Is the future of work “love made visible” as one poet suggests or is it a “toad” that squats on people's lives, as suggested by another?
Last October, I had the honor of speaking at TEDx Columbus: The Future Revealed, at which I explored this and other questions about the concept of work and what the future of work might entail. The full script for my presentation can be found here but please read on for a brief excerpt:
"The poet, Ben Okri, commands the workers of the world to 're-make the world, delight the future, and create happy outcomes.' Wouldn't it be lovely if we could delight the future and create happy outcomes in working for pay? Let's consider the likelihood of this and see what we would need to do to achieve that outcome.
First though let's look at what we think of as 'work.' Some think of it as paid employment because we need to earn our living, while others think of it, more generally, as an activity that requires effort. And many activities can fall into either category. For example if you do the ironing then it's unpaid work and if you pay someone to do it for you it is that person's paid employment.
The focus in this discussion is on paid employment–money earned by working. I'll cover three types of work and give one example of each plus an associated trend. I'll move on to look at three age groups in the workforce, and suggest three capabilities for each that will help these workers meet their work futures confidently given that trends are not predictions and we cannot say what the future will actually be."