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An Urgent Campaign for PR`s Competitive Future Published: Sunday, June 26, 2005 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

We are living a pivotal juncture inPuerto Rico’s economic and social development. We have to make very important decisions in order to create the constructive history of the future. As other times, our history, our era is marked by positive and negative potentials of such newness and magnitude that we have to work and study hard to understand the opportunities and challenges of this formidable 21st. century.

Two warnings that will make a difference whether we engage in a time of creation and transformation or a time of collapse and destruction. (1) Let us not be so fast to say we have studied everything and that we have learned everything, because in the knowledge society we never, never and never will know enough. (2) Let us be aware of the too negative, pessimistic diagnosis of our reality that becomes so negatively or colonized that we may think that the task ahead is impossible. (For God and a bunch of believers, people of faith and visionaries nothing is impossible).

Through our daily policies, projects and change programs we will have the tremendous power to influence the competitive future ofPuerto Rico. From the late 1950s to the end of the 70s economic and public policy initiatives including the supply-side tax policies, market place deregulation, privatization, subcontracting, outsourcing and free trade challenges were among the principal policies underlying economic growth and social change strategies.

In the 21st. century the new technology is the most potent force for competitiveness and is likely to remain so for various decades ahead. It is clear that information technology will offer educators the means by which to fulfill all their core functions in spite of the challenges posed by our impeding demographic (aging of the population) and economic (slowness) circumstances.

So following a huge and profound base of research, and our inquiry into Puerto Rico’s prospect, we strongly recommend to our society as a whole that of adopting a medium term (10 years) working perspective; coming to terms with the on going future relevant-action oriented research (we are in the constantly emerging knowledge society where we never will know enough); agreeing on the content, form and structure of the future relevant education; and at last pursuing life long learning, caring and meaningfulness.

So let us all start a societal competitiveness campaign by

  • Clearly sharing powerful ideas, concepts, books and studies for the general public and for students as well.
  • Develop superb competitiveness programs, films, documentals that enable people to experience future competitiveness challenges, and to grasp the fact we are actual living in the future.
  • Create aPuerto Rico’s Competitive Future Web-Site where our people can quickly and richly learn about significant world competitiveness trends and forecasts.
  • Design classroom exercises at all levels to speak with the voice of competitiveness.
  • Write a collective competitiveness pledge for the future.
  • Create and share all kinds of publications on competitiveness challenges for the general public.
  • Support and increase inspirational people, groups, organizations and associations that can model and share transformational competitiveness experiences.

The urge is to focus plenty of attention and action on the deeper and softer aspects of the social psychology of competitiveness, helping people to feel a deep bonding or connectedness among all of us, with the world and with the future generations.


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