Title, Date, Attachment, Content
Talent Development Determines the Future of a Nation
Date 2023-06-29

Talent Development Determines the Future of a Nation


Jangsoo Ryu | President of KRIVET


The theme of the World Economic Forum 2023 held in Davos in January was “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”. Global leaders agreed with the urgency of establishing a foundation for a sustainable and resilient world amid various political, economic and social crises, including digital transformation, war, disasters, inequality and climate change. Talent development is becoming increasingly important as it serves as both a fundamental foundation for a sustainable and resilient world and offers creative solutions to interconnected issues in today’s world of polycrisis.


Talent development: A core strategy that shapes the future of a nation


The global competition for talent development is becoming fierce as we look towards the future. Major countries like the US and China are making astounding investments in strategic technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technology, as they engage in a global battle for technological dominance.


The advancement of AI technology is spurring fundamental change in the way we learn, work and interact. Consequently, the race to secure top talent, who produce high added value, will become further intensified. Governments around the world are indeed prioritizing talent development among their strategies for technological competitiveness, leading to various policy initiatives in this field. In 2021, the UK unveiled its National AI Strategy for the upcoming decade, aiming to enhance its global position as a leader in AI technologies. Furthermore, in 2022, it announced the AI Action Plan for the UK government’s comprehensive AI activities. Emphasizing attracting and retaining top AI talent, the UK government said it will vitalize their AI ecosystem by taking active measures and cooperating closely with industry, academia and civil society. Essentially, the UK believes that talent development is at the core of establishing its AI ecosystem and is introducing support policies.


Japan, a nation whose cities are shrinking due to population decline and aging, is also taking policy measures to secure regional professional talent by establishing regional platforms that connect local institutions of higher education, local self-governing bodies and industry. Moreover, Japan is nurturing talent continuously by establishing advanced digital faculties in regional universities. At the same time, the government announced it will increase the enrolment capacity of digital technology-related departments of universities in Tokyo starting next year ? a painstaking decision by the Japanese government in fear of falling behind as a result of its labor shortage.


Launching the Human Capital Development Strategy Meeting to lay the foundation for national talent development


The 1st Human Capital Development Strategy Meeting was launched on February to establish and implement a comprehensive and systemic talent development policy at the national level. Chaired by President Yoon, the public-private partnership meeting was attended by government members such as relevant ministers and civil experts. The meeting will play a central role in promoting comprehensive talent development policies by joining expertise in academia, technology, industry and employment and reinforcing cooperation between ministries. This year, the meeting started off with a discussion on the establishment of the Basic Law on National Talent Development, which will help the nation build a national control tower that oversees and coordinates talent development policies by ministry and manages plans and performance.


Held under the slogan of “Talent who revitalizes regions, South Korea where thriving is fueled by talent”, the 1st Human Capital Development Strategy Meeting focused on talent development strategies for five core domains of cutting-edge technology and establishing the Regional Innovation System and Education (RISE) for building foundations for local-led talent development. Firstly, the Korean government establishes a promotional foundation based on governmentwide cooperation to nurture talent in the five core domains, namely aerospace and future mobility, biohealth, advanced components and materials, digital, and environment and energy, which require a consolidation of national competency. Talent development in cutting-edge technology is a contemporary issue that must be resolved to make Korea a science powerhouse in the global competition for technological dominance, as well as a key to the government’s core task of realizing a “regional era” in earnest. Talent development policies will serve as an important steppingstone for tackling regional decline and achieving balanced national growth if regional universities, local industries and local governments can join hands, identify local growth engines and foster talents tailored to their regions. In the same vein, the RISE, which promotes a local government-led support paradigm for universities by linking itself with regional development, and the meaning and achievements of the global university project, a new policy project that invests in regional universities promoting innovative changes, are expected to produce a significant socioeconomic ripple effect.


What are the requirements for talent in the era of ChatGPT?


The world’s eyes are on ChatGPT, a conversational AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, and its impact on our society. Some view it as an innovation that will revolutionize the world with its unmatched features, while some warn that its imperfection may cause ethical issues and misuse. Past controversies over AI and jobs stirred by AlphaGo are evolving into questions on whether creativity is a quality only humanity possesses. What we know for sure is that advanced AI technologies will redefine the standards of talent. The world has just come out of a long tunnel of the COVID-19 pandemic and is at a crucial turning point of deciding for a better, resilient future. Our outlooks for the uncertain future will depend on how nations define and nurture talent. The Korean government and its talent development policies, consequently, have reached a critical juncture.