Forums – Regular meetings – meet at 6:30 at the Panera Bread Co. community room (875 Bethel Road). Also be sure to check out – and like – “Columbus Futurists” on Facebook!
Forum: March 23, 2017
Topic: The Changing Picture of Jobs
Chasing the future of the employment opportunity has long been a social and political priority. Since World War II, it has been a foregone conclusion that the way to a good job and a life of success was a good education. The definition of “a good education,” though has been changing: a good education in a profession that is in demand, then a good education that focused on STEM fields, then an education that focused on creative or so-called “soft” skills like project management, or communications. In spite of that wisdom, stories abounded of people with levels of education in highly specific specialties that were unable to find employment in those fields . Meanwhile. middle-management and lower skill-level jobs were shedding workers at high rates, and re-training, and skills updating became priorities. Billions of dollars in students loans, millions of displaced and under-employed workers – all chasing a job. And like a wisp of wind – just when about to grasp it – the job would vanish. Not just be withdrawn or reduced in number needed – but in many, many cases – the job itself simply performed tasks that were no longer needed to be done.
Perhaps it is in our definition of “job.” The “gig” economy, the advent of Uber, the “auction” mentality that has sprung up in so many creative professions – along with the impact of animation, fluid centers of manufacturing and declining costs of transportation of goods and – most significantly – the underlying foundation of virtually free communications technology – has resulted in a new trajectory for employment and the meaning of “earning a living.”
This changing picture of jobs – and all the dimensions and dynamics that have created our current situation is the topic of our discussion this month.
Some suggested reading resources:
- The age of analytics: Competing in a data-driven world (McKinsey Global Institute)
- Robots Will Take Jobs, but Not as Fast as Some Fear, New Report Says
- Working in a gig economy (BLS, May 2016)
- 11 jobs that no longer exist today
- US has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000 (CNN Money, 3/29/2016)
- 8 new jobs people will have in 2025 (Fast Company, 8/15/2013)
- The digital Nomad’s Guide to Working from anywhere on earth (Fast Company, 2/27/2017)
- 162 Future jobs: preparing for jobs that don’t exist yet (Futurist Speaker, 3/21/2014)
One final point – building on our discussion of blockchain last month – and the impact this technology might have when kinks are worked out – consider this quote: “The spread of blockchains is bad for anyone in the ‘trust business’ – the centralised institutions and bureaucracies, such as banks, clearing houses and government authorities that are deemed sufficiently trustworthy to handle transactions,” The Economist argued back in 2015.”
An exciting agenda is emerging for our meetings this year. Hope to see you there!
Columbus Futurist co-founder and author Steve Millett has opened a new blog – American Ways Past and Future. The blog carries forward themes from his most recent book published last year.
Scheduled Meetings for 2017 (all meetings meet 6:30-8:00pm at the Panera Bread Co. community room, 875 Bethel Road): (Also be sure to check out – and like – “Columbus Futurists” on Facebook!)
- March 23, 2017 – Topic: The Changing Picture of Jobs
- April 27, 2017 – Topic: Future of the Evolving Worker
- May 25, 2017 – Topic: The Future of Multi-media: Television, Film & Social (Cbus Futurist member Onyemobi Anyiwo)
- June 22, 2017 – Topic: The future of truth, and practicing meaningful research (tentative)
- July 20, 2017 – Topic: The Future of AI (no, really, this time for real)
- August 17, 2017 – Topic: TBD
- September 21, 2017 – Topic: The Future of Columbus and Regional Transportation (tentative)
- October 19, 2017 – Topic: TBD
- November 16, 2017 – Topic: Big History – techniques for analyzing possible futures? Guest expert (tentative)
- December, 2017 – No meeting