McQueen speaks about future of regional areas

TRENDS: Trend forecaster and business strategist Michael McQueen visited Port Pirie earlier this week.
TRENDS: Trend forecaster and business strategist Michael McQueen visited Port Pirie earlier this week.

Trend forecaster and business strategist Michael McQueen visited Port Pirie earlier this week to speak with teachers, parents and employers about what will shape the future for today's young people. 

The speaker was brought to the city by John Pirie Secondary School principal Roger Nottage, who shares the belief with Michael that the information would be valuable for the community to ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

Michael's talk at the Memorial Oval function centre focused on the trends for what is coming next, focusing on artificial intelligence, robotics and how these types of things will change the workforce and daily life. 

"Looking at things like driver-less cars, 3D printing, nano-printing which are things people have heard about but haven't often considered the impact they are going to have. Looking at what that means and how to prepare for it," Mr McQueen said. 

Mr McQueen explained that what the future holds for regional areas is exciting and will witness a growth in telecommunication capabilities.

"We are going to find that telecommuting will be possible working remotely in a way we have never seen before. Plus a whole lot of jobs that you can do specifically in the creative professions, that you can do in a remote area, have a lower cost of living and have a great quality of life.

"The future for a lot of regional areas is bright but the challenge will be how do we make sure we have the services for young families, particularly in regional areas," Mr McQueen said. 

Forward trends also incorporate what many schools are currently pushing in their curriculum which is the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. 

"It is interesting how we talk a lot about STEM and how it has a place, but it is important we gear up for some of the things that will be necessary to transact and flourish in the future career wise, but what we are not hearing enough about are some of skills that will be as important but are often undervalued.

"Skills like creativity, empathy, intuition. While certainly science, technology, engineering, maths are important skills, some of those softer skills, right brain skills that we have often undervalued for decades now will actually be more important in years ahead," Mr McQueen said.

Michael's goal for the afternoon session was to leave people feeling constructively uncomfortable. 

"To give people that sense that things are not going to be the same in the future than they have been in the past, and we are going to encounter massive change in the years ahead."