By Edward Alden and Laura Taylor-Kale – The world is in the midst of a profound transformation in the nature of work, as smart machines and other new technologies remake how people do their jobs and pursue their careers. The pace of change will almost certainly accelerate, and the disruptions will grow larger. In the United States, where work is the basis for most of the income and benefits that make a secure life possible for Americans and their families, the transformation has been especially wrenching.
The most important challenge facing the United States— given the seismic forces of innovation, automation, and globalization that are changing the nature of work—is to create better pathways for all Americans to adapt and thrive. The country’s future as a stable, strong nation willing and able to devote the necessary resources and attention to meeting international challenges depends on rebuilding the links among work, opportunity, and economic security.
Failure to do so will increase the pressures for retrenchment that are already causing the United States to back away from global leadership. A United States that cannot provide better job and career options and greater economic security for its citizens will be less competitive and less of an example to the world.
It will have fewer resources available for national security. Domestic struggles over the sharing of economic gains will further distract and divide the country, and make it less willing and less able to act effectively in the world.
As technology disrupts industry after industry, the United States needs better ways to help Americans access the many new opportunities technology is also creating, in particular by strengthening the link between education and employment prospects. The country needs stronger support for job creation, especially for better-paying jobs.
It needs to make the skill demands of jobs much more transparent, so job seekers know the credentials required to move ahead on their own career paths. It needs to ensure that all Americans can gain the skills and knowledge that they—and the economy—depend on for success. And the United States needs to improve the benefits and returns from work for all Americans. more (pdf)>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Congress Watch, Government, Internet, Jobs, Leadership, Technology, United States, Work
The Good Life and Sustaining Life, Author: Andrew Taggart.
Leisure: The Basis of Culture, Author: Josef Pieper.
By Andrew Taggart – ‘Total work’ is the process by which human beings are transformed into workers and nothing else.
By this means, work will ultimately become total, I argue, when it is the center around which all of human life turns; when everything else is put in its service; when leisure, festivity and play come to resemble and then become work; when there remains no further dimension to life beyond work; when humans fully believe that we were born only to work; and when other ways of life, existing before total work won out, disappear completely from cultural memory.
We are on the verge of total work’s realization.
What is so disturbing about total work is not just that it causes needless human suffering but also that it eradicates the forms of playful contemplation concerned with our asking, pondering and answering the most basic questions of existence. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Regulations, Science, Technology
Tagged Business, Capital, Debt, Government, Industrial economy, Jobs, Technology, Work
By Peter Gray – We have an ever-growing number of jobs that seem completely useless or even harmful.
As examples, we have administrators and assistant administrators in ever larger numbers shuffling papers that don’t need to be shuffled, corporate lawyers and their staffs helping big companies pay less than their fair share of taxes, countless people in the financial industries doing who knows what mischief, lobbyists using every means possible to further corrupt our politicians, and advertising executives and sales personnel pushing stuff that nobody needs or really wants.
The real problem, of course, is an economic one. We’ve figured out how to reduce the amount of work required to produce everything we need and realistically want, but we haven’t figured out how to distribute those resources except through wages earned from the 40-hour (or more) workweek.
In fact, technology has had the effect of concentrating more and more of the wealth in the hands of an ever-smaller percentage of the population, which compounds the distribution problem.
Moreover, as a legacy of the industrial revolution, we have a cultural ethos that says people must work for what they get, and so we shun any serious plans for sharing wealth through means other than exchanges for work.
So, I say, down with the work ethic, up with the play ethic!
We are designed to play, not to work. We are at our shining best when playing. Let’s get our economists thinking about how to create a world that maximizes play and minimizes work. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Leadership, Net, Technology
Tagged Business, Capital, Economics, Government, Jobs, Play, Work
By Claire Cain Miller – How do we educate people for an automated world?
People still need to learn skills, the respondents said, but they will do that continuously over their careers. In school, the most important thing they can learn is how to learn.
Schools will also need to teach traits that machines can’t yet easily replicate, like creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, adaptability and collaboration. The problem, many respondents said, is that these are not necessarily easy to teach.
Employers will also place more value on on-the-job learning, many respondents said, such as apprenticeships or on-demand trainings at workplaces. Portfolios of work are becoming more important than résumés.
Consider it part of your job description to keep learning, many respondents said — learn new skills on the job, take classes, teach yourself new things.
The problem is that not everyone is cut out for independent learning, which takes a lot of drive and discipline. People who are suited for it tend to come from privileged backgrounds, with a good education and supportive parents, said Beth Corzo-Duchardt, a media historian at Muhlenberg College. “The fact that a high degree of self-direction may be required in the new work force means that existing structures of inequality will be replicated in the future,” she said.
“The ‘jobs of the future’ are likely to be performed by robots,” said Nathaniel Borenstein, chief scientist at Mimecast, an email company. “The question isn’t how to train people for nonexistent jobs. It’s how to share the wealth in a world where we don’t need most people to work.” more> https://goo.gl/LVkagm
Never Eat Alone, Who’s Got Your Back, Author: Keith Ferrazzi.
By Natalie Burg – “Collaboration technology sprang up 20 years ago, but we kept acting, behaviorally, like we did when we were meeting face to face,” said Keith Ferrazzi.
Collaboration used to happen in board rooms with whiteboards and bagels. Today, it’s on documents being edited by multiple people all over the world at the same time. It’s sharing screen data and chatting over video. more> http://tinyurl.com/l66tb74
Posted in Book review, Broadband, Business, Economy, Education, Net, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Industrial economy, Internet, Jobs, Technology, Work