Malaysia conjures up images of dynamic cities, rainforests, varied races and cultures and amazing cuisine. After 60 years of post-independence history, Malaysia’s economic transformation is nothing short of astounding, with the country a top-25 exporting nation leading in natural resources, manufacturing and services. On the cusp of being a high-income nation, Malaysia recognises that – for sustainable success in an uncertain and dynamic world – the relevance and resilience of its people is key.

This report draws on inputs from over 40 Malaysian experts from a diverse range of sectors, professions and experience. They identified drivers shaping the quality and quantity of Malaysia's human capital and uncovered the important issues that need attention in the development of the country. The authors then used their inputs coupled with trend data and other relevant literature to scope, explore and develop a number of alternative futures of Malaysia in 2035. These are sometimes extreme by design but are used to provoke and stimulate thinking outside the box. Each has implications for policy makers, educationists, training institutions, employers and individual members of the workforce. Four scenarios are published here, together with the implications for the state, society, organisations and individuals.

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The future of talent in Malaysia 2035

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Scenarios for the future of talent in Malaysia 2035

This study combines trends and drivers of change into one base-line and three distinct futures for Malaysia.

Groundhog day

Groundhog Day

Where current assumptions and trajectories remain unchanged and unchallenged with no discontinuities factored in.

Cog in the wheel

Cog in the wheel

Where Malaysia is part of an emergent ASEAN common market in a world of giant trade blocs, becoming a small but successful (tech) cog in giant supply chains.

Elephant in the room

The elephant in the room

Where performance management and surveillance is ubiquitous and the NEP is dismantled.

Nature's revenge

Nature's Revenge

Where climate change affects the region dislocating supply chains, destroying infrastructure and communities and forcing an overdue re-examination of economic development assumptions.

The scenarios are not predictions. They provide a scaffold to enable us to consider possible implications of the present, and to design strategies that can shape the future of ‘talent’ and the world of work.

This report is for thinkers, decision-makers, the next generation of leaders, and all those who feel it their responsibility to build a better future for society as a whole.

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