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The role of human capital in building a digital economy

June 03, 2017, 5:25 UTC+3
1 pages in this article


  • Human capital is the key value of the digital economy

“Human capital is about half the value of corporations. <...> We tend to think this revolution is about things, but <...> I actually believe this revolution is about people,” said R. Preston McAfee, Corporate Vice President, Chief Economist, Microsoft

  • Learning becomes continuous

“You cannot just go to school, learn something, and then practice it for the rest of your life. You are going to have to reinvent or at least keep up with new tools... <...> And that education is going to be much more of a continuing process,” said R. Preston McAfee


  • Imbalance of competences in the labour market

“We can face a situation when at the same time we can have unemployment and lack of qualified of personnel,” said Kirill Varlamov, Head, Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF).

“Quality balance also poses big issues, almost half of the people never had retraining, and half is sure that in ten years they will still be working according to their college major”, said Denis Vasiliev, Deputy Head, Federal Service for Labour and Employment (Rostrud).

  • Professionals skills alone would not suffice for a truly digital economy.

“In the past the focus was on training professional skills, while today digital skills and soft skills must be added too. <...> We are lagging behind in the knowledge economy, we lack people with 21st century skills and a new way of thinking,” said Julia Chupina, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank.

  • Obsolete human resource management systems at Russian enterprises

“People must be capable of working as a team. This is not something common in Russia. We live in a hierarchy, which provides us with a someone telling us what to do, where to go, how to proceed. People find it extremely challenging to find out all of a sudden they don’t have a boss any more,” said Julia Chupina.


  • Сreating attractive environment for the development and professional realization

“Today the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) jointly with the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration signed an agreement to establish Association for the Development of Human Capital,” said Kirill Varlamov.

“First of all, from the content point of view we had to clearly examine research issues. <…> The second thing that has changed is also the ways we engage executives and organizations,” said Jean-Franсois Manzoni, President, Institute for Management Development (IMD); Professor, Nestlé.

 “To support innovators of digital economy, we founded a department at The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO that specializes in accumulating knowledge in digital payments and e-commerce,” said Alexey Malinovskiy, Senior Vice President, Head, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia, Mastercard.

  • State, society and corporations should act together

“How can we achieve the human potential? <…> How does an individual contribute in that kind of environment?  And how do we prepare individuals for an uncertain and dynamic future? Aside from the skills that I think we do, <…> I think there is a role to be played by Government and public-private partnerships to develop that,” said Scott Overson, General Manager, Industry Solutions Group EMEA, Intel Corporation.

“We need to stimulate a high quality of demand, reconsider an approach to retraining teachers and continue to develop public-private partnerships in education,” said Vladislav Boutenko, Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group.

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