model is truly new. Internal activities will most likely morph as a result of addressing changes to strategic factors, but this is a second-order effect.

Comments, improvements, new ideas are always encouraged. Let’s make ourselves better with best practices.  Thank you for reading.

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The Museum in you


The unhindered enthusiasm to discover the world when you are a kid start creating a museum in you

The aspirations and perspiration of parents growing you adds spice to the Museum in you

The enduring childhood, the thrills, shrills and drills at school shapes the personality of museum in you.

The social activities, confused and dazed teenage, pressure to excel decorates the Museum in you.

The untiring efforts towards challenges, the grit to succeed, and the mark to make a difference are the endearing characters of the museum in you.

The   temptations, the failures, the weaknesses, the frustrations become indelible memories of the museum in you.

The faith, belief, criticism, health, age, upbringing, infatuations, frustrations, bliss, happiness, moods, cherished friendships, soulmates, classmates, society becomes the tapestry of life in the museum in you.

The journey of life appears better than the end, the patience to wait for achievements, getting there to the cherished goals is the final bliss and tranquility of your Museum in you.

New Economic Model and the Role for Academy


The dynamic environment of economic activities that shape the nations growth and prosperity needs a new language and new practices to sustain long term.   There is no end game. It is infinite game of aligning the best interests of our societies to stay hale and healthy, coexisting harmoniously within the wonderful nature by preserving and aligning our economic, industrial, technology and any kind of  progress and wellbeing of all the  living species . This can be achieved by orienting all that progress towards new environmentally friendly products and services and solid growth.

In order to meet that target there is an urgent need to redefine the status quo in Academics and bring academics to the forefront of economic activity of the nation.

Merging Academy and Industry as one entity will lead to major job growth and Economic Resilience when IOT (internet of things), Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Machine learning like technological innovation take away human jobs. The question to ask is  “GROWTH CAN BE MANAGED AND GUIDED, BY WHOM, AND FOR WHAT NEEDS”?  Academy should become the wellbeing centre of excellence (as explained in my Earlier blog here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/stop-building-classroom-and-focus-on-wellbeing-buildings-and-more-laboratories/

) to sustain and nurture new opportunities in products and services that align us with environment.

Innovation typically precedes strategic decisions and by redefining academy as part of economic growth of any country we will be in a position to create new opportunities and new possibilities.

Here is the game plan for introducing a new paradigm that I call ‘Economic sustenance by redefining academics’.

  1. The boundaries, language and legal matters that identify universities , colleges , schools and all educational related institutes needs to be redefined with an eye on tapping the vast pools of raw talents of students(knowledge and skills gatherers) , Research scholars, professors by orienting their academic activities on creating new opportunities.
  2. There is a huge effort by government in attracting major industries to invest in their respective states. Some of those industries in areas such as Machine learning, Chip designing, Artificial intelligence, Gene mapping, anti-aging (example: Google Calico project collaborating with Drug maker Abvie https://www.calicolabs.com/ ) have to spend money in establishing research laboratories. Instead Universities and colleges should be tapped and allowed to participate in government’s activities in this kind of initiatives to map the academy’s internal resources, knowledge, skills and infrastructure required by industry and actively engaged. This allows Faculty, students to learn corporate best practices and become valuable contributors to the economic prosperity of the institutes and helps industry with lowering their costs of establishing new laboratories.
  3. State and Federal (central) governments spends a lot of money on infrastructure development projects such as building dams, roads, mining (example sand, minerals etc. ) , smart cities and many such activities by floating tenders and inviting private industry to take up the projects.  Most of the projects are not implemented as designed due to various reasons such as corruption, poor usage of manpower, materials and plethora of issues. Academy and students should be allowed to become part of the project’s stakeholders which helps students, faculty to learn vital project management and people’s skills and earn some money for the institutes. Some of the major project delays, poor quality, and corruption activities can be eliminated as students and academy’s interests will be more in implementing quality and good practices in the projects.
  4. The whole academic nomenclature, infrastructure needs to be redesigned to make them part of this new economic model by mapping the raw talents of the students , expertise of faculty and connecting them to industry needs.
  5. Government should act as facilitator by allowing academy/private participation in projects implemented at state and country wide.

Universities, colleges and Education isn’t here to make us feel comfortable.  The intention, practices and the language is to make students feel excited and raring to go and find the truth and enlightenment. Academic institute in their pure form should be bringing energy, efficiency, bliss and completeness and fulfilment while actively engaging the raw talents of the students.

Want to add your thoughts and feedback. Please do so by commenting.

Stop building classrooms and focus on Wellbeing buildings and more Laboratories.


There is a lot of traction in imparting education using Massive Online Open Courseware (MOOC) where students can pick and choose what they like to learn. Today all top universities and colleges offer a wide range of subjects and also enable students to practice what they learn by making them to complete live projects.

As MOOC gained Momentum it erased the boundaries that only universities can impart education. Today we can see top companies such as Google, IBM , Ted Education, YouTube education , khan academy , Microsoft, Cisco to name a few who are  conducting professional courses that are aligned to what companies are expecting from fresh graduates when they join the corporate.

There are also wide range of offerings for students to pick up skills online for building products such as raspberry Pi projects  https://www.raspberrypi.org/resources/make/  Makezine  projects https://makezine.com/   , Projects made from Arduino chips https://playground.arduino.cc/Projects/Ideas to name a few examples.

One of my JNTUK petroleum engineering student even shared his practical experiences via blog here https://geethakrishnablog.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/fdp-an-experience/

All these events  point towards one trend which is that present and future belongs to learning whatever we want by just having high speed internet connection and knowing exactly what skills we want to acquire that makes us valuable and just join a course.

While technology is reshaping education and enabling students to acquiring most wanted skills on one hand, universities, colleges, schools, both private and public are investing massive amounts of money building classrooms.

All these empty classrooms will eventually become a burden on the sustainability of colleges and universities as they move their classrooms to online. What stays relevant is only labs that allow students to practice what they learn online.

There is still hope for those who have massive investment in Buildings and for those who are in the middle of building more educational institutes. Here is my suggestions for those to consider.

  1. There is a need to redefine the language of academics in order to create new possibilities and new way of positioning colleges and universities on a sustainable path.
  2. First and foremost re position universities and colleges as Wellbeing centres of Excellence.
  3. Those who are investing in building schools and colleges should construct more laboratories for students to do experiments needed in areas such as Artificial intelligence, Robots, IOT (Internet of things) , Bio technology , Bio Mimicry projects etc.
  4. Instead of classrooms, Universities, colleges and schools should focus on building Pyramid structures for Meditation  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_power , acquiring knowledge in Siddhi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhi  , learning Yoga  so as technology takes over our jobs people will have to invent and create new products and services that need extra ordinary capabilities that can be achieved with a high level of meditation, yoga and siddhi
  5. Universities and colleges should also build world class sports trainings facilities, yoga and meditation centres. These efforts will sustain them long term profitably as citizens, sportsmen and people who wants to conduct experiments can use the facilities for a fee and overall this will be a win-win situation as universities and colleges playing a vital role in keeping the citizen healthy and spiritually rich and also playgrounds for inventions , scientific discoveries and Research.
  6. The boundaries between academics and business should be erased. Faculty should consider themselves as corporate executives and they have a role in developing new products and services just like any company does but one difference is that their focus should be towards wellbeing of the societies and environment friendly. The next big business opportunity comes from rebuilding environmentally friendly products and services.

Please enrich this article with your thoughts as Comments. Thanks for reading

The Impact of Automation on present Employees and young graduates


The anxiety of job loss is palpable for several employees from across the industries. Robots, Deep learning, Artificial intelligence has rapidly matured in taking care of most of the work performed by millions of Software engineers or white/blue collar workers.  Automotive and auto parts, electrical and electronic parts, business process outsourcing, textile, clothing and footwear  and retail are some of the industries that already are seeing loss of millions of jobs.

Most of the Banks, financial institutes, brokerage firms  will face closure due to rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin which will affect millions of graduates/MBA’s  wanting to work in financial sector.

There are driver less cars, deep machine learning techniques which can accurately predict diseases (Doctors are you reading this?) and provide medical advices are some examples of how deep the impact will be.

Modern machines, Robots, sensors, Software can now not only do manual routine tasks but also do work that requires cognitive intelligence.

As a result a highly trained radiologist or a specialized software engineer in a company is in danger of being replaced by a Computer software or a Robot that have the cognitive capabilities and can work consistently.

According to a World economic forum report “current trends could lead to a net employment impact of more than 5.1 million jobs lost to disruptive labour market changes over the period 2015–2020, with a total loss of 7.1 million jobs—two thirds of which are concentrated in the Office and Administrative job family” Source:  http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf

Due to rapid and wide spread automation, AI, Deep learning and Robots replacing humans,  there will be no requirement of software engineers who are just specialists in any core technologies such as JAVA, Web or RDBMS. Rapid maturity of the above mentioned technologies will have the following impact on employment, present jobs and future jobs.

  1. Around 56% of jobs in industries such as Logistics, Healthcare, banking, transportation etc. in areas HR, Services, deliveries, finance, IT,  middle management jobs (supervisors, managers, Software engineers, clerks, tax experts, bank clerks etc. ) are automated and employment in this areas will be dwindling rapidly.
  2. Other areas of job loss will be are hotels and restaurants (80.7 per cent), wholesale and retail trade (77.5 per cent), construction (70.8 per cent) and manufacturing (61.6 per cent). Source : http://www.ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm
  1. By year 2020 employees will be working with Robots and other intelligent machines as colleagues and they have to take orders from machines to fulfill the remaining work that is not already replaced by the machines.
  2. There will be a situation in many companies, where humans will not be able to get jobs and only robots handle entire company operations. One such live example is Dyson’s automated Singapore plant where 55 robots do all the work that is done by 100’s of engineers. https://www.fastcodesign.com/1671939/dysons-80-million-new-factory-dedicated-to-its-most-unsung-invention
  3. Infosys an Indian IT giant plans to embrace automation and artificial intelligence, besides other newer technologies. Post-automation of certain operations, Wipro is already in the process re skilling 4500 employees for new technologies.
  4. Few and few companies will visit Universities and colleges for recruiting students (NO MORE CAMPUS Recruitment)  and there is no choice for universities and colleges but to rapidly adopt to changing business needs and adopt to new skills and teach students the same. Otherwise they will be producing huge numbers of Un employed youth that will have a cascading effect on industry and the country’s growth prospects.

Suggestions for Universities, educational institutes, Schools and other skills imparting institutes.

  1. Employees, Students should have the mindset for New skills adaptation and they should always be willing to be learning constantly based on the business needs.
  2. Change the ratio of teaching staff to include Industry experts in the proportion of 60% academic and 40% Industry experts in universities, colleges and schools and make faculty accountable of what skills they impart to students and reward only those who make students acceptable by industry.
  3. Avoid recognizing Marks as the parameter of students success in academics and recognize and reward special skills , creativity shown by students. Allow industry experts to teach students ‘Creativity , innovation and change” and make it mandatory for students to prove they are learning this vital skills.
  4. Eliminate class rooms and replace with Practical labs. Embrace online MOOC classes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course  and make students to pass the courses designed by industry and academic experts.
  5. Ask students to solve society’s or industry’s problems as part of school, college project submissions. Indian Government as part of engaging citizens has shared some challenges with rewards. Check details here https://www.mygov.in/  BTW i participate in some of the challenges.
  6. Change syllabus to include what industry will be needing in coming years. Be Proactive in knowing the skills needed in next 5 to 10 years rather than reactive in teaching present skills needed.  There is a huge requirement for software and hardware security experts by 2020. A report from Frost & Sullivan and (ISC)2 found that the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2020. But the security industry is a fast-growing market.  More details on this report is here. http://blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/2015/04/isc-study-workforce-shortfall-due-to-hiring-difficulties-despite-rising-salaries-increased-budgets-a.html
  7. For those who are working in Software industry or any other sector here is my advice.  Visualize yourselves working with robots, machines only and into next 10 years of your career and work backwards to check what skills will be in demand after 10 years and start learning them right now. If you just know one skills you will be in danger of losing your job pretty soon. Having a diversified skills set is a reward in present job market.
  8. Jobs in areas such as Artificial intelligence, robotics,cyber-security,  building intelligent machines will be on raise and also many traditional jobs that need deep cognitive skills won’t be replaced rapidly and there is scope for job stability.
  9. Because of huge pressure, stress, anxiety in work areas,  individual’s health will suffer which will force for more visits to hospitals. Yoga and meditation will gain tremendous influence in helping those who embrace Yoga and Meditation. I advice young students to start seriously practicing YOGA and Meditation. You can make a career in this two healthy areas.

Finally those who are lifelong learners and who can rapidly adopt to changing job specifications, skills will stay relevant and those who resist change will be side-lined.

Any comments, additions to this article are welcome to do so. Thanks

Competency based education


Time and again I’m revisiting education because there is a seismic change happening in Educating our young population. I have written blogs that focused on the the changes that are happening due to Massive online open course ware (MOOC) movement, big companies such as Microsoft, Wipro, IBM’s investment in this sector, how universities, colleges , students need to re orient themselves to stay relevant  to the present conditions and how to learn smartly using technology tools in the following blogs.

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/classroom-learning-with-concert-of-technology/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/uncommon-sense-and-common-nonsense/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/free-online-resources/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/students-this-is-for-you/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/where-there-is-a-why-there-is-a-way/

But most of these practices are still not able to make students employable right away after coming out of colleges. There are still many factors that contribute for  success of new employee other than the core skill that is basically needed to work. Realizing this, below universities along with industry collaborations came up with a new way of imparting skills to students. This approach is considered more relevant to industries needs and is called competency based education. I want students to take a look at the following universities that are providing this education because getting jobs is very much likely.

https://www.brandman.edu/cbeducation

http://www.capella.edu/flexpath-self-paced-learning/

http://flex.wisconsin.edu/

http://pl.nau.edu/

http://collegeforamerica.org/

http://www.wgu.edu/why_WGU/competency_based_approach

I personally feel that time has come to club medicine, engineering , agriculture, life sciences and other fields together, create a course and impart training to solve some of the great challenges of the world.  I wrote about my opinion here. please check http://www.ghdonline.org/innovation/discussion/5-innovations-in-global-health-maybe-not-what-you-/?ref=dashboard#reply-14103

 

So why waiting just start learning. your feedback is appreciated.

Measure your happiness, How your face looks at 60?


We all want to be Happy. Do you agree? Then read this and it will make you happy.

In this digitally connected world we are  becoming heavily busy and miss the opportunity to analyze and introspect ourselves and  what makes us happy .  Most of us are so busy checking our emails, socializing with friends on Facebook , twitter and other sites, spending time in movie halls or working towards our goals and don’t have time to take a snapshot of day’s events and judge how we reacted to each event or situation that happens to us during the day.

We have a choice to be reactive or be creative,  but most of the time we spend days, months and years in a reactive mode by attending to our daily chores. We don’t think much about the routine we perform everyday and get used to the daily grind. Due to that we slowly stop thinking that things can be done in a much better way and our day can be more productive by questioning our daily routine and how we perform it. We just need to become more creative and focus on improving our daily routine. The net result of improving our quality of life leads to some spare time so that we can use the same  to reflect inwards and check what actions, incidents and events during the day makes us Happy and which ones makes us Sad. By introspecting about our selves deeply,  helps us to improve our happiness levels for the rest of the life.

We have technology to assists us to monitor our day’s events, happenings , our moods and experiences towards such events and happenings. By tracking our everyday living we can get rid of things that makes us Sad or ignorant and improve and strengthen our practices that makes us Happy. Introspecting and self analysis of our behaviors helps us tremendously in improving our mental abilities and physical fitness.  Make sure you spare an hour everyday before sleep to analyze the day’s events and how you reacted.  Which action of yours made you feel happy , helped in enriching you and which one is neutral and which one made you Sad. By doing that everyday you will start finding a pattern about how well you are shaping your life.  Remember the saying

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

In order to help you monitor your day i’m giving you the links of some great self  data mining tools. Enjoy and remember that you can always have a “better life with best practices ” (Skillsnest tag line) and  a quote from Ben frankling to motivate you for a good life.    “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Ben Franklin

https://www.rescuetime.com/signup/solo/lite

http://runkeeper.com/  to measure how many calories you burnt during your workout

http://www.realidata.com/cgi-bin/rTracker/iPhone/rTracker-main.pl

http://www.quantified-mind.com/

http://quantifiedself.com/2013/07/ashish-mukharji-on-three-years-of-tracking-happiness/

http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/

http://quantifiedself.com/2013/04/konstantin-augemberg-on-tracking-happiness/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOETUvaOxDA&feature=youtu.be

http://anniemurphypaul.com/2013/07/how-daydreaming-can-help-you-pay-attention/

Want to know how you look when you are old?

You can also make your choices to be happy as you grow older. But no one gives a serious thought about aging until we reach a stage where the symptoms of oldness shows up in the form of body becoming weak and vulnerable to diseases.  There are websites that would show you how you look when you are 60 or how many calories you will gain in the future with your present life styles etc.

Click here to know how you will look at age 60 and beyond http://faceretirement.merrilledge.com/

http://www.futureme.org/

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

As you build your career you may want the world to know about you and your experiences , skills and expertise. There are couple of good websites that allow you to promote your selves such as follows

http://www.expertfile.com/

https://about.me/

http://zerply.com/about