Coming out of the pandemic, the tech sector has helped lift the economy to a solid recovery. Capital poured into tech startups in 2021, and tech businesses saw record-high evaluations. Companies continue to ramp up investments in digital technology and e-commerce as more Americans conduct business, go to school, visit the doctor and live their lives on the internet.
Tech job postings increased 39% in 2021, and in January 2022 the number of total jobs in Georgia reached an all-time high as the unemployment rate fell to its lowest ever level of 3.2%.
In many ways, this is a golden age of the innovation economy, but will it last? How can we make the tech boom sustainable in this age of rising inequality and make its benefits widespread?
The innovation economy and creative disruption
Competitive pressures drive the innovation economy forward. While some jobs are destroyed, these are often replaced by higher-paying jobs for those who have requisite skills.
Increased computing power — doubling every two years, according to Intel founder Gordon Moore — accelerates innovation. It also magnifies disruption as businesses that fail to adapt disappear. The expanding network connections of the internet accelerate the pace of change.
As these forces of creative disruption gain momentum, here are four ways to fuel the innovation economy sustainably while extending the benefits of technology to everyone in society.
1. Build communities of knowledge
Even the most visionary leaders could use a little help navigating the fog of complexity. Good things happen when the best and brightest minds come together to make connections, share ideas and solve problems.
Georgia is fortunate to have a network of more than 100 private and public colleges as well as an abundance of incubators and labs where innovation thrives.
TAG partners with many of these institutions, such as Venture Atlanta and ATDC at Georgia Tech, to name a few. Then there are TAG’s communities of knowledge developed through 20-plus societies focusing on the most dynamic fields of technology — from digital health to supply chain to media, entertainment and gaming.
TAG is perhaps best known for its signature events that bring the tech community together, such as the upcoming Georgia Technology Summit on April 26 and 27, 2022, at Fintech South June 14 and 15, and at other signature events.
2. Protect technology infrastructure
Remember the rash of ransomware attacks last year? Now, there’s an even greater risk with the war in Ukraine. Every one of us is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Look at what happened to the City of Atlanta, Colonial Pipeline, and many other organizations hurt by cybercrime.
TAG created the National Technology Security Coalition, or NTSC, to confront this threat. TAG and NTSC work together to bring a private-sector perspective to shape cybersecurity policy. TAG’s Information Security Society also develops best practices for protecting against this growing threat.
3. Develop a workforce for the future
Digital technology is disrupting how we work and interact with each other. How can we help people adapt to new conditions in the workplace? Reskilling is a sustainable and cost-effective way to help employees stay engaged in their jobs and remain relevant in a rapidly evolving digital economy.
We should keep evolving the traditional education system to meet future labor demand. By investing in STEM education, we’re giving young people skills that make them more employable.
TAG-Ed is proud to partner with schools, officials and others to make STEM education more widely available to young people across Georgia.
4. Open opportunity to the disconnected
Technology should not disproportionately favor one group over another. It should connect everyone, especially the disadvantaged and disconnected who need help building careers. This may not be the easy thing to do, but it’s definitely the right thing to do. Leadership in Georgia means living up to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Andrew Young and other civil rights icons who have called the state home.
So far, we’re falling short. According to PwC, less than half of human resource leaders are focused on inclusive leadership. We have to do better on this front.
Let’s do more to connect people in underrepresented talent pools with job opportunities. Anyone who’s hiring can help. Sometimes it’s just a connection that makes a difference. An introduction can change a life.
TAG is committed to opening the doors of opportunity in technology to everyone in society. When that happens, technology works for a good purpose, and everybody wins.
Learn more about TAG and its work to fuel the innovation economy. Join or sponsor the Georgia Technology Summit April 26 and 27 at the Georgia World Congress Center.
TAG’s mission is to connect, promote, influence and educate Georgia’s technology ecosystem to advance the innovation economy. Through those four foundational strategies, TAG serves the technology community, helping to support, grow and ignite tech leaders, companies and the overall Georgia economy.
Originally published April 08, 2022 on Atlanta Inno here