Today, work as we know it is shifting, and rapidly. Advanced technologies are changing the demand for skills, the nature of occupations, and what is required to earn a good living. Jobs are no longer so clearly defined. Workers cannot expect to stay in one job or industry for 40 years, while experience and seniority doesn’t guarantee advancement. As a result, more people are proactively creating jobs for themselves, such as in creative fields or the gig economy. Automation and artificial intelligence drive some of these changes and will continue to profoundly change what it takes to earn a good living in the future -- a recent McKinsey study found that 45 percent of job activities could be automated with existing technology.
These changes prompt leaders in government, business, tech, philanthropy and social enterprise to ask: How will advanced technologies impact my community, and how should we prepare? What approaches are proven to work? What are the most promising innovations, and what can we learn from these cutting-edge efforts? What are the perspectives of workers who will be impacted, and what motivates and constrains them from seeking skills and opportunity? How should employers redesign their spaces and assets? What actions can we take to reshape the discussion, and open new opportunities to more people?
New America believes that workers, communities, innovators, policymakers and companies all play an important role in enhancing opportunity, agency and equity at a time of rapid change. Our work brings a cross-sectoral, data-driven and human-centered approach to supporting communities as they prepare their workforces for automation. Our work include:
ShiftLabs. We are working with cities and communities across America to prepare for a future of automation. Through ShiftLabs, we work with local leaders from across sectors to understand automation trends and set medium-term priorities. Through social innovation competitions, we catalyze and scale community-led innovations that connect workers to opportunity, skills and support.
Worker perspectives. We are leading innovative new research to understand the perspectives of workers who will be impacted by automation, including their motivations, preferences, expectations and constraints to better opportunity and skills.
What works to connect workers with opportunity. Together with our education colleagues at New America, we are documenting innovative new approaches and data-driven solutions that prepare people for the future of work, including:
What works to connect workers with opportunity and to provide the stability, safety net and support workers have expressed they desire?
What interventions can increase the number of Americans with post-secondary credentials that prepare them for economic opportunity and a changing future of work?
What are the most successful models of training, educating and upskilling young people, mid-career workers and non-traditional students?