Libby Rahman: Reflecting on the Annual Meetings

2 weeks in Washington DC flew by. There was a lot of information to soak in at the Annual Meetings and so much history and culture to take in wandering around the many monuments and Smithsonian museums that line the National Mall.

Two topics discussed at the World Bank & IMF Annual Meetings stood out to me.

The first topic relates to climate change and sustainability, more specifically, the need for resilient infrastructure that can withstand the impact of severe weather events. Listening to experts discuss the impact of recent hurricanes in the Caribbean, I wondered who should be bearing the cost of disasters? As someone who’s just recently dabbled in the construction sector, I wondered whether construction companies have a duty to develop stronger materials and put in stronger foundations? Or do governments and insurers have to keep paying for rebuilds that are required after each destructive cyclone? I don’t have the answers yet, but these are things I want I to find out more about in the coming months.

The second topic that stood out to me was on the Future of Work. There were several seminars and panel discussions dedicated to this topic. The key point that most presenters made was that Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence is changing the way most industries operate from medicine to farming. Having spent 2016 undertaking an Analytics degree, these talks did not present much content that was new to me, what struck me was how many times over I heard something along the lines of ‘Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize the way we work.’

This made me think about whether New Zealand schools were equipping children for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. I had noticed the ‘Devices for School’ section growing at Noel Leeming over the last couple of years and had sort of assumed that Technology had become better integrated into the curriculum since I had finished school. I am sure it has, but it was a surprise for me to learn that Digital Technologies is only going to be introduced to the New Zealand School curriculum in 2018 and it’s not going to be mandatory for schools to teach it until 2020. I did a bit of sleuthing around my old high school’s (a public all-girls school) website and found out they are already teaching Coding along with Digital Technologies. This makes me feel optimistic about the future.

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences.

Posted on November 23, 2017 and filed under World Bank / IMF 2017.