Digital disruption – threat or promise?

This theme explored what digital transformation means for RMIT strategy in a post COVID environment and towards 2025 and beyond.

The global RMIT community shared their thoughts on how we can create innovative digital solutions to enable lifelong learning and improve society. We heard from staff, students, and industry partners through workshops, forums and online conversations about the complex challenges and opportunities we are facing, and the next steps we need to take.

Key insights emerging from the discussions include:

  • Digitally enabled learning offers new possibilities for access, helping to break down barriers to education to lifelong learners
  • Human skills, talent and attributes are central to digitisation. As a University, not only must we prioritise the balance of digital and physical skills but recognise the importance of human skills as essential to success in an increasingly digital workforce.
  • Universities working in partnership with industry to support lifelong learners’ transition and thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution, solving problems together with industry and our global community.
  • Digital innovations enhance economic outcomes, global communication, environmental management, human health and our quality of life.
  • Leveraging digital technologies can be an immense force for good in our societies. In order to thrive in the future, we must experiment together with industry and fail fast to realise the potential.

RMIT NEXT also held a forum, hosted by Professor Aleks Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Science, Engineering and Health and Vice President Digital Innovation at RMIT, alongside panellists: Iain Rouse: Director & Country Leader (Amazon Web Services), Helen Souness (Chief Executive Officer RMIT Online), Keith Ritchie (Head of Communication & Government Affairs at Siemens), Claire Mason (Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO’s Data61) and Jed Horner (Strategy Advocacy Manager at Standards Australia), the 90-minute session delved deep into how can a leading dual-sector tertiary institution like RMIT can strengthen its role as a digital thought leader and innovator engaged with industry, business and community.

With an audience of more than 180 staff, students, academics, alumni and industry from across our global community, the rich discussion highlighted the complex challenges and opportunities that have emerged during 2020 and explored how we can create innovative digital solutions to enable lifelong learning and improve society.

You can playback the event here.

By enabling greater personalisation, flexibility and access, digital tools will offer new possibilities in supporting learners to navigate their study and career pathways. Simultaneously, our community faces an immense challenge as digital innovation continues to disrupt and restructure our workforce.

In the next five years and beyond, RMIT University, alongside other education institutions, are tasked with responding rapidly to evolving skills needs, upskilling and reskilling the workforce as new industries emerge, and others evolve or decline.

Keep reading to see the community inputs and ideas on this important theme.

All of the insights gathered from the Reflections Phase will be incorporated into a Directions Paper, outlining the potential directions that will shape the final strategy and where we are heading as a University. The Directions will be launched in July!

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Technological disruption is reshaping the world we live in – changing our expectations of what is normal and what is possible. As our environments become increasingly digitally integrated, connected, and data-driven, digital innovation offers opportunities to dramatically enhance the way we live, work and learn. Enabling greater personalisation, flexibility and access, digital tools will offer new possibilities in supporting learners to navigate their study and career pathways.

Simultaneously, our community faces an immense challenge as digital innovation continues to disrupt and restructure our workforce. Universities are tasked with responding rapidly to evolving skills needs, upskilling and reskilling the workforce as new industries emerge, and others evolve or decline. Is digital disruption a threat or a promise? How do we ensure that technological innovation and its governance is ethically and inclusively designed so that it used to make society a better place?

Exploring the bigger picture

Analysis and thought-leadership from around the world, and important questions for us to consider.

Worldwide perspectives and ideas How can technology help us to deliver personalised, high quality experiences to our students, staff and partners? How do create best-in-class online teaching and learning experiences, ensure that they are built inclusively and seamlessly integrated with the campus experience? What do we want RMIT’s research to be known for in digital and emerging technology innovation? How are disciplines evolving with digital and how should we respond to emerging skills needs and gaps in the labour force? How can we provide intelligent and tailored options to our learning communities as they navigate their study and career pathways? How can we build stronger connections and a sense of belonging in digital teams and communities?

Join the conversation

Share your thoughts, ambitions, and experiences on what this could mean at RMIT.