Future of Work / Channel 7 Sunrise

We are transitioning from Homo Sapiens to technologically tethered Homo Cyborg’s that will live to 120 and work to 100.

In this evolving world of tomorrow how we work, where, when, for whom and how will all change, as will the notion of work itself.

Beyond this is the reality that we will have 7 careers and 40 jobs, not in the traditional 9-5 manner of the last 150 years, but most likely a number of them undertaken simultaneously, some for income, some for career and self enhancement, some for philanthropy, some just for fun, but what we do know is that nothing will be as it was, but at its core it will still be Human-centric and still tied to the need of self fulfillment and purpose.

In this morning’s return to Channel 7’s Sunrise, I explore the future work landscape and answer what today’s kids need to do, to ready themselves for the world that will create, live in and grow.

What jobs will look like in 2050 / New Adelaide

Future Vision

When Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon in 1969, we knew humanity was headed to places, and ideas, few had yet contemplated. Global leaders in space exploration have set their sights on Mars and commercial space flights could be on the cards for paying customers of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic by the end of 2018.

Ask futurist Morris Miselowski and he will tell you, by 2050, there will be new jobs for space exploration, space mining, space travel and even space hotels. “By 2050, we will definitely be in orbit,” he says.

Society has always evolved, often thanks to new inventions. First came the wheel, then the Gutenberg press, the light bulb, the telephone … the list goes on. Now, however, we see more than one technology emerging at a time and the pace of change becoming ever more rapid. Ten years ago, social media was a concept in its infancy and web designers were still “in vogue”. Today, Miselowski says, people depend on technology, whether it’s in the shape of mobile phones or pacemakers. “I believe already that we are homo cyborgs, not Homo sapiens, because we are so closely attached to technology,” he says.

The way we work and our skills are changing, too. Blue-collar jobs are being automated and white-collar, including bank clerks, accountants, lawyers and even engineers seem next in line for conversion as technology increasingly becomes capable of fulfilling repetitive tasks more accurately. Mathematicians use computers to figure out numbers, biologists solve problems through computer simulation, engineers use design programs for their creations and training is increasingly conducted in a virtual world.

By 2050, the 9-to-5 office job will be a thing of the past. Jobs will be flexible and task-driven and people will have multiple income streams, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicting the next generation will have, on average, about six careers in their working life.

Tonsley Innovation District precinct director Philipp Dautel says businesses of the future will be small and agile, rather than the “large mass employers of the past”. The Tonsley innovation hub, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs is living proof of the shift away from heavy manufacturing.

The 61ha precinct was the site of Mitsubishi’s car manufacturing plant until the last car rolled off the production line in 2008. Today, it is shaping to be something more like Australia’s first Silicon Valley. Under the original factory roof, start-up programs mix with cutting-edge research, large tech companies and educational institutions. A residential precinct is being developed nearby. “At Tonsley, we are providing the workspace of the future — a place where you can work, live and play,” Dautel says. “We are providing a supportive and flexible environment and plenty of collision spaces to foster collaboration and innovation.”

Collaboration could also affect our future leadership models. UniSA’s Dr Chad Chiu says the future will move away from a masculine, hierarchical and power-differentiated model to a shared leadership model.

“More and more studies have indicated that communal or power-equalising styles are indeed more effective,” he says. “If we agree that future leaders should adopt a different management approach, our job design should correspond to the change to assist managers to better supervise employees, such as using a flatter organisational design, installing flexible working hours, better allowing working-at-home, or sharing the jobs.”

Economics is a main driver behind the constant change, according to Flinders University Professor David Powers. The head of the Centre for Knowledge and Interaction Technology at the university says automation is not “a good or bad thing”, but it is necessary to compete in a global market. It is helping the West to compete with the Third World and “sweatshops in Asia” until those countries seek to advance.

The other force driving the change is the entertainment industry. “The biggest force for development of computer power, new hardware, algorithm and technology is actually the entertainment industry,” Powers says. “The changes in technology have largely been based on the aesthetics of the experience rather than promoting new capabilities.”

On the northern edge of Adelaide’s CBD sits one of its most futuristic-looking buildings. Often described as the cheesegrater (because of its diamond-shaped facade elements), the SA Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) has become the core of what will soon be the largest biomedical precinct in the southern hemisphere. Here, researchers are already using a strategy that, according to the institute’s deputy director Stephen Nicholls, will become common practice by 2050 in a bid to advance the health of the community. They work in teams to combine a broad range of expertise, from medicine to commerce, to ensure new research can be commercialised effectively and quickly. “We need big solutions to big problems and we need to do that by bringing people together,” says Professor Nicholls. “And that’s certainly something we’re trying to evolve with our research at SAHMRI.”

Health will be one of the most critical topics when it comes to the future. The ABS projects the country’s population could more than double from 24 million to 48.3 million by 2061, with the country’s age structure expected to change dramatically. About one in four Australians is expected to be aged over 65, and one in 14 will be over 85, by 2061. Growth in this age group has massive implications for health, housing and retirement income planning, with many Australians expected to work to a much older age than they do today.

Despite getting older, the population is also expected to be healthier. “What we considered elderly 20 years ago isn’t even elderly today. And what’s elderly in 2050 will be considerably older,” says Nicholls.

And yet, the way healthcare is being administered will have to change dramatically. “It’s going to become much more mobile, less centralised and less dependent on big hospitals for chronic disease management and so we’ll have to work out ways how we deliver healthcare where people are.” The fact that SA already has one of the oldest populations in the country could give this jurisdiction an advantage. “The state is already starting to understand that it needs to focus resources and attention on how we live in SA moving forward with a large proportion of elderly individuals,” Nicholls says. He believes several aspects of health will improve significantly by 2050, with new jobs being created as a result:

IMPROVED imaging will enable us to visualise the human body in greater detail.

THE ability to collect “big data” will enable us to predict epidemics.

GENETIC testing will become more affordable.

THE way a person is diagnosed and treated will be increasingly personalised.

Professor Nicholls says disease prevention and finding effective treatments will be the focus of the future. “We need to find effective ways to treat our patients but we need to do it without breaking the bank,” he says.

Miselowski predicts much of the job creation will be in the health sector in 2050. He deduces that nanomedics will be able to manipulate, change and cure the human body from the inside and surgeons will increasingly use robots to operate. People will carry an internal device that allows authorities to constantly monitor their wellbeing, and diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and cancer, will be better understood.

But it’s also in the aged care and nursing sector that humans, not machines, will play a lasting role. “We’re herd animals. We’re community oriented. We like to interact with other people, it’s hardwired into our DNA,” Miselowski says. “There are a lot of human interaction jobs that will continue to be part of our landscape but the tools they use and the way that they do it will not in any way, shape or form be how they’re doing it today.”

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Our education system isn’t future ready / ABC Nightlife

The current education system, as great as it once might have been (and that’s debatable), is no longer up to the heavy lifting of tomorrow’s employment and life landscapes.

It was custom-built for on an industrial revolution model of work and prepared students for a known world, where work and careers were set and teaching systematically towards known outcomes made perfect sense.

It was a world where we taught just in case, where the learner had to be self-sufficient and filled to the brim with lots of information, just in case they ever needed it.

In this world, rote learning, remembering and recalling were all important, but today and tomorrow we have to know the basics, what to look for and how to look for it and then trust that technology will fill us with just in time, just enough, just for me skills and knowledge top ups we need to carry out new tasks and daily life.

In this space children have to be given more than just the 3 R’s, we owe it to them to teach them the far more practical skills of being human – the 4 C’s Collaboration, Community, Creativity and Communication.

Many of todays blue and white-collar workers have already been made redundant by technology as we see the jobs that rely solely on the completion of repetitive tasks (bookkeepers, law clerks, drivers, shop assistants, cashiers etc) disappear.

When technology replaces all the mundane and the ordinary in the workplace all that is left is for us to say HI! (Human Interaction). In this new landscape humans will need to create, interpret, make sense of, imagine and do humans things that are not easily replicated by machines.

And this is where I picked up the conversation with ABC Nightlife’s Phil Clark in our semi regular catch up, exploring all things education and careers.

A really stimulating and thought-provoking discussion and one that we need far more of and thankfully  tonnes of callers agreed, so have a listen now and then continue the Future of Education debate here and elsewhere.

ABC Nightlife, Phil Clark (49 mins 29 secs)

Tomorrow’s Careers / ABC Wide Bay, ABC Far North, Southern Cross Austeroe

Jobs In a world where algorithm, mechanization and technology are slowly taking over all the routine human jobs of yesteryear, will there be jobs for humans in the future and if so what might they be was the starting point for this weeks round of on air interviews.

We took a look at the jobs that will soon be the domain of technology including tax clerks, library technicians, loan officers, postal clerks, retail sales assistant, technical writers, accountants to name but a few.

This list is not a mandated one, there may still be people involved in doing the tasks, but just as stenographers, typist and elevator operators of the past it will not require someone full-time to do them, but rather it may be just one task, amongst many others, someone does in the completion of their daily work.

Some of tomorrow’s new jobs will include big data scientists (all the rage at the moment), robotics engineers (we can’t get enough of them), augmented reality travel agents (providing digital rather than physical holidays), transhumanist designers (an HR function that decides whether a task is best done by human, tech or both and then manages the process), genome specialist and retirement counsellors.

It’s a fascinating and important discussion, what do we tell our kids, how do we prepare them for the world of 6 careers and 14 jobs and working into their 90’s in industries and professions that today we know nothing about. How do we transition our businesses and thinking to take best advantage of what’s ahead and how do we retrain those in jobs and industries that are likely to disappear?

There will be work for humans in the future, it will be in the wisdom, service and human contact fields, but what can we do today to get ready for tomorrow?

Have a listen to these segments for different insights and approaches to this vexing question.

ABC Wide Bay – David Dowsett – 30 November 2015 – (9 minutes 22 seconds)

ABC Far North – Phil Staley – 30 November 2015 – (18 minutes 22 seconds)

AusStereo WA – Anthony Tillie – 30 November 2015 – (4 minutes 01 seconds)

Monash Uni now enrolls Life Architects

monash_uniI was given the privilege a few weeks back to speak on behalf of Monash University IT department to prospective students and found myself reflecting on what uni life was for me and more importantly what it will be for them.

As I began to form my thoughts of what an IT students might be and accomplish I was struck by how pivotal these young adults would be in our future.

If we are to achieve and have the internet of things, big data, connected cars and cities, 3D printers and the list goes on, then we can only do this through the brilliant minds and hands of those in the audience and to this end I challenged them not to see themselves as IT professionals, but rather to consider themselves as Life Architects, taking, interpreting and building the world’s digital dreams.

To see how this would work we went through a series of careers including teachers, travel agents and doctors to see how integral technology is to them and what they need Life Architects to build for them, so that they can achieve in their chosen profession.

Such a great bunch of kids and the most wonderful thing is that after meeting them I am so confident and excited about the future and can’t wait to see the impact this group will have on our future world.

Take a look at the event video

and here’s my presentation – to watch it click on the Start Prezi symbol in the middle of the box below, give it a minute and then use the arrow keys to navigate around

Today’s #education is mostly irrelevant | 4BC

future-classroom-1-500x375Education is in a hurricane of disruption.

The industrial revolution education model that we’ve had for the last 100 years or so doesn’t work anymore and definitely won’t work in the near future.

This is not because we don’t have great teachers, wonderful students, well-intentioned parents and a society that sees the value in education, but because what we learned and had to know in the past is of little value to tomorrow’s children, but yet it continues to frame education moving forward.

Even though we are reticent to admit it we have long ago outsourced our basic remembering to calculators, electronic dictionaries, smart phones and other gadgets, which makes the need for the 3R’s (writing, arithmetic and reading) less necessary than they once were.

Add to this the certainty that our kids will have on average 6 careers and 14 jobs in their 120 years lives / 90 years work span, working in industries that haven’t yet been created, performing tasks and using skills that we can’t imagine today and we have an ever changing world ahead of us, much of which will be innovated and invented by today’s students.

The fundamental question in education now has to be “How do you teach people about stuff that hasn’t yet been thought of?”

In our regular catch up Clare Blake of 4BC and I chatted about some of the moving parts of the education system and what lies ahead for our students, teachers and parents.

We explored a changing classroom where the 3r’s are supplemented with the 3C’s of educationcommunication, collaboration and creative problem solving and a future landscape where human teachers monitor the real-time second by second learning of each student, using technology as electronic teachers aide to present the learning and adapt the teaching style to best suit the individual learner.

In this brave new world of life long learning, of constantly evolving and devolving skills, of careers and jobs rising and falling, in a near future world where data, knowledge and routine work are mostly provided by technology, the role of humans in the workplace and in life is up for debate.

Our ability to be ready for the world ahead has historically been provided to us by our K-12 education, but moving forward  readying our children with absolute certainty for their future will not be possible, so how will we prepare our kids for a world ahead that is so vastly unknown.

Perhaps the only way to do this, is for our education to evolve from a system that teaches us to answer the questions to a system that teaches us to question the answers.

Listen in to this segment now (19 mins) and then let me know your thoughts on the future of the education…




“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is such a dumb question | Channel 9’s Today Show Segment

grow upWith today’s students looking at a lifespan of 150 years, a work-span of 80 years and the reality of at least 6 careers and 14 jobs in this time, asking a child today what they want to be when they grow up is useless.

Today’s kids will be and do so many things and many of those “things” have not yet even been dreamed of.

So how do we prepare and educate our kids today, for tomorrow’s challenges?

This was the topic for my segment on Channel 9’s Weekend Today show yesterday, as we pondered #Education2050 .channel 9

We chatted about the Classroom of 2050, the reality of it being large, physical, digital, centralised and decentralised depending on topic and lesson, having a mulch-disciplinary approach to education, having multiple teachers and being  loaded with ubiquitous technology monitoring and supporting the teacher and the student and how Robots would not be dominant players in tomorrow’s education scene and how teachers will always be central and imperative.

Given all of this future physical resourcing, how do we prepare our kids mentally for the challenges ahead and my take is the  only way to do is to unshackle them from the need to always be right, the need to always get it right and quarantine them from absolute certainty and rigidity.

The future will abound with increasing uncertainty and the question of “Why not” will rise as we discover that we can innovate, can change and can evolve at rates previously not thought possible, but we can’t create and live in these new worlds with old world attitudes and learning.

We have to place less emphasis on the 3R”s (writing, arithmetic and reading) that served an industrial revolution education system so well and instead understand that our kids have to be capable of creating their jobs not just getting them and the only way to give them these skills is to imbue them with the 3C’s – Communication , Collaboration and Creative problem solving skills, which will serve them as  a foundation from which to innovate, to engage with the world in all of its forms and places, to listen to the world and have the world listen to them and understand that the answers to today’s questions may not be in what they already know, but rather in what they may yet discover.

Watch the segment now and then let me know your thoughts on Education 2050.

#Education Future Here We Come | ABC Radio Nightlife

abc_Tony_and_Me_25_June_14Wow, what a response – it’s heartening that last nights look into the Future of Education on ABC Local Radio Nightlife Program with Tony Delroy’, around what education must evolve into, who provides it, when, where and how were the building blocks for a stimulating and far reaching discussion on what learning and education must become.

My take on this over the past few decades is that the education system many Baby Boomers and legislators romantically think of as best practice is based on an Industrial Revolution – Just In Case learning model.

This system and delivery method suited the times and purpose of a society where jobs were relatively plentiful, future vocational skill easy to predict and long lived, where change was generational and educations imperative was for us all to be stand alone self sufficient individuals, because there was no easy real time way to know and discover what we didn’t know.

In tomorrow’s landscape our education is moving to a Just In Time approach, with  ubiquitous technology allowing us to discover on as as needs basis, which is imperative moving forward because the skill sets and knowledge our children will need in their future professions and vocations are less obvious as the work landscape of tomorrow sees them working project and task, not 9 -5, working digitally and physically, locally, regionally and globally doing tasks in industries that we can’t name or comprehend today (just think back to the last 10 years and ponder the range of jobs, tasks and industries that have evolved around social media).

Our current education system doesn’t readily cater for this paradigm shift, it is bloated, anachronistic and better suited to a previous age and need.

The 3R’s writing, arithmetic and reading -(and notice that only one starts with an “r”)once served us well as the foundations of a great education system, but today and tomorrow we have to add to these the 3C’s – Collaboration, Communication and Creative Problem Solving because these are the skills sets that will allow our students to find their way in tomorrows workspace, to work and engage with others and to find tomorrow’s solutions to problems that have not yet been identified.

Let’s rise above the competing and erroneous excuses not to innovate and as a society demand exponential change to our Education system and understand that if it is not revolutionised, we are jeapordising our children’s long term future and in turn Australia’s future economy and well being.

Our classrooms of tomorrow must be dynamic, flexible and offer on-going real time student diagnostics and feedback.

They must readily flex to accommodate all learning styles and ensure each child regardless of their perceived abilities maximises their potential.

It must be a space in which teacherpreneurs ply their craft, encouraged by a system and technologies that allows them to instruct, engage and enthuse their students.

If we are going to build Australia as a wisdom nation and turn knowledge into our major export commodity, then we have to start today by educating tomorrow’s workforce, leaders and innovators into how to thrive in a transparent world of change, where today’s certainty is tomorrow’s fallacy and where life long learning is the blissful norm.

Wonderfully the audience was up for the challenge as the switchboard lit up with suggestions and comments on how we might best achieve these audacious aims. So have a listen now, let me know your thoughts on the Future of Education and help spread the word about Australia’s education revolution.

Wisdom Workers – Sky Business with Marty Switzer

switzer_and_me_11_June_14This week Sky Business’s Marty Switzer and I looked at the Future of Work, that can in a phrase be summarised as back to the future.

As we move through the next few years and decades work will increasingly be dictated by outcome and not hours spent, as we move into a workplace that requires us to do the work at the most appropriate time and place for it be done, rather than shoehorning artificially into the industrial revolution model of a 9 – 5 Monday to Friday work period.

This work model served us well when the nature of work was industrial and repetitive, required us to physically attend at a given place and pre agreed time to do our part in a larger production wheel, but with the nature and type of future work broadening, with work moving beyond the physical space to include an access anytime digital space that can have us working locally, regionally or internationally, the necessity for a fixed workspace and mandated 9-5 Monday to Friday is disappearing.

Add to this a world that “wants what it wants, when it wants it” and is becoming increasingly used to getting it and a workforce that will work into their 80’s have 6 careers and 14 jobs and will work a portfolio of jobs rather than just one job with one employer at any one time and you have a very different workspace of the future.

My Back to the Future analogy is that pre-industrial revolution this new work model was ordinary and the way most people worked was to attend to tasks on the land and elsewhere as and when they needed to be done, undertaking a portfolio of jobs as and when each needed to get done and understanding that work and life played in concert with each other, rather than being forced to compete with each other.

Life was by no means perfect or easy then and the idea is not to romanticise this work style, but rather to look at its dynamic and fluid nature as a model for what will come next.

We also chatted about future proof careers for today’s students and the industries that will grow and flourish into tomorrow, which brought us to the discussion of wisdom workers – my term for those that will flourish in tomorrow’s workspaces.

To survive and thrive tomorrow we will have to understand that there will be a clear divide between repetitive and mundane tasks that will increasingly be done by machines and robots using synthetic or digital thinking to keep them on track and on task and those others tasks that will best be done by humans, because they will require wisdom or the ability to personalise or add value or purpose to what is made by  machines and that this notion will apply equally to services and products.

Watch the segment now and then leave me your thoughts on tomorrow’s workplace.

Red Hot Future Business Trends

ball-article-620x349You’re on the right track if you can arrange instant delivery and your fans are health nut octogenarians.

reprinted from SMH / The Age / Brisbane Times / Canberra Times /Watoday

SMEs trading near-instant delivery of goods and services will power the business world circa 2030.

Extra marks if your biz plan will appeal to health-nut octogenarians and their older peers.

Start-ups will become more boutique and individualised as our taste for tailor-made products grows.

“The death of the gatekeeper is here,” any small business that only provides distribution interface between suppliers and consumers will eventually fail, says trends expert and author of Winning the Battle for Relevance, Michael McQueen.
Michael McQueen

Michael McQueen predicts the death of the gatekeeper.

“Any profession with the word agent, broker or adviser in particular, take heed,” he warns.

Fellow futurist Morris Miselowski also sees a bleak future for any trader who hasn’t at least entered the shallow end of the digital pool by now.

“2014 is a watershed year” and only those who use technology to enable “real-time” trade with consumers in a global market will survive, says the founder of Eye on the Future.

Morris Miselowski sees 2014 as a watershed year.

“This new [technological] world just won’t give them [SME owners] respite because the market is saying ‘I need to be able to do business right now and if I can’t do it with you, even though I may want to be loyal, I will have to move on’.
“For many small business owners it [the online world] feels like a foreign land, but you have to take baby steps now and grab on with best intent.

“Inertia will be the death knell of any business.”

So what will be the hottest industries in the future?

Service-related businesses will dominate at the cost of traditional manufacturing.

Start-ups will become more boutique and individualised as our taste for tailor-made products grows, McQueen says.

“An example of this is one Australian business named Schkinny Maninny who deliver fresh fruit and vegetable detox juices to clients’ doors every morning.

“While this may sound like an indulgent product, consider that many of the products and services we take for granted today were considered the same thing only a few years ago, such as boutique coffee and mobile phones.”
Medical devices, aged care, and health and wellness will have starring roles in the 2030 small business alumni.

As Australia’s baby boomers sidle up to old age, this generational shift brings big opportunities for SMEs, Miselowski says.

There are currently about 300 Australians aged 100-plus, reports the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It forecasts more than 72,000 centenarians by 2050.

Add to this the fact today’s life expectancy is about 82, according to the ABS – almost double what it was in 1864 (about 41), before modern technology was a twinkle in Gates/Jobs’ eyes – and Miselowski predicts babies born this century can live to 150.

“We have moved on from ideas of repairing our bodies to maintaining our bodies,” Miselowski says.

“Minute-by-minute insight of our bodies’ wellbeing will be gathered by our wearable health devices, analysed by our onboard technology … and, at our request, sent to health professionals for future insights, comments and suggestions.
“We’ll all be wearing these personal wellness computers and small businesses are exceptionally well placed to benefit from this trend.

“Many of the apps I see being developed for Google Glass, for example, are health and wellness apps designed by small businesses.”

Another trend Miselowski sees is more real-time service providers and solutions. Consumer purchase lead times are shrinking. Subsequently, more online temp jobs’ marketplaces will emerge to place traditionally salaried professionals with only hours’ pre-notice.

“A few years ago you may have booked a plumber and expected the service a week later, but in the future that consumer will expect it today and I see that as an opportunity.”

Mass production costs will be scrutinised as 3D printers descend on the retail, office, manufacturing and medical sectors, able to produce bespoke and one-off items on demand without the need for huge inventories and investment of time and resources, Miselowski says.

“These new 3D printers are the equivalent of the old dot-matrix printers of the 1980s, which were incredible devices in their day.”

Is your head spinning yet? Wondering where you’ll fit in tomorrow’s brave new business-world.

According to McQueen, the key to long-term survival for every profession and small biz is simple. It depends on showing how your venture adds value to consumers rather than simply adding “clip-of-the-ticket” costs to the supply chain.
An unforgettable point of difference is equally essential.

“The old marketing adage ‘it is better to be different than better’ will be truer in the coming years than ever before,” McQueen says.

“In an increasingly competitive marketplace those who are not remarkable will quickly become invisible.”