After years of measuring the current state of knowledge based on data produced by national statistical offices and international organizations, and given the exponential growth of knowledge creation, a new knowledge measurement tool using big data is being designed to better understand the future of knowledge societies. The Future of Knowledge Foresight Report was launched, presenting a pilot study on the future fields of knowledge that will shape the future of knowledge societies.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), unveiled the world’s first Future of Knowledge Foresight Report, along with the 2018 edition of the Global Knowledge Index (GKI), during the Knowledge Summit that took place in Dubai on 5-6 December 2018.

The 2018 edition of the Global Knowledge Index covers 134 countries providing valuable insights on knowledge assets that are key to more effective sustainable development.

“As we strive to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, knowledge is our strong ally,” said Khaled Abdel Shafi, Director, Regional Hub for Arab States, UNDP. “Its application develops capabilities and expands opportunities in multiple sectors of our lives, from education to economy to technology.”

According to the results of the Global Knowledge Index, Switzerland retained its number-one rank, followed by Sweden and Finland. The United States and Luxembourg broke into the world’s top 5 countries, ranking 4th and 5th respectively, while the Netherlands and Singapore lost their spots in the top 5, ranking 6th and 7th respectively this year. The United Arab Emirates broke into the world’s top 20 countries, ranking 19 on the global level – moving up 6 positions – and first among all the Arab states while retaining its second place globally on the level of the economy.

“Data can help the Arab region speed up development in the right direction while embracing the technology of the future,” said Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor of the Knowledge for All Project, adding “the Global Knowledge Index plays a significant role in encouraging the countries to make their data available.”

As the Global Knowledge Index measures the current state of knowledge, the Future of Knowledge Foresight Report comes to look through the future, aiming at better understanding the navigation of present societies to cope with the demands of the future fields that will shape the near and long-term future.

The report covers 20 countries; it alerts and guides policymakers, business leaders, researchers and civil society to the new emerging fields, i.e. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Biotechnology, and Future Skills that will become strategic for the future of societies.

During the session “Future of Knowledge Model” Leif Edvinsson, Professor of Knowledge Capital at Lund University, Sweden, Jan Sturesson, founder of Resting – Advice from the Future, Laurent Probst, Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Luxembourg presented the conceptual framework of the future knowledge model, the factors influencing the future of knowledge, and how countries might be impacted positively, concluding that the foresight reports as the “Future of Knowledge” will empower forward-thinking strategy in the growth of knowledge economy and sustainable development around the world.

All we must do is put our future in focus, be open and collaborative, and use our imagination, as the reports states.