There is a lot of speculation about jobs of the future. It may look a lot more like hobbies, areas of interest people invest in, than current jobs that pay us for doing what others need done.
How might one approach rethinking education and future jobs? Here is one framework based on the social, mental, physical component tasks of work:
Many entry-level service sector jobs have social task components, requiring apprenticeship education.
Many high-end service sector jobs have mental task components, requiring higher education.
Many of the disenfranchised workers – manufacturing, transportation, construction, maintenance, agricultural jobs – have physical task components, typically requiring hands-on with specialized equipment education – often tools in a neighbor’s garage.
For this last group of workers, who enjoy the physical task components of their work, the “maker movement” seems to be a possible high-tech enabled route, requiring apprenticeships to learn the latest “hands-on” technologies…
….as documented by Mark Hatch in his book….
Hatch M (2013) The maker movement manifesto: rules for innovation in the new world of crafters, hackers, and tinkerers. McGraw Hill Professional.
“Manifesto: Make, Share, Give, Learn, Tool Up, Play, Participate, Support, Change” p. 1-2
“But because the maker revolution is physical, it is destined to be bigger.” P. 3
“A 98 percent reduction in the cost of launching a product or company means, for example, that what used to cost $100,000 now costs just $2,000.” P. 7
“Tools are getting easier to use, they are more powerful, and they are cheaper to acquire than at any other time in history. Materials are becoming more accessible, more sophisticated, and more fun to work on and with.” P. 23
“The key thing here is that the costs of resources for a start-up are falling” p. 43
“The largest untapped resource on the planet is the spare time, creativity, and disposable income of the ‘creative class.’” P. 52
This framework for rethinking future jobs should also encourage at very young age, multidisciplinary systems T-shaped thinking which can be very hands on and include field trips to see how things work in cities or self-sufficient home/farms, and other places where people work in smart service systems – see for example T-shapes skills, depth and breadth, which IBM embraces. Depth for problem solving and doing (mental, physical), and breadth for communications (social). The adaptiveness of T-shaped professionals for future work and innovation is the shift from specialized I-shapes, to add breadth for adaptiveness to the deep I-shapes, which are still needed of course, they just need to be more adaptive and flexible to thrive in the age of accelerations.
The maker movement or DIY (Do It Yourself) movement can also be framed in terms of hobbies. So the future of work in a world with basic income guarantee for people may look a lot more like hobbies, areas of interest people invest in, than current jobs that pay us for doing what others need done.
In online game worlds, the concept of leaderboards originated. However, traditional education has grades (leaderboards). Sports is full of statistics (leaderboards). Gamification can be reframed in terms of thinking about statistics that matter to creating incentives for self-improvement and competitions and cooperation that is value co-creation and capability co-elevating activities.
So the future of work may look more like people pursuing a wide range of hobbies, with leaderboards, and cognitive mediators that help them invest their time, efforts, into improved capabilities aligned with hobbies. Hobbies are part of the top of the Maslow hierarchy, part of interest and self-actualization. Leaderboards provide a social ranking structure. Ranking structures in social systems is one view of current work structures. Work is a way to find purpose and meaning in life. Hobbies have many of the same properties.
Hope someone can develop the ideas in this blog post more rigorously, and send me what they create.