At the Swiss Economic Forum on June 8, 2018, Milan Prenosil, READY! cosponsor and chairman of the Confiserie Sprüngli AG Board of Management, spoke about “Education 4.0: Finding a balance between digital and analog.” As we face the challenges that the labor market of the future will bring, early childhood plays a critical role.
The 2018 Swiss Economic Forum focused on the importance of education for the workers of tomorrow: today’s children. Changes in the economy and society, caused particularly by digitalization, place new demands on children’s basic and advanced education. What skills will be needed in the future? How should they be taught? It is in the first few years of life that the groundwork is laid for all of the skills that are acquired later on.
Finding a balance between digital and analog
Speaking at the master class on “Education 4.0: Finding a balance between digital and analog,“ Milan Prenosil, cosponsor of the “READY! Early childhood is decisive” campaign and chairman of the Confiserie Sprüngli AG Board of Management, stressed the importance of early childhood for every child’s education. The business sector, too, has an interest in ensuring that children are afforded the best possible opportunities to learn and grow during the critically important developmental stage of early childhood.
Since this is the time when the foundation is laid for cognitive, social and emotional skills, investments in this period produce the greatest long-term societal impact and educational returns. By offering targeted programs for families and children from disadvantaged backgrounds, we can take a substantial step forward in our effort to ensure fair opportunities for all. The business sector, too, benefits in multiple ways from investments in every aspect of early childhood. Young workers are attaching increasing importance to a work-family balance and high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs, which will not only benefit the workers of the future, but also help to make sure that Switzerland today is an attractive business site.
Investments in early childhood pay off
As Ernst Fehr, a READY! ambassador and well-known professor of microeconomics, observes, “Investments in early childhood are among the best things a society can do.” Heidi Simoni, who is also a READY! ambassador as well as the director of the Marie Meierhofer Institute for the Child, appeals to intergenerational solidarity: “Investments in early childhood are socially prudent and worthwhile from every perspective. They are in keeping with the responsibility the older generation has toward our country’s young people.”
The 2018 Swiss Economic Forum was the last that Milan Prenosil would be attending as a representative of READY! In the future, he plans to devote himself more fully to his various mandates, while also maintaining his ties to the READY! campaign. His work over the past few years has been instrumental in raising awareness of the relevant issues among members of the business community. With its four current cosponsors, Heinz Altorfer (member of the Swiss National Commission for UNESCO), Christoph Eymann (member of the Swiss National Council representing the Canton of Basel-Stadt), Lavinia Jacobs (chairwoman of the Jacobs Foundation’s Board of Trustees) and Ruedi Noser (member of the Council of States for Zurich), the READY campaign will continue to have a broad base of support.
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Individuals wishing to offer their support may sign the READY! Charter digitally.