We aim to catalyse curiosity through career coaching, vocational workshops and expeditions in Africa. We do this, to better understand the future of work in Africa.
Francois Malherbe, director of Unravelling Exploration, seeks to understand and develop solutions for the underlying causes of unemployment as well as the skills gap in Southern Africa. Anticipating future trends and finding solutions in his local community, he aims to catalyse curiosity through various initiatives, one of them being a podcast series aptly named; Chronicles of Curiosity. Addressing Africa’s unemployment challenge and its growing skills mismatch will require the combined efforts of not only governments, but the critically urgent call toward local businesses and civil society.
Tapping local knowledge & celebrating remarkable people, the initiative aims to identify what can be done today to support curious young explorers on their career paths, whilst disrupting the employment crisis of tomorrow. Some vital lessons and insights from existing solutions and best practices are not effectively being communicated, and that needs to change.
The Singularity University listed the following seven skills as must-have skills for the fourth industrial revolution:
- CRITICAL THINKING AND COMPLEX PROBLEM SOLVING.
- COLLABORATION ACROSS NETWORKS AND LEADING BY INFLUENCE
- AGILITY AND ADAPTABILITY
- INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- EFFECTIVE ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
- ASSESSING AND ANALYSING INFORMATION
And last but not least:
- CURIOSITY AND IMAGINATION.
The Future of Work in Africa
According to the Singularity University, Curiosity is a powerful driver of new knowledge and innovation.
It is by channeling a child-like sense of awe and wonder about the world that we can truly imagine something even better. It takes powerful imagination to envision breakthroughs and then go about executing them. It is the reason Albert Einstein famously said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
We consistently spoon-feed students with information instead of empowering them to ask questions and seek answers. Inquisitiveness and thinking outside the box need to be treated with the same level of importance the school system gives to physics or math.
The world economic forum for Africa states that many students currently enrolled in South Africa’s tertiary institutions are studying subjects that do not support the need in business for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as well as future-oriented skills.
Many organisations face the challenge of finding appropriately trained graduates with complex problem-solving skills, critical thinking, good judgement and decision-making, cognitive flexibility, and you guessed it: Imagination and Curiosity.
Can we fix this? Yes.
One story at a time.
ABOUT UNRAVELLING EXPLORATION
From the big city hustle to the most remote reaches of Africa – we need the spirit of exploration now, more than ever.
Exploration lies at the heart of humanity, and every human deserves the right to be able to explore their surroundings and world, to see extraordinary places and gain new insights and perspectives about the remarkable people around us. Having an awareness and understanding of our natural surroundings has become a necessity, and can no longer be kept out of our vocational responsibility.
By celebrating stories that catalyse curiosity- one of the most important driving factors of self-exploration, we invite our community of young explorers beyond their comfort zones.
The spirit of exploration has the power to move us towards new frontiers. As individuals, but also as a collective.
Like The North Face said; ‘in these divided times, there is a call to use the spirit of exploration to bring us closer to one another. To connect to others who may not look like us, to seek out experiences that are different than ours, and to have the courage to understand others’ values.’
It is through the process of curiosity and courage, a symbiotic relationship with all life, and the remarkable ecology of our planet, that we grow and learn and gain empathy for others, as well as for our natural resources.
Ever heard of a Transitional Guide?
Francois specialises in career coaching and self- and career exploration learning experiences. Francois also furthered his studies at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, becoming a certified Integral Coach.
He was invited to share his thoughts on a TEDxStellenbosch stage, and has done numerous keynote talks and interviews- campaigning for awareness around a fast changing world of work, and how we can respond towards this with a better understanding of our passions, talents and skills.
Francois also recently hosted his friend, Dave Evans from Stanford University, in Stellenbosch. Dave and his friend, Bill Burnett developed a very popular course at Stanford university which then became a #1 New York Times bestseller book, aptly named ‘Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life’, using design thinking & curiosity as a core tool to better understand your vocation.
Francois has also lead expeditions with high school learners and university students for more than 15 years.
HE USES ‘EMPATHY EXPEDITIONS’ TO VISIT EXTRAORDINARY PLACES & REMARKABLE PEOPLE,
Using exploration to catalyse curiosity, his expeditions to various remarkable places in Africa has broadened the minds of hundreds of our young generation’s capacity to expand their empathic potential. Empathy for each other and nature is of utmost importance to me to help drive a sustainable future that addresses urgent matter around conservation and vocation.
Expeditions are facilitated throughout most of the countries in Southern Africa, including Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia as well as Namibia.