Future of Work

Guest post by Eric Grant

Tomorrow I’m attending a conference in Berkeley on the Future of Work, sponsored by the Institute for the Future [iftf].

Many trends on the Map tie learning to work. Here are just a few worth mentioning:

Rescripting Life speaks to the evolving definitions of childhood, student, citizen, adult, worker, and retirement. Average lifespans are growing longer, and career paths are changing rapidly in many fields, producing a new pattern of experienced workers training for new careers. Children now have the ability to engage in local and global politics at younger ages than ever before through civic action networks.

Cheap Mobile Devices and Urban Computing are both trends that describe the changing nature of personal and private space, work life and home life, and the obvious shift towards always-on and always-connected.

Fragmenting Preferences, Gen Y Attributes, Media-Savvy Youth, and Personal Digital Media all speak to the changing nature of our future workers. Today’s students require just-in-time information, instant feedback, and visible rewards. They are very comfortable with cooperation, rapidly changing environments, multi-tasking, and agile decision-making.

I hope to come away from this conference with a few concrete examples of how the current educational model must transform to meet the needs of the future workforce. I’ll be blogging anything interesting I learn.

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