Ayesha Khanna is an innovation and technology expert advising governments and companies on smart cities, future skills, fintech, and other emerging industries. She spent more than a decade on Wall Street advising product innovation teams developing large scale trading, risk management and data analytics systems.
From 2014-2016 she co-founded and served as CEO of The Keys Global, an innovative education hub whose unique model of "externships" partnered students with leading companies to apply their skills in coding, robotics, 3D printing and other new technologies. In 2014, Ayesha also served on the Singapore Ministry of Education’s ASPIRE Steering Committee on future skills and applied learning.
Ayesha was also co-founder of the Hybrid Reality Institute, a research and advisory group established to analyze the social and economic impact of accelerating technologies. She directed the Future Cities Group at the London School of Economics, and has been a Faculty Advisor at Singularity University.
Ayesha is author of Straight Through Processing (2008) and co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012). She has been published and quoted on technology, innovation and smart cities in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Strategy+Business, and Foreign Policy.
Ayesha has a BA (honors) in Economics from Harvard University, an MS in Operations Research from Columbia University and is completing her PhD on smart city infrastructures at the London School of Economics.
She is the Founder of 21C GIRLS, a non-profit that delivers free coding classes to girls in Singapore.
Interview with FranceTV's Episode "Singapour les secrets de la réussite" on education in Singapore and how to move away from a focus on just grades and teach students the skills they need for emerging industries.
At the Singapore Writers Festival, Mrs Khanna will speak on a panel on "The Future Of Work", together with social entrepreneur and Nominated Member of Parliament Kuik Shiao-Yin as well as Future-Moves Group CEO Devadas Krishnadas. Mrs Khanna describes the future worker as a "tech-literate, creative thinker adept at cross-cultural collaboration".
The industries of the future will require people creative and innovative enough to work with technology, not be replaced by it. And workers will need resilience and grit, because failure, more often than not, is part of the innovation process. Externships lie precisely at the intersection of play and rigor, which is where innovation thrives.
As the Founder of coding school ’21C Girls’ and upskilling hub ‘The Keys Academy’, this education expert is helping spawn the next generation of tech-minded Millennials. "The future belongs to those who embody both the qualities of homo sapiens, man who knows; and homo faber, man who makes. In my mind, that is the definition of a smart citizen in a smart nation.”
The industries of the future require students to be innovative and creative and to have resilience and grit, as innovations demand tinkering, and failure is, more often than not, a natural step before success. Externships are a new model for providing the intersection of rigor and play where innovation thrives.
We innovate when we creatively solve real-life problems. Creating partnerships between industry and academia to expose students to real-life problems in secondary schools is the best way to prepare them for a competitive future where creativity will be rewarded and automation will threaten most jobs.
As every job in the future increasingly has an element of technology and data science in it, governments are rushing to make coding and robotics mandatory for school children. But we must not neglect the importance of applied learning and creativity in educating for the future – lest we create armies of graduates who are easily replaced by the very robots they create.
In the inaugural episode of Channel News Asia’s “Future Forward” series, host Asha Gill speaks with experts on architecture, urban planning, and technology to explore some of the leading “smart city” strategies around the world, especially Singapore.
How can we reignite passion and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math amongst tomorrow’s workforce? GE Reports speaks to Ayesha Khanna about how to re-engage young Australians in STEM.