In recent years, a new global trend has emerged, reshaping our understanding of industries and their impact on economies. This trend, known as Industries Without Smoke Stacks (IWOSS), is gaining traction worldwide and holds significant potential for youth and economic development.
What is IWOSS?
Traditionally, industrialization has been associated with factories emitting smoke – a visual representation of production and growth. However, IWOSS represents a shift from this traditional model. It encompasses sectors that exhibit characteristics of industry, such as tradability, scale, and productivity, but without the physical "smoke stacks" we've come to associate with industrial activity. Examples include IT services, tourism, and logistics, among others.
The Global Trend of IWOSS
Across the globe, countries are recognizing the potential of IWOSS sectors. These industries are becoming significant contributors to GDP, often outpacing the growth of traditional industries. They offer a unique blend of modernization without the environmental degradation often associated with rapid industrialization.
Case Study: #LoveRugby Campaign with South African Rugby
One implementation of the IWOSS concept in South Africa by the leadership of GrowZA Social Investment Agency was the #LoveRugby public art campaign. As part of the #creativedevelopment programme, the campaign involved traveling the country following the Springboks and partnering with local artists to build a messaging campaign that resonated with South Africans from all walks of life.
The campaign showcased the power of rugby to unite people and celebrated the diverse talent of South African creatives. It was a testament to the impact that creativity and sport can have in fostering community engagement and pride. The #LoveRugby campaign successfully showcased the talent of South African creatives on a national scale and provided a platform for these creatives to gain recognition and opportunities to work with big brands.
Youth and IWOSS: A Perfect Match
One of the most promising aspects of IWOSS is its potential for the youth. With the digital age, young people are naturally inclined towards sectors like IT services, digital marketing, and logistics. These industries often require skills that many young people already possess or can acquire through short-term training.
Moreover, IWOSS sectors often provide flexible working environments, such as remote work, which align with the aspirations of the modern youth. As a result, these industries present a golden opportunity for addressing youth unemployment and underemployment.
Economic Development and IWOSS
Beyond the potential for youth employment, IWOSS sectors hold the promise of driving economic development in a sustainable manner. They can:
Diversify Economies: By investing in IWOSS sectors, countries can reduce their reliance on traditional industries, thereby safeguarding their economies against global market shocks.
Boost Export Potential: Many IWOSS sectors, especially IT and logistics, have a global reach, allowing countries to tap into international markets and increase their export revenues.
Promote Sustainable Growth: Unlike traditional industries, which can have significant environmental impacts, IWOSS sectors often have a smaller carbon footprint, aligning with global sustainability goals.
The Latest Iteration: GrowZA Academy
Building on the success of the #creativedevelopment project thinking, GrowZA has launched the GrowZA Academy in partnership with OPPO South Africa. The academy provides young photographers with access to top-tier mobile photography training online, furthering the agency's commitment to creating opportunities for South African creatives.
The rise of IWOSS represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of industries and economic development. As the world grapples with challenges like youth unemployment and environmental sustainability, IWOSS sectors offer a pragmatic activation strategy for access to markets and economic transformation.
By recognizing and investing in these industries, we can pave the way for a brighter, more creative future.