An Ambitious Generational Program: Preparing Saudi Youth for a Digital Future

The future will be digital, and according to the World Economic Forum, An estimated 70% of new value addition to the economy over the next decade will depend on platform company models built on digital technologiesForecasters of the future expect a fourth industrial revolution that will lead to a fundamental change in the way we live, work, play and communicate with each other.

The Boston Consulting Group’s work in Saudi Arabia

Mapping these changes – and ensuring that future generations are equipped with the skills to deal with them – is an essential part of BCG’s work in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Arab Business research indicates that Saudi Arabia is already beginning to feel the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with the estimated value of its ICT market reaching $32.1 billion.. For example, e-commerce in Saudi Arabia has managed to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 30% during the past five years, with a jump of 60% between 2019 and 2020, its annual market value is approximately 19 billion Saudi amount to riyals..

Also Read: The Line City: How Saudi Arabia plans to build the world’s first zero-gravity, streetless vertical city?

A solid Saudi step towards the digital future to achieve Vision 2030

The country has responded to the demands of the digital economy. Saudi Vision 2030 – which is the Kingdom’s basic plan to achieve national transformation – has expanded to include digitization strategies, including the ICT Sector Strategy 2030, the Digital Transformation Strategy and the Cyber ​​Security Strategy . According to the Gulf Business platform, in 2022 the country has announced additional investments worth $6.4 billion in many technologies and future entrepreneurial businesses..

Image credit: Boston Consulting Group.

An ambitious generation program in its fourth edition

The future is calling us. So Generation Ambitious, the Boston Consulting Group’s annual program to develop, motivate and inspire the most talented university students in Saudi Arabia, is helping the new generation of leaders meet that call.

Launched for the first time in 2019, the program is designed to hone leadership, professional and personal skills. Most of all, by involving future employees, thought leaders and prominent Saudi institutions, this program ensures that university students about to graduate develop the skills that will become essential for them in the digital future.

Also Read: How NEOM Can Shape the Future of Artificial Intelligence in Saudi Arabia?

Since 2019, the Tomooh Generation program has welcomed the enrollment of more than 400 students from the most prominent Saudi universities, while maintaining numerical equality between women and men in line with its policy of gender inclusion. Participants come from different backgrounds, such as engineering, business, science and others. Many are also involved in student associations, extracurricular activities, leadership initiatives and volunteer programs.

Under the slogan “Building Skills for the Future”, the Generation Tomooh program launched its fourth edition in a first two-day event in the first quarter of this year. Topics focused on digital transformation, artificial intelligence, climate, sustainability and innovation, with an ambitious generational program set to ensure the advancement of today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders in the digital future.

Partner and Associate Director of Digital Transformation at The Boston Consulting Group spoke, Ramy Riad Mortadaon “Smart Cities: Accelerating the Road Using Digital Technologies and Artificial Intelligence,” while Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group, Faisal HammadiSession on “Space: The Next Frontier of Humanity”. Boston Consulting Group Institute for Regulation Director Yves Morrow led a session on the “Productivity Revolution,” highlighting connected productivity as a way to unlock the full potential of digital technologies.

Martin Reeves, president of Boston Consulting Group Henderson Institute (BHI), led a session on innovation, guiding students to tap into their imagination and harness its potential to come up with new and innovative approaches to success. Students will also receive a copy of Martin’s new book, The Imagination Machine: How to Spark New Ideas and Create Your Company’s Future, published by Harvard Press. Published by Harvard Business Review in Arabic.

Also read: 10 ways to accelerate the use of digital health services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saudis and the future of work after the pandemic

The characteristics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have already begun to take shape by changing the relationship between individuals and the workplace – a trend that has increased in pace due to the Corona pandemic. Saudi Arabia is a very important case study, according to a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group based on a competency survey and analysisThe workforce in Saudi Arabia is demanding more flexibility, independence and clear workability, with 48% of Saudis looking to work remotely more than 3 days a week, compared to 33% of their global peers. They are also aware of the risks of technological development, as 32.7% of Saudi respondents feel that opportunities to automate their work have increased in 2020.

An ambitious generation is responding to these changes by helping future leaders become more resilient in the face of technological disruption, while building the necessary skills and commitment to seize new opportunities. An Ambitious Generation relies on the Boston Consulting Group’s research in skills development, including the Future Skills Architect framework provided by the Boston Consulting Group. To identify and fill existing gaps.

Boston Consulting Group research shows that Saudi youth value entrepreneurship, with 40% saying Many young Saudis want to start their own companies within five years, and here again the ambitious generational program puts valuable experiences in the hands of these young people in building skills, relationships and corporate practices that will serve future entrepreneurs well. This program is also in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which calls for increasing the contribution of small and medium-sized companies to GDP from 20% to 35%. The number of small and medium-sized companies in the Kingdom increased from 447,000 in 2016 to 614,000 in 2020which is further proof of the growing culture of entrepreneurship.

Also Read: What are the challenges Saudi Arabia faces in transforming its cities into smart cities?

The nature of the work also tends towards more positions in technical fields. For example, e-commerce opportunities offer great opportunities for Saudi youth. Boston Consulting Group research shows that Amazon recently announced 3,400 new jobs in Saudi Arabia, and Saudis make up 60% of Amazon’s permanent workforce in the country. (Noon.com) employs approximately 8,000 people, and maintains one of the highest rates of “nationalization”. “in the private sector. While these opportunities look promising, they also require a workforce that has the skills and ability to take advantage of these opportunities.

Saudis and the future of work after the pandemic

Image credit: Boston Consulting Group.

An ambitious generation preparing Saudis for the digital future

To help the final group of participants develop these skills, the Generation Tomooh program held a Case Prep Bootcamp for the first time. In this preparatory camp, skills related to practical innovation and problem solving are improved, and it also includes case-specific interviews and exercises to elicit solutions to a number of problems within the training framework. The camp also prepares business by preparing members of the “Ambition Generation” to participate in visiting junior fellow interviews with BCG, giving them quick access to the world of consulting and problem solving. Building bridges between young talent and organizations looking to hire leaders ready for the digital age is central to the mission of the Generation Toubi program, and this has led to initiatives such as virtual job fairs integrated within the initiative program.

Also read: What are Saudi Arabia’s opportunities to lead the development of smart cities in the region?

Equipping the new generation with these skills needed to cope with the digital future is a global challenge, one that requires concerted action at all levels, in addition to collaboration between the public and private sectors. Through an ambitious generational program, BCG is showing that targeted actions can help build leaders ready to take advantage of the opportunities the digital future will present, and help Saudi Arabia achieve its ambitions for digital transformation.

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