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Jonathan Cornelissen Shows Power of Education in an Economic Slump

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When the economy turns turbulent, many people become fearful of losing their employment and being unable to find a new source of income. While this fear is understandable, it also need not be reflective of reality for those that are equipped with knowledge of how to overcome difficult economic times. To aid our readers in this pursuit, we turned our attention to one of the most time-tested strategies for thriving while job prospects become murky — education. To help us explore this concept, we also looked to work by Jonathan Cornelissen, a leader in the field of data education.

Professional background

One of the reasons Jonathan Cornelissen makes for a helpful resource in this discussion is that he’s the founder of DataCamp, a popular online resource for learners seeking to improve their data literacy. The platform has become a go-to destination for anyone who feels a background in data education may help them perform their job responsibilities more effectively or might improve their access to employment opportunities. That idea has been borne out by employers themselves, who often pay for their employees to have access to the platform’s resources. When employers are paying out of pocket to improve the knowledge base of their employees, it’s a good indication that the knowledge is likely contributing to their bottom line.

That understanding of how a background in data science helps employers and employees alike is why the tech entrepreneur makes for a valuable point of study during an economic slump. Part of his inspiration for creating his learning platform was the observation that data was an important part of the economy and was set to increase in importance over time. He also saw that there was a lack of resources designed to help improve the data literacy of individuals and organizations. In creating his data learning platform, he showed an understanding of a broader concept that can be useful for any individual seeking work — improving one’s educational foundation in a field with growing demand can be a key part of finding quality employment.

Data demand

The tech entrepreneur’s insight that data was set to play a greatly expanded role in the economy turned out to be prescient. This makes the field a good point of study to illustrate how educating oneself in the right concentration can pay off down the line. At the time that the data scientist first conceived of his platform, data was already an important part of the economy — researchers, government institutions, business leaders, and more were all using data to help achieve their goals, so the power of data was no secret. However, what many people didn’t anticipate, was the extent to which data was set to grow in availability due to the ongoing development of one powerful piece of technology — the internet.

As the internet has become an integral part of modern life over the past few decades, its ability to gather data has grown exponentially. This data can come from many different sources, such as a person’s online habits, social media presence, or purchasing preferences. Armed with this type of data, businesses and large organizations can gain an invaluable understanding of the population groups they are trying to serve and can work to improve their ability to engage in those efforts. As such, this explosion in data has helped to drastically improve the ability of an entity to fulfill its mission. This fact has made data science a key part of the modern economy and has greatly improved the employment prospects of individuals who have bolstered their skillset in this area through educational resources.

Formal and self-education

When improving one’s level of education during an economic slump, there are generally two paths that can be pursued — formal education and self-education. Many people instinctively turn towards formal education, such as an undergraduate course of studies or a graduate degree. This method of learning can give an individual a solid foundation en route to a new career path and can help provide them access to an institution that can provide career assistance after a degree is obtained. For some learners, this level of institutional support can be a key component of their success.

Formal education, however, comes with some downsides. Perhaps the most glaring is its expense. While there are varying levels of costs associated with institutional learning, tuition rates, in general, have been trending upwards in recent years which has made it necessary for many learners to take out loans to pursue this type of education. In contrast, self-education resources, such as online learning platforms, can often be much lower cost and help to pinpoint the exact skills that an individual may need in order to pursue a new career. This can be especially relevant during times of economic uncertainty when taking on debt may lead to increased levels of financial insecurity.

Supplementary networking

When discussing education to improve one’s job prospects, it’s important to also touch on the role of networking in gaining employment. While an individual pursuing an institutional education may have access to employment resources that can help them find work, a learner engaging in self-education may not. For these individuals, finding job prospects may hinge on effective networking, such as attending career fairs, seeking out informational interviews, and working with recruiters. This type of networking can help individuals showcase their improved set of skills to those in a position to make hiring decisions. This can ultimately lead to a new job down the line.

While the prospect of losing one’s employment can be frightening, especially during times of economic uncertainty, it need not leave one powerless to improve their situation. Education can be a key component of ensuring continued access to employment when it seems as though many organizations may not be hiring. Looking to the example of Jonathan Cornelissen can be instructive in this time, as his work to anticipate demand and improve educational opportunities in the area of data science has helped millions bolster their job prospects. Further study of the power of education to improve employment levels can make for an impactful ally when the economy seems poised for a downturn.

From television to the internet platform, Jonathan switched his journey in digital media with Bigtime Daily. He served as a journalist for popular news channels and currently contributes his experience for Bigtime Daily by writing about the tech domain.

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Science

How Business Leaders Can Address the Climate Crisis

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There is growing pressure for business leaders to take action for reducing their emissions and figuring out ways to deal with the causes and consequences of climate change. Many businesses are seeking a better understanding of the risks and opportunities of our changing climate and sustainability conditions. Furthermore, engaged customers, stakeholders, and suppliers, are putting increasing pressure on innovative and effective climate change and renewable energy solutions.          .

In order to make businesses more ecological, regenerative, and future-fit for taking the appropriate actions for climate change, we have consulted professionals in the field like Dr.      Anneloes Smitsman to help us get through this crisis.

Smitsman is a revered Dutch futurist, systems scientist, and award-winning pioneer in human development and system change who recently launched the EARTHwise Constitution for a Planetary Civilization, based on her work with living systems. She offers a diverse and inspiring range of systemic solutions that the professional sector requires for addressing the greatest challenges of the 21st Century. In particular for developing the necessary capacities and systems for co-creating thriving worlds and futures, based on new regenerative business models.

Smitsman’s career spans many domains, starting in law and political science, she then expanded her work to training business and educational leaders and companies in developing essential capacities for systemic transformation, innovation, corporate sustainability, and climate change preparedness.

Smitsman is also known for her work as an innovative leader and CEO of EARTHwise Centre, a non-profit company providing education, leadership, research, system design, and publications in social innovation, human and organizational development.

Smitsman is also unique in how she brought about revolutionary change in fields of    education, leadership, systems science, regenerative economics, sustainability, and more. And as a professional in the industry, here are a couple of things we have learned from her work for reducing your ecological footprint and creating more regenerative and sustainable business models.       

Developing Climate Action Plans

The first step is to create climate action plans for measuring the sustainability impacts of your business operations, based on measurements that account for essential sustainability thresholds, planetary boundaries, social ceilings, and fair allocations. Developing a genuine action plan, based on innovation and business leadership for climate change, requires going further than seeking to achieve standardized sustainability targets. Instead, set goals that challenge your organization to become regenerative ‘by design’ and thriving in terms of whole system impact, Smitsman explains. Focus on creating and distributing value beyond your own stakeholders or shareholder interests. Go further than trying to minimize harm, and instead provide leadership and capacities for business operations that focus on creating maximum goodness and whole system value.     

Smitsman also reminds us that leadership for the ‘commons’ requires innovation through collective decision-making with regards to fair and inclusive allocations of resource distributions and stewardship for the wellbeing of current and future generations.   Conventional market mechanisms that focus merely on carbon offsets and carbon trading, will not provide the incentives for the necessary systemic transformations that are required economically and politically.                    

Building a Culture of Awareness

 It is crucially important to add sustainability, regeneration, and thrivability as a part of your culture. To achieve this, you will need to expand your knowledge of the necessary energy and resource transitions, climate change adaptation and mitigation, low-carbon innovation, as well knowledge of the operational principles of living systems. There are many online courses available to help you prepare your business for the times ahead, and unlock new growth opportunities by developing a life-centered culture of leadership and innovation. This is also the focus of Smitsman’s leadership programs for business transformation and systemic innovation.

Working with Sustainable Suppliers

Knowing your partners is particularly important for companies with supply chains. You should take time to choose the best sustainable suppliers who focus on good environmental and sustainability practices. Furthermore, you can choose to reward suppliers who have outperformed your expectations by providing an improved sustainable service or product, as such encouraging continuous improvements for people, planet, and sustainable profits.

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