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Portraits of possibility
Author - Within International

By 2030 approximately 85 million jobs could go unfilled globally due to a lack of skills, resulting in $8.5 trillion in lost annual revenues. Let’s give that monumental figure time to settle.

That stat sparked an insightful conversation with our Advisory Board member Mark A. Cohen following his article on workforce winds of change in his Forbes column.

Through his long, illustrious career as a civil trial lawyer and global legal industry thought leader and doer, Mark has crossed paths with many untapped talents that have fuelled his desire to shine a light on individuals’ diverse strengths all too often left in shadows, regardless of background or pathway.

He saw the opportunity to connect talented individuals often overlooked by large companies and professional services firms with the needs of those organisations to close their digital skills gaps. Through showcasing diverse strengths and providing a platform to contribute, both individuals and enterprises could benefit – the former gaining meaningful opportunities to apply their skills, the latter accessing untapped potential to address critical business demands.

Recent analysis also suggests that over 100 million people worldwide currently underutilise their existing skillsets . Yet within each unique experience lies profound potential waiting to be unlocked.

Mark shared with us these stories of untold resilience and expertise existing beyond traditional measures and how critical it is to share them. We rallied around this core idea and, naturally, we teamed up to support this ambitious storytelling project using one of the best vectors for emotion and impact: film.

We collectively set ourselves to the task of finding young talents, have a brutally honest conversation about their career filmed on camera and cut into powerful video testimonies. We had the privilege of hearing from four exceptional young talents as they shared their journeys with Mark serving as our enlightening host. Esther, Jasmine, Jack and Alena each graciously opened up about overcoming challenges through creativity, grit and finding solace in non-traditional paths. Where some saw closed doors, they forged new routes forward.

Through our work advising global organisations in professional services, spanning industries and sectors globally, certain themes continually emerge. In auditing and interrogating visual identity, strategic positioning and core values, one issue repeatedly rises to the surface – the challenge of attracting and keeping diverse talents.

This interview series, if anything, highlights that extraordinary talents cannot be confined to ordinary pools, as such individuals are not restricted by legacy filters like pedigrees and diplomas alone. It is a must-watch for any organisations who believe tapping non-traditional talent represents exciting opportunities – and even more so for those who don’t. We aim to prove you wrong.

Follow our journey on Mark’s X-potential page uncovering these remarkable, strength-driven stories and their implications for the future of work. You won’t want to miss these tales.

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