In 2079 in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), children who entered Pre-school in 2022 will retire from work. But from which jobs? DIDIMO is a pioneering platform for the rapid creation of user-generated digital humans. This provokes the question: “What Knowledge Is of Most Worth?” This question is central to every compromise about what a national curriculum transmits. The question is a political question as much as it is an economic quest. The query was first raised by Herbert Spencer, in 1854. In Post Corona, jobs will require skills that are in alignment with the twin tran­sitions. The green transition requires investment to develop capabilities to build green technologies, design green products, services and business models, create novel nature-based products, and reduce the carbon footprint of activities. LAC can only become a climate-neutral space, a resource-efficient region with a circular economy when populations think and act green.

Equally, a human-centric digital transition requires citizen developers. The pandemic and its consequences on our lives and economies have highlighted the importance of digitalisation across all segments of the economy and so­ciety. The deployment of digital technologies across all economic sectors, including the non-tech sectors, demands a more digitally skilled workforce at all skills levels and at all ages. Any blueprint for skills development must be driven by sectoral skills intelligence, mapping key occupation needs, defining occupational profiles and rolling-out personalized learning plans for every worker.

These jobs of the future that make LAC economies talent-attractive are key for innovation, talent competitiveness and technological progress. Talent plays a key role in countries’ future prosperity. The move to a resource-efficient, circular, digitised and climate neutral economy and the wide deployment of artificial intelligence are expected to create new jobs, while others will change and countless will be erased completely. The Wealth of Nations now pivots on the ability of countries to attract and retain future talent that connects with the twin transitions.

Already, layer by layer, clusters of companies are attracting the talent needed to build the Metaverse. Real-time holography by SeeReal. Volumetric video by CAPPASITY. Decentralized worlds by Decentraland. Crypto wallets by Bitski. Chips by TSMC. Payments by BINANCE. Fashion by BIGTHINX. Concerts by 3D design engines by GRITWORLD. Edge computing by Zenlayer.

Global talent attractiveness competition has resulted in some convergence of policy frameworks around migration. But beyond conditions to attract mobile talent, other factors impinge on a countries’ attractiveness to foreign talent. Countries must unpack their Talent Attractiveness from an analysis of their strengths and weaknesses regarding their capacity to attract and retain three specific categories of talented migrants: highly educated workers, foreign entrepreneurs and the brightest university students from everywhere.

The Global Technology Report 2008-2009 of the WEF was the first attempt at an analysis of international competition for talent. The resulting Global Talent Pyramid Model was built from a simple conceptual framework around the attractiveness of the national talent ecosystem, the critical mass in the national talent pool, and the quality of the economy and society.  By 2011, the Economist Intelligence Unit published a composite index of Talent Attractiveness. In 2014, the IMD World Competitiveness Centre published the IMD World Talent Ranking. Since 2013 INSEAD, Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute have published the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI).

All of these instruments attempt to cluster talent mobility drivers by collapsing a spectrum of factors influencing destination decision making of possible migrants. Building on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs a pyramidal structure of three levels of talent mobility drivers was distilled: needs, wants and desires. While these individual characteristics are basic, talent attractiveness also hinges on: income and tax, future prospects, family environment, skills environment, inclusiveness, and style of life. The talent attractiveness of a country cannot bypass the complex interlinkages between place-making and personal characteristics.

Talented migrants consider the pull factors of destination countries like salary and tax benefits. They look at cost of living at a destination proxied by the price level index of individual consumption. They consider the participation tax rate for a second earner parent entering employment. Others consider the opportunities to enrol in vanguard university degree courses while employed, which allows their work-life to be part of their university profile. Other talented workers who wish to continue their university education, explore the differentiation in tuition fees between domestic and foreign costs. Entrepreneurs are more concerned about corporate income tax rates in the host country.

Talented migrants also seek out destinations with long-term prospects. They look for the easiness of status change from temporary to permanent migrant or from study to temporary migration. While all foreign-born talented migrants do not aim to acquire the host country’s nationality, the ease with which this can be done opens a path to long-run integration, into the political and social tissue of the destination country. Reconstituted families and complexities of gender expression are now paramount. Many talented migrants also explore the easiness with which children can enrol in International Schools and the broad-mindedness with which their children can access the host country’s citizenship.  Generally, PISA test scores are used as a proxy for the quality of young-age education systems. Talent attractiveness is development.