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The Asian entrepreneur in meBookmark

Learning area: Work Studies
Year level: Year 9
Country: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand

In this learning sequence, students will use the lens of 'entrepreneurism' to explore two distinct, but related, 21st century topics: future jobs and the rise of Asia. A problem-based learning approach will guide students toward developing their own understanding of what the future might hold and to hypothesise possible career scenarios and the pathways they might choose to achieve their goals.

Key inquiry questions

  • What is a likely scenario for the future, given changes in jobs and 'the rise of Asia'?
  • How do your interests and personality fit into such a scenario?
  • What’s the future likely to hold for you and how can you make your way towards work that you will find rewarding?

'What will future jobs look like?'


Image: AEF

Activity 1: Immersion

In this part of the activity, you are invited to explore some perspectives that provide a background and context for important changes that could affect your future. After this, you should be able to provide good answers to the first key question:

Key inquiry question: What is a likely scenario for the future, given changes in jobs and “the rise of Asia”?

You can view and respond to both these presentations anyway you like, but here is a process you might find helpful and a way to collaborate with peers.

  1. Divide into two groups. One group will focus on the topic 'Future jobs' and the other 'Asia’s Rise'.
  2. Each group will begin by watching the presentation on their topic (this can be done in class, at home or outside class time). Each presentation is about 15 minutes long.
  3. As you watch the video, take notes on these key things:
    • the overall scenario being described
    • the steps or sequence of events in this scenario
    • the role of technology
    • the timespan
    • specific predictions for the future (the conclusion)
    • your ideas about what the impact of the conclusion will be on your life and future.
  4. If you and/or your teacher choose, you can complete this activity collaboratively using a shared Google Doc or Primary Pad.
  5. After each group has completed watching their presentation and writing thorough notes, pairs of students from different groups should describe to each other what they have seen and learned through a detailed Think • Pair • Share exercise.
  6. Individually, each student (you!) should develop a clear response that explains 'a likely scenario for the future, given changes in jobs and global economies' that takes into account both future jobs and Asia's rise.

Activity 2: Analysis

Many people have thought about what it will take for people your age to be successful in the context of a changing world of work. One idea that has gained a lot of support is that students will be better prepared to navigate and create the future that they want if they have what are called 'entrepreneurial skills'. In this part of the activity, you will gain an understanding of what entrepreneurial skills are so that you can use this framework to answer the second key question:

  • Key inquiry question: How do your interests and personality fit into such a scenario of future jobs and the rise of Asia?
  1. What’s in a (French) word? As a class, brainstorm anything anyone knows about these words: entrepreneur, entrepreneurial, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurism. If no one knows the exact meaning of the word, let people share the context or setting in which anyone might have heard or read the word. Use a shared document (Google Doc or Primary Pad) or brainstorming app (MindMup or Padlet) to gather everyone’s ideas.
  2. Review: the ideas provided by students (in the collaborative apps). What are the areas of greatest agreement? Group these ideas by dragging or copying and pasting.
  3. Define: Here is a description of entrepreneurial behaviours. Compare everyone’s initial ideas to this:

    Entrepreneurial behaviours – behaviours that demonstrate confidence, initiative, innovation and creativity, global competency and empathy, an awareness of opportunity and a willingness to take risks that can all be applied to a range of contexts.

  4. Refine: Begin by noting ideas that are shared between everyone’s brainstorming and the given description. Try highlighting or clustering common ideas. Next, note any ideas in the given definition of 'entrepreneurial behaviours' that were not in the class' compilation. Because they may be new, unknown or little understood, these missing aspects are important for you to grasp. Take time to find definitions for any new terms, then share them with a partner before each student explains all parts of the description:
    • confidence
    • initiative
    • innovation and creativity
    • global competency and empathy
    • awareness of opportunity
    • willingness to take risks
    • applied to a range of contexts
  5. Extend: Babson College has created a Web site where visitors can contribute their understanding of entrepreneurship. You could view the most popular crowd-sourced definitions collected at Entrepreneurship is and add their own.
  6. Reflect: Use the Checklist & self-reflection: Entrepreneurial Behaviours (PDF or editable Word doc) to help you think about your personality.

    How do you think you measure-up in terms of entrepreneurial behaviours? Are these aspects of your personality that are already strong or might you have to develop some of them if you think entrepreneurism is a good approach?

    You should write at least one paragraph (and up to a page) that thoughtfully reflects on these questions.

Activity 3: The challenge

Now that you have:

  • some ideas about possible future scenarios, and
  • an understanding of entrepreneurial skills and how they relate to you, 

you’re ready to tackle the final question:

  • Key inquiry question: What's the future likely to hold for you and how can you make your way towards work that you will find rewarding?

In this part of the activity, you will join into small student teams to devise your own scenario for Australia's future and then describe what you see as potentially successful pathways through this future.

  1. Divide into smaller teams of four – eight students.
  2. Given the scenarios described in the two presentations, your team is to create a composite scenario that includes what everyone in the team thinks are likely outcomes. You will use other resources to help fill in the details to create the composite scenario.
  3. As your team creates this scenario, make sure to include imagined sequences of events to make it as realistic as possible. Use collaborative software such as Google Docs or Google Slides to help your team work together.
  4. Choose a presentation format such as Google Slides, Prezi or an InfoGraphics App (Easelly or InfoGram) to package your scenario and the pathways through it.
  5. Use the Rubric: My Entrepreneurial Future (PDF) for this activity to help you achieve your targeted result

Demographic research

Hugh MacKay is a well-respected researcher and author whose interesting ideas are based on demographic information. In his book Advance Australia… Where? MacKay tries to answer the question posed by the title of his work. This might give you details you could use to answer the final key question.

Listen to the interview, paying particular attention to what MacKay says about: Under-employment, information technology revolution, perfection and how population size impacts on your generation.

Hugh Mackay – What is it like to be a young Australian in today's world?

View the video where MacKay shares what he thinks about your generation based on the demographic information he has gathered and interpreted. As you watch the video, pay particular attention to what MacKay says about: your generation’s tribalism, education and up-bringing, this era's rapid change, and your generation's attitude toward parental values and ability to cope with uncertainty.

Global competence and Asia capabilities

Because of Asia's rise, many people are making specific suggestions about how to be successful working and doing business in the region. Explore these links for details that might help you create a more informed scenario and your pathways through it.

Specific knowledge and skills are defined by this organisation that they believe will help students succeed in the Asian Century. Look for your interests in the list of Performance Outcomes and Rubrics and see how you compare. Also explore Asia capabilities and see if you have them.

Business and trade

If you are particularly interested in working in the Asian region, you can use the links below. You might find information that you can use as additional data to synthesise with your future scenario and pathways through it.

China-Australia free trade agreement

A free trade agreement was reached between China and Australia (ChAFTA) in late 2014. What parts of the Australia economy does ChAFTA target for improvement?Review the key outcomes to see how it might impact areas of interest to you. See if there is a factsheet on some aspect of your scenario of the future.

Scientific forecasts

Changes are also expected in the global and Australian climate which will impact your future. Some respected reports have come out that include information that might help you add details to your scenario and provide pathways of interest for your future careers.

Negotiating our future: Living scenarios for Australia to 2050 (Full Report)

This report is guided by the overarching question: “What is our realistic vision for an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable Australia in 2050 and beyond?”

Activity 4: Conclusions

Now that you have deeply investigated possible future changes to the extent that you have joined scientists, demographers and business forecasters to create your own scenario of what’s likely to impact your working life, it's time for you to draw conclusions by bringing all your learning together to answer the final question for this activity:

  • Key inquiry question: What's the future likely to hold for you and how can you make your way towards work that you will find rewarding?

You may find that you have addressed this question already in your presentation, but, because that was a team response, you may not have had your opinion completely expressed. Now is your chance. Review the Rubric for the expectations for the quality of your response.

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