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2015: the “Future of Work” became “the Meme”


January 15, 2016

We’ve been reviewing our predictions from January last year and preparing predictions for this year. We did well on many of them. But, we missed this big time – “the Future of Work”.

The #futureofwork hash tag in Twitter seemed to have exploded in 2015. And, no wonder. The “Future of Work” has become a meta-category that attempts to understand how work will be accomplished in the future with what societal implications based on the latest technology and global demographic trends. And, it’s still early days because of the impact on government regulation, business models, globalization, migration – pretty much most of the areas touched by digital technology innovation. We saw the rise of freelancing – the “gig economy” and increased use of artificial intelligence and robots that threatened to automate many jobs. It’s become a source of debate because of the political, economic and social implications.

This is what we saw in 2015:

  1. Concern about automation: whether this will create massive unemployment or massive innovation thanks to eliminating low-value jobs
  2. Concern about regulation: whether more government regulation or less is needed for economic growth, and whether technology-focused innovation increases economic inequality
  3. Desire for meaning and flexibility: whether values have changed in younger generations to where many of the concerns about automation and regulation are misplaced
  4. Increased information equality: whether decrease in digital divide and the explosion of available information creates equality of innovation opportunities
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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