How To Be Aware Of Our Ever Changing Future

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Andrew McAfee: What will future jobs look like?

Andrew McAfee studies the ways that information technology (IT) affects businesses, business as a whole, and the larger society. His research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves and compete. At a higher level, his work also investigates how computerization affects competition, society, the economy and the workforce.

He’s a principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His books include Enterprise 2.0 and Race Against the Machine (with Erik Brynjolfsson). Read more on his blog.

  • Technologies is threatening jobs of the future. Our machines have started demonstrating skills they have never, ever had before: understanding, speaking, hearing, seeing, answering, writing, and they’re still acquiring new skills.
  • Technological progress is what allows us to continue this amazing recent run that we’re on where output goes up over time, while at the same time, prices go down, and volume and quality just continue to explode. This is abundance, which is exactly what we want our economic system to provide.
  • It is tough to offer your labor to an economy that’s full of machines.


Rainer Strack: The workforce crisis of 2030 — and how to start solving it now

Rainer Strack is a Senior Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group, where he is the global leader of the HR topic. He has written numerous articles about human resources, such as on HR controlling and people business in 2005 and on demographic risk management and strategic workforce planning in 2008, both published in the Harvard Business Review. In 2014 he published three major BCG reports on “The Global Workforce Crisis,” “Decoding Global Talent,” and “Creating People Advantage.” He was a member of the Global Agenda Council for talent mobility of the World Economic Forum and presented twice on this topic in Davos. Strack holds a master’s degree in physics, a master’s degree in business, and a PhD in physics from RWTH Aachen University, Germany. In 2008, he was named an honorary professor at Witten/Herdecke University, Germany.

  • Many baby boomers, will retire in 2030 causing a dramatic drop in talent shortage. However the potential working-age population in 2030, is already set in stone today, except for much higher migration rates.
  • To close the gap, Germany has to significantly increase migration, get many more women in the workforce, increase retirement age — by the way, we just lowered it this year — and all these measures at once. If Germany fails here, Germany will stagnate, and lead companies to search of labor in other countries
  • By 2020, we still see a labor surplus in some countries, like Italy, France, the U.S., but this picture will change dramatically by 2030. By 2030, we will face a global workforce crisis in most of our largest economies.
  • On top of an overall labor shortage, we will face a big skill mismatch in the future, and this means huge challenges in terms of education, qualification, upskilling for governments and companies.


Alexander Betts: Why Brexit happened — and what to do next

In media and in public debate, refugees are routinely portrayed as a burden. Professor Alexander Betts argues that refugees, who represent a wide spectrum of professional backgrounds, are in fact an untapped resource that could benefit nations willing to welcome them into their economies.

Betts is the director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, where he spearheads research on refugee and other forced migrant populations. His book, Survival Migration, explores the predicaments of people who are fleeing disaster yet fall outside legal definitions of refugee status.

  • Brexit teaches us many things about our society and about societies around the world. It highlights in ways that we seem embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are. The vote split along lines of age, education, class and geography. Young people didn’t turn out to vote in great numbers, but those that did wanted to remain.Older people really wanted to leave the European Union.
  • We need to find a new way to narrate globalization to people who are less educated and in rural areas, to recognize that for those people who have not necessarily been to university, who haven’t necessarily grown up with the Internet, that don’t get opportunities to travel, they may be unpersuaded by the narrative that we find persuasive in our often liberal bubbles. It means that we need to reach out more broadly and understand.
  • We need to encourage exchange programs. We need to ensure that older generations who maybe can’t travel get access to the Internet. We need to encourage, even on a local and national level, more movement, more participation, more interaction with people who we don’t know and whose views we might not necessarily agree with.