Author Clem Stunter. (Photo: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Michael Hammond) | Author Mitch Ilbury. (Photo: Supplied)
The relationship between thought and action was “absolutely critical”, but it was something South Africa had not fully understood.
On Wednesday, at a live journalism event hosted by Daily Maverick Associate editor Ferial Haffajee, authors Mitch Ilbury and Clem Sunter agreed that better planning and, more importantly, better implementation will allow South Africa to better prepare for its future.
The two authors joined Haffajee to discuss their latest book, Thinking the future: new perspectives on the shoulders of giants on how to better plan for the future.
Sunter said he wanted to produce a popular book on planning for individuals.
He said scenario planning could have helped with the Covid-19 pandemic: When the flu-like virus began to spread rapidly from Wuhan, China, in December, “it could have alerted the world to pandemic quickly ”. Sunter added that that’s exactly what scenario planning is – putting risks on the table and monitoring certain metrics in the plans.
Haffajee asked if scenario planning was evident in documents such as the National development plan.
Ilbury stressed that the relationship between thought and action was “absolutely critical”, but that this was something South Africa had not fully understood.
“Right now, understanding our current context, we need strong, bold leadership with clear direction and implementation,” said Ilbury. He added that he did not know what were the issues that could possibly prevent President Cyril Ramaphosa from implementing, apart from his role as mediator in his political party.
Sunter said it was a tipping point as the world of work had changed, where countries like the United States were showing an increase in small and micro businesses rather than large companies. The focus on small and micro-enterprises could help reduce unemployment, especially youth unemployment. Maverick company reported in June that South Africa’s increased youth unemployment rate was 74.7%.
“We have to change the whole nature of the economy,” Sunter said.
Ilbury asked how learners are to be educated for a future in 2050. Will the current type of education taught across the country be relevant in 2050?
“At the moment, no,” he said.
Ilbury said the key priority would be to ensure that there is an infrastructure for learners, “because the world is on the Internet”.
On flags or keys to watch out for, Sunter highlighted new businesses and appropriate financial facilities to support small businesses and unemployment.
Ilbury said substantial economic support is needed for businesses. In addition, skills capacities in schools needed to be improved.
Sunter said scenario planning was “crucial” in these cases. DM
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This notice was published: 2021-08-04 21:46:40