Anxious about disruption? Here’s what you need to know.

Future Leaders Summit

disruptionThere’s a whole load of talk about disruption going on these days that it is hard to keep up with what people are saying.

But if you are not anxious about disruption, then perhaps you should. And you should sit up and get ready to move your a**…

Here’s why you should be anxious and start moving:

1. It’s going to affect your jobs.


Disruption in the economy means that our jobs and lives are going to be affected.

We’ve seen layoffs going up and employment figures coming down.

What’s more worrying, is technological disruption that’s affecting many. Uber and Grab are affecting the livelihood of taxi drivers. But before you can even start to see the disruption, you realise how another disruption, driver-less vehicles will affect even Uber and Grab drivers.

2. It’s global

2016 will go down in history as the year with many shocks. What with Brexit, and the election of American business mogul Donald Trump as the 46th President of the United States.

In fact never before has the human species gone through change as it is today, as said by Professor Kishore Mahbubani at the recent U Future Leaders Summit on 18 November 2016.


He said the world is slowly seeing an end of Western domination and the return of Asia.

Globalisation, he said, is good for humanity, but brings disruption.


We all have a choice to respond to changes in our life, similarly for how we will respond to the disruption which is going on.


But for Labour Chief Chan Chun Sing, he had these words for the attendees of the U Future Leaders Summit last week: Stay Alert, Stay Relevant, and Stay Ahead.



#1 Stay Alert

Chan urged the audience to be stay alert and watch for changes on the technological front such as how jobs can be replaced by the Internet. He cited an example of how an accountant’s job can be replaced by a cheaper alternative of an accountant from another country providing accounting services to businesses in Singapore over the Internet.

“The same set of forces impacting us; technological disruption, can provide both challenges and opportunities…”

#2 Stay Relevant

Chan posed a few questions to set the audience thinking: What can I do? What skills do I have? What does the market need today?

He said it was all about getting workers to be up to date with their skills.

To this end, he mentioned about the NTUC’s efforts to raise $200 million to prepare workers to be just in time – keep their skills relevant.

#3 Stay Ahead

To help PMETs stay ahead, NTUC is mobilising its resources to organise a few Innovation Exchanges in the first quarter of 2017.

This includes learning journeys to Innovation Centres at various companies across different industries to cross-pollinate ideas.

Important to get fundamentals right

The world we’re in right now is undergoing change, and for Singapore to succeed, Chan stressed that if we get our fundamentals right, there is “absolutely no reason why we cannot overcome the short-term cyclical slowdown, but more importantly to overcome the long-term structural forces that are impacting our economy”.

His parting shot: “Technology is neutral…whoever can master the technology better, faster will win”

Put it another way, whoever can master the disruption better, faster will win.

And it starts now.


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