Social cohesion is crucial

It’s clear that many people are already benefiting from the rise of digital technologies.

Many of us are living significant parts of our lives in the digital world, including socialising, learning, conducting financial transactions, and storing and sharing personal data.

Emerging technologies will see this evolution continue, with a deepening of human-machine partnerships and relinquishing of tasks to autonomous systems.

But not everyone is enjoying the benefits – stark divisions are already appearing in our society and will grow more serious if we don’t act.

Automation creates the demand for new skills and industries but at the same time it can abolish skills and occupations.

Digital systems which also be used for cyber crime and terrorist-related activities.

Generic ICT skills and digital literacy have emerged as prerequisites for highly desired jobs. They are also central to the process of learning, as primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions increasingly use technology to deliver programs.

As a national priority, all students must have courses that teach computational thinking (e.g. mathematics and coding). Students need also to be exposed to entrepreneurship throughout their education, to align with the dynamic and changing real-world environment.

Rapid and disruptive technological change will be a constant, transforming the very nature of business, work and how we go about our daily lives.

More than ever, Australia needs to equip every member of society to contribute to, and benefit from, a technologically advanced economy and so maintain a sustainable social fabric.