Not Humans vs. Robots, but Humans & Robots / AICCWA Perth Keynote, slidedeck and audio

AICC(WA)’s ECU futureNOW Sundowner Event, 27 April 2016 at GHD Perth, featuring Business Futurist, Morris Miselowski – my slidedeck and recording of this keynote are at the bottom of this post.

GHD’s new state of the art facilities provided the perfect setting for the first AICC(WA) futureNOW series presentation of 2016.  Mr Morris Miselowski, world renowned business futurist, innovation provocateur and media commentator addressed the topic “People vs Technology, Who Will Win?

Mr Craig Walkemeyer, Manager – Western Australia, GHD

In welcoming attendees, Mr Craig Walkemeyer, Manager WA, GHD spoke of the innovation focus of GHD, and in particular of the Smart Seeds initiative.   Smart Seeds is an annual innovation program for young professionals focused on generating fresh ideas to solve complex infrastructure challenges.  Hosted for the first time in Perth, Smart Seeds is developing solutions including water sensitivity, connecting people to places, off- grid infrastructure for Perth airport and improving the livability of Perth City.

The keynote speaker was introduced by sponsor Professor Margaret Jones, Director, Office of Research and Innovation at ECU.  Professor Jones also discussed the ECU and cross-academic sector initiatives to collaborate with advanced Doctoral students promoting innovation.  ECU is a young university promoting advanced scientific and technological disciplines, including a world renowned cyber security research institute.

Professor Margaret Jones, Director, Office of Research and Innovation, Edith Cowan University

Professor Jones introduced Morris Miselowski noting his reputation as the “swiss army knife of futurists” and “the secret weapon future proofing business”.  Mr Miselowski works with CEO’s and Boards across the world to guide creative foresight strategy development.  Immediately challenging his audience, Mr Miselowski qualified that real change is driven by people and not technology.  Demonstrating how three decades of technological change has impacted the way we communicate, work, shop, live and love, he posited that all we have really done is put the infrastructure, culture and thinking together to improve lifestyle.  It is however the pace of change moving forward that we need to better prepare for.

So too, organisations have changed.  The company lifespan of and S&P listing has decreased from 60 years to 20 years, and is predicted to further decrease to 12 years.  In the meanwhile, the world is growing “unicorns” defined as companies that obtain $1billion capitalisation within 3 years.  Some achieve $10billion.

Mr Morris Miselowski

The corporate sector is now devolving its view of project driven automation.  “Robots will never take over” said Mr Miselowski, “We will simply look for further ways to transition from manual to creative work. Robots will take physical jobs, but human nature is supplementary to this”.  He cited that although 500,000 to 600,000 jobs in Australia have already been replaced by technology, a further 2 million new jobs have been created in more advanced industry settings.

            From L to R: Professor John Finlay-Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Edith Cowan University, Mr Craig Walkemeyer, Manager – Western Australia, GHD, Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Mr Morris Miselowski, Professor Margaret Jones, Director, Office of Research and Innovation, Edith Cowan University, Mr Larry Lopez, Vice-president, AICC(WA) and Partner, Australian Venture Consultants

Mr Miselowski shared some examples of this process, including;

  • Further evolvement of 3d printing that will become a domestic norm that decentralises all forms of manufacturing
  • Reshoring via robotics that return production to its source by undercutting human labor costs.
  • Drones, including those that do what humans have not, cannot, or should not be able to do
  • Self driving cars and new modes of transportation with global distribution reach
  • Rehabilitation and life science medical technology.  Medicine will no longer be invasive with bots that are frontiers for medical diagnosis living inside of us.
  • Transfer of information through wearable technology (the Internet of Things).  We are already providing information about where we are and what we need and our activities are being digitised.

As the next frontier Mr Miselowski talked about moves towards Artificial Intelligence, and our role in writing the narrative by questioning, arguing and providing intuition and wisdom to this process.  He noted it was about outputs not inputs, and that Artisanal Wisdom will allow us to create jobs that are the products of technological evolvement.  He does not fear a loss of human control over technology.

Citing Israel as on of the leading places with the intent and purpose to produce the technology that will allow “humans to win”, Mr Miselowski noted that Israel is a microcosm of the culture that embraces a necessary conversation about our future development and prosperity.

Mr Morris Miselowski

A fascinating dialogue followed Mr Miselowski’s presentation.  When asked how our universities will prepare more futurists, he cited communication (soft skills and wisdom), creativity (developing students who will make jobs as opposed to get jobs) and community (working in tribes) as the key areas of focus.  When asked how to ensure we are not overwhelmed by the pace of growth he commented that “technology is a dumb tool but we are even dumber if we let it control us.  We still need to know how to turn technology off and be human.”

and here’s my slidedeck:

Why the world will be better in Gen Y’s hands / News.com.au

475dd8d2f0a65e0c18196a87ccbc417f –

written by Emma Reynolds news.com.au

THEY’RE derided as lazy and selfish, but it turns out we may be better off when millennials run the world.

While Gen Y has been called materialistic, entitled and uncaring, increasingly experts claim the exact opposite is the case.

As “Generation Me” grows up and takes control of our governments and biggest organisations, they are adapting to be ideal leaders, The Economist reported recently.

They switch jobs constantly not because they are overprivileged, but because work structure is flexible, they leave the office early because they can be productive at home and they refuse to do as they are told because they care about new ideas.

LIBERAL THINKING

Millennials, on the whole, don’t question the concept of rights for women, gay and transgender people, that climate change is a reality or that every race is equal.

Their focus as leaders will be less on arguing a point than doing something about it. “One shift is wanting to create a better world,” prominent futurist Ross Dawson told news.com.au. “It’s exceptionally difficult to hire talented young people if they don’t feel their work is making a positive difference. Social enterprise and innovation is very apparent in Silicon Valley but also in Australia.”

Whether it’s Uber-style car sharing, distributing restaurant leftovers to the homeless or creating forums for marginalised groups, there is a sense that far more is possible.

With a global perspective, they may even be warier of going to war, The Economist suggests, although Dr Dawson warned that there are “some fundamental aspects of humanity” and we are “in the process of discovering what will change”.

Millennial leaders have a social conscience, like Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.

 

FAST AND FLEXIBLE

Younger generations are always accused of impatience and short attention spans, and that’s only amplified by our frenetic world, says Dr Dawson. But impatience doesn’t have to be a bad thing. “It can make things faster and better.”

Baby Boomers and even Generation X have a far slower and more cautious attitude to change than connected, purposeful Gen Y.

Business futurist Morris Miselowski told news.com.au: “They won’t agree to something until there’s a strong case for the likelihood of its success.

“Traditionally, Baby Boomers only had one or two ‘horizon technologies’ — fax, radio, TV. It would take a long time for things to be ingested and become fashionable, ordinary, respectable.

“Now people are working with all social media and have an ability to make decisions quicker based on more opportunities.

“We have robots on our doorstep, new horizon spaces and something I find joyful is what I call the ‘Wild West’ of business. It’s so unknown, There are millions of different spaces for the young, entrepreneurial and proactive.”

For Gen Y, the idea of the 9-5 day is over — work can take place anywhere, anytime. This gives them a more fluid approach to the work/life balance, a bonus since they will be living longer lives and spending more years in the workforce.

Staff won’t need to travel in rush hour so traffic will lessen and activities can be spread over the week. “Their mindset goes far beyond the geographical,” said Mr Miselowski.

Open-minded millennials could make our world one big Glee club.

 

GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURS

“[Millennials] are meritocratic, want to be experts in their field, and want to work with and be mentored by experts,” Jane McNeill, director of recruiting experts Hays, told news.com.au.

“This will help them reach their career goals and in turn make genuine improvements to their world of work.

“Given that they are more open to new ideas, they will also be able to cope well with a globalised world of work that is changing rapidly.”

People born between 1981 and 1997 are more often bilingual or want to work overseas at some point in their career, added Ms McNeill.

As many as 70 per cent have their own business or want to have one in the future.

If Gen Y seems demanding, that’s because “they rate interesting work before personal wealth” and “they want to feel valued and appreciated”.

“They are also entering the workforce as more confident communicators who can contribute to group discussions and share their ideas because they are used to having an opinion and adding their voice to discussions on social media from a young age,” said Ms McNeill.

Garry Adams, Mercer’s talent business leader for the Pacific, told news.com.au: “They travel a lot more than we did and are more open to global influences, which are strong positives.

“The dominant pattern was being an employee in a corporate environment, now there’s a greater range of choices. There’s a focus on operating with a greater sense of social purpose and sustainability.

“This generation has an extraordinary potential and a sense of moving forward, that they don’t want to replicate their parents’ mistakes or live in a world created for them. They want to do things differently.”

And if Generation X and Baby Boomers are feeling devalued by the prediction that Gen Y will run things better, Dr Dawson explains we are all shifting to become like millennials.

“It’s important to recognise that people of all ages are changing their attitudes to work, organisations and their role in society and the environment,” he said.

“Social attitudes are shifting across all generations.”

Welcome to the world of the millennials.

1/2 of today’s kinder kids will be unemployable in 2030 / 3AW, 6PR, 2UE, 4BC, ABC Overnights, Austereo, ABC Far Nth Qld

images The Future of Education is such an important topic if we are going to set our kids up to succeed in tomorrow’s world and workplace and I’m glad to see the media agrees. Here are some of the radio interviews I did on the back of this recent media release including an extended piece for ABC local radio’s Overnight program with listener talk back :


“Half of all children starting kindergarten this year have no chance of getting a job in 2030, if we continue to educate them the way we currently are” is one of the findings in a new bold trend report exploring the world of work in 2030 compiled by Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world’s leading business and education visionaries.

In 2030, 1 in 4 cars sold will be fully autonomous. Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Drones and Connected Cities will all be as ordinary as gas, electricity and water. Mobile phones, keyboards and mice will be relegated to museums and the notion of 9 – 5 Monday to Friday work will have given way to project and task-work done however, whenever and wherever it’s appropriate.

In 2030 the Australian population will have grown to 28,481,000 (23,972,800 today), against a global population of 8,500,766 (7,349,472 today). 1 in 5 Australian’s will be over 60 years old; the ratio of workers to retirees will 3:1 (5:1 today); the average Australian house will costs $3,000,000 ($658,608 today) and the average household income will be $275,000 ($145,400 today).

In 2030 India will have surpassed China as the most populous country on the earth; America’s global dominance will have waned and the world’s middle class will have risen from 2.1 billion today to 4.9 billion, 66% of whom will be living in Asia.  It will be an era of lower global birth rates and of living longer and healthier lives.

In 2030 there will be too many human workers competing globally for too few jobs, with many of today’s routine jobs having been handed over to technology and in an ironical twist this new technology will be responsible for creating millions of new human jobs, tasks and careers.

This year’s kinder students will live to 120, work into their 90’s, undertake 2 simultaneous income producing activities at any one time in a lifetime of work that includes 6 careers and 14 jobs, undertaking tasks and working in industries that are yet to be discovered and if they are going to succeed in a 2030 world of work” they will need to create their own work, not apply for it”.

In 2030 Australian retention rates for completing Year 12 will be 90% (83.6% today), but there will no written exams to mark the end of schooling, nor a single university score required to gain entry to higher education.

This is the world our kindergarten starters of 2015 will face when they enter the workforce, and it’s this world of vastly changed horizons that we must prepare them for” says Miselowski.

It will demand different of its workforce, as we see new careers rising including transhumanist designers, genome specialists, nano medics, machine linguists, gamification engineers amongst many others as well as the continuation of many of today’s trades and service careers, but what they do, how, where and when they do it will have all evolved – “nothing then, will be as it is now!” says Miselowski.

Today’s education system however, backed by well-intentioned but short-sighted educators and parents, is still underpinned by an archaic industrial revolution model of teaching dominated by the 3R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic – 2 of which don’t even begin with an “R”) that was right for an era where student outcomes, careers paths and choices industry were well-known.

In 2030 the 3R’s won’t work, they conspire to teach rigidity, uniformity, conformity and compliance. What today’s kindergarten students really need from us is to be inspired by the 3C’s of Collaboration, Creativity and Communication so that they can influence, innovate and change their world ahead.


So have a listen to some of these segments and then add your voice to the future of education:

ABC Overnights – Brad McKenzie – 21st January (31 minutes 44 seconds) – includes listener calls

3AW, 2UE, 4BC – Australia Overnight – Alan Pearsall – 23rd January (12 minutes 05 seconds)


6PR – Chris Isley – Monday 26th January (13 minutes 15 seconds)

ABC Townsville – Michael Clarke – 21 January (10 minutes 17 seconds)

Austereo WA – Anthony Tilli – 28 January (5 minutes 4 seconds)

A glimpse at the way we will live, work and educate in 2030 / Peter Switzer Sky News TV, ABC Far North

switzer Every year, as our newest school kids start kindergarten, I like to take an expectant look forward to the year that many of them may enter the workforce, so welcome to 2030 when:

Australia

  • Australian population will have grown to 28,481,000 (23,972,800 today)
  • 1 in 5 Australian’s will be over 60 years old
  • the ratio of workers to retirees will be 3:1 (5:1 today)
  • the average Australian house will cost $3,000,000 ($658,608 today)
  • the average household income will be $275,000 ($145,400 today).

Global

  • global population will be 8,500,766 (7,349,472 today)
  • India will have surpassed China as the most populous country on the earth
  • America’s global dominance will have waned
  • the world’s middle class will have risen from  4.9 billion (2.1 billion today)
  • 66% of the new middle class will be living in Asia
  • lower global birth rates
  • life expectancy increases
  • healthier lives

 

Education index

  • Australian retention rates for completing Year 12 will be 90% (83.6% today)
  • There will no written exams to mark the end of schooling, nor a single university score required to gain entry to higher education
  • Learning institutions will be hubs, bringing together students, educators, industry and others to provide learning opportunities
  • There will be an increased emphasis on global qualifications
  • Universities and higher education will be vastly different, offering bespoke one-off qualifications and a mixture of modalities and physical and virtual opportunities to study
  • Nano-degrees will exist to teach, assess and accredit specific one-off skills learnt in real-time as, where and when needed will be the norm
  • Students work, understanding and proficiency will be monitored and assisted in real-time by LMS (Learning Management Systems) that will 24/7 assist human classroom teachers, providing unique instructions, examples and assessment for each student

Technology

  • 1 in 4 cars sold will be fully autonomous
  • Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Drones and Connected Cities will all be as ordinary as gas, electricity and water.
  • Mobile phones, keyboards and mice will be relegated to museums

Employment

  • there will be too many human workers competing globally for too few jobs
  • 9 – 5 Monday to Friday work will have given way to project and task-work done however, whenever and wherever it’s appropriate
  • many of today’s routine jobs will have been handed over to technology
  • in an ironical twist this new technology will be responsible for creating millions of new human jobs, tasks, careers and industries.

Life

  • This year’s kinder students will live to 120
  • work into their 90’s
  • undertake 2 simultaneous income producing activities, or more, at any one time
  • have 6 careers and 14 jobs
  • complete tasks and work in industries that are yet to be discovered
  • will need to create their own work, not apply for it

These were just some of the insights that James Daggar-Nickson host of Peter Switzer’s Sky Business TV and I chatted about, as well as the economic, political and human ramifications of this new world that is only 15 years away and Phil Staley of ABC Radio’s Far North Queensland and I picked up in our next regular on-air catch up.

Watch this TV segment (recorded 25th January 2016) and / or listen to the radio interview below (recorded 1st February 2016) and then add your thoughts to what we may see in 2030.

Listen to the interview with Phil Staley ABC Radio Far North – 1st February 2016 (19 minutes 22 seconds)

Preparing our children for an unknown world / Sky News – Derryn Hinch Live

derryn_hinch_30_Aug_2105How does an education system so rooted in past needs and based on remembering and working with known, verifiable and repeatable outcomes cope with a tomorrow world where 60% of the tasks today’s school leavers will do in the workforce and the industries that they will do them in, have yet to be invented.

In this semi regular chat Derryn Hinch of Sky News and I chatted about this new world of work and school where today’s students will live to 120, earn income into their 90’s, have 6 careers and 14 jobs and live in a world where they are paid to undertake tasks rather than employed to do ongoing work.

In this new world travel agents will use augmented and visual reality to send travelers on digital holiday’s. Plumbers will 3D print their needs on site. Service industries will rise in preferred career choice industries as more of us choose to outsource to others what we choose not to do ourselves and health, well-being and longevity experts are lauded and well rewarded.

If we are to prepare our children for the jobs that they will need to create in the future, then we need to rise above the politics and the blaming, above point scoring and blaming of others, stop relying on the romantic and outdated notion of the 3R’s and start embracing the 3C’s – communication, collaboration and creative problem solving and start growing the education landscape of tomorrow.

In this new education landscape teachers are facilitators, students are life long learners and the classroom and its resources are there to foster exploration and provocative learning, allowing each student to engage with the learning in a manner best suited to their individual learning style and needs, engage with people inside and outside of the physical rooms, engage with the digital world, be monitored by technology to gauge engagement and learning and supported by humans where they are not and ultimately held accountable for having learned the lesson by their display of understanding it not merely by their ability to remember and regurgitate it.

There is no certainty in tomorrows’ education and work space and this frightens previous generation’s who, with the best of intentions, want to prepare students and give them every tool for every circumstance to ensure their future success, but shackling them with this impossible attempt at certainty, is only serving as an anchor around their necks.

Today’s students are not preoccupied with certainty, they relish the unknown and we as their guides must teach them the foundations, school them in the ways of the world, open them to a myriad of possibilities and then trust that what we have given them enough to launch them into tomorrow.

Let’s teach them to be audacious and enthuse them to be creative and solve today’s problems, if for no other reason than pure selfishness – our survival.

Watch this segment (9 minutes) and then join the debate on the future of education

The education system is strangling our kids / 6PR, ABC Wide Bay, ABC Far North

4738992473_38ff2f7971Today’s students will live to 120, have 6 careers and 14 jobs and work into their 90’s in industries that we haven’t even begun to imagine, doing tasks that we don’t yet know we need.

With an education system built on rote learning, the 3 R’s and a set of entrenched structures all developed for a past world of pre digital needs, jobs and outcomes – it’s so last century.

In this century, certainty is uncertain.

We have already seen traditional white and blue-collar jobs taken over by robots and artificial intelligence; as industries of old topple and fledgling new industries emerge.

If our children are to survive in this brave new world, then we must rise above partisan politics, legacy systems and tired curricula and re-imagine what an education system based on the 3C’s – creativity, collaboration and communication might look like and what life, work and jobs of the future may be.

Have a listen now and then share your thoughts on the education system and its ability to prepare our children for the great unknown.

Phil Staley ABC Far North Queensland (18 minutes 51 seconds – 24 August 2015)

David Dowsett – ABC Wide Bay (7 minutes 22 seconds – 24 August 2015)

6PR’s Chris Ilsley (13 minutes 56 seconds – 18th August 2015)

Work is going to hell in a futurist’s hand basket / ABC Sydney Afternoons with James Valentine

r139849_2541728The decline in people working a traditional 9-5 work week, the rise of people working on weekends and non traditional hours and the 5.00 p.m. closing of ABC Sydney’s afternoon broadcaster James Valentine’s  local bakery was enough to spark an on-air conversation about where work is headed in the future.

The conversation quickly turned to the notion of living in an evolving world of employment and jobs, vastly different from the industrial revolution model of many hands make light work, gather together at 9 a.m. and leave at 5, come back tomorrow and do it all over again, do it till Friday, take the weekend off for family and religion and repeat again until 40 years have elapsed, to an evolving landscape of living to 120 working until we’re 80, having 6 careers and 14 jobs, working locally and digitally and living a life portfolio where we get paid for tasks rather than work.

In this world there are a continuum of employment and work opportunities, none better than the other ,with where,when and how work is to done mandated by the nature of the work.

This revelation didn’t go down well with a number of callers, who have to work at a fixed time and place and couldn’t see how their circumstances could change. I am always reticent to argue this point, because there is no right or wrong  the reality is that their work requires this, but that doesn’t mean it must be everyone’s norm from here on in and forever.

It’s never easy to live through a storm and that’s exactly what’s happening now in our workplaces.

At the other end we will come out of it with a more flexible work regime, one that is more closely aligned to the new order of work and one that hopefully allows us to maintain an income and sense of self-worth for those currently employed and also those yet to join the workforce, including the 2 billion yet unborn inhabitants of earth that we will see between now and 2050.

To make work relevant to all these new people, jobs, industries, demands and great unknowns we will have to evolve what work is, how and where it is done and why we do it.

A fascinating segment, great caller comments questions and a conversation we have to have ongoing, so listen now (17 minutes 27 seconds) and then share your thoughts on the workplace of tomorrow.

What The Future Of Work Looks Like? / seek.com

1101090525_400 reprinted from seek.com Author: Emma Whalan

Morris Miselowski is an Australian business futurist engaged to identify what the future of employment looks like. He predicts that our working future will see boring tasks increasingly automated, leaving workers to take on more stimulating jobs that require more thought and attention. An exciting prospect, but one that demands an upskilled work force to deliver on this prediction. For Hirer’s this means innovation and invention around recruitment, resourcing and retaining staff.

Spending his working life immersed in the future, Miselowski has shared six of his future job facts with SEEK to give a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Rise of the freelancer

Miselowski believes that more of us could be freelancing or contracting for multiple employers in the future, moving away from honing a particular skill set. He also predicts that our working life will consist of six careers and 14 job changes.

What does this mean for Hirers: This desire for change will put additional pressure on retention strategies. It is imperative that future focused strategies be designed are flexible enough to reflect and acknowledge transferrable skills and look to place strong talent in different divisions or disciplines to answer their quest for the new, but allow you to retain the individual.

Disruptive innovation

Disruptive innovation will continue to change the way existing industries operate, like Uber, Airbnb and Amazon have. Technology will make work more transactional and employees will need to embrace change and become more entrepreneurial. Those that do, may find themselves freed from the traditional working structure as jobs will move away from the Monday to Friday, 9 – 5 model. Miselowski also believes service roles will increase as our growing need for instant gratification means we’ll be employing people to do one-off tasks for us.

What does this mean for Hirers: Acquisition strategies should focus on hiring staff that embrace change, question and are self-starters. These three attributes will shine in a distributive innovation environment.

Soft skills

Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, will gain in importance. Skills like empathy will allow us to be flexible and we need to focus on increasing our management, HR and organisational behaviour skills and paying more attention to how you interact with those around you.

What does this mean for Hirers: A focus on training in leadership not just management skills will strengthen the soft skills component of your leadership team and set you in good stead.

Flexible attitude to training

Employees will need continual and self-driven training to ensure they keep abreast of changes in their industry.

What does this mean for Hirers: From an HR point of view, encouraging a professional development plan for employees, that is self-driven, will help balance the need and desire for formal training with the clever use of assets and opportunities that are readily available to the individual.

Technology dependent

Unsurprisingly, jobs will become more technology dependent. All of us need to embrace computer literacy to ensure we stay on top of these changes.

What does this mean for Hirers: Continual training and top up courses to ensure that staff are utilising the technology available to them effectively, will ensure the most efficient use of technology within the workplace.

More interesting and specialised work

As technology advances and our computers relieve of us of the repetitive tasks associated with our jobs, we will be freed to do more interesting and specialised work. This can only be a positive as we know satisfaction and loyalty increases with deeper job engagement.

What does this mean for Hirers: This may be met with some hesitation, no one wants to feel replaceable, but with the right positioning this can and will be seen as one of the major benefits of the evolution of work.

Incredibly, these trends are predicted to be in play by 2020 which seems such a short time for so much change. The future is bright and close.

Empathy, adaptability key to survival in new-age job market / Sunday Star Times – Business Section – New Zealand

reprinted from Sunday Star Times – Business Section – New Zealand, written by Simon Day

NZ jobsBeing employable could soon be more important than being employed in a fast-changing job market.

 

Are you honest, reliable, know how to drive a van and don’t mind handling urine samples? Then how about a career as a drug detection technician, just one of the jobs in hot demand as Kiwi society – and its job market – sees rapid change.

According to job website Seek.co.nz, technology is changing the world faster than we can adapt and new jobs are rising out of the ashes of industries that are getting rapidly left behind.

And this evolution means young New Zealanders need to be less fixated on a particular job and instead look to develop a range of employment skills.

“You are not aiming to be employed, you need to be employable, they are quite different,” says Auckland University manager of career development and employment services, Catherine Stephens.

There have also been big increases in demand for jobs such as social media managers, app developers, sustainability officers, and wellness advisors.

Last week there were 132 social media manager vacancies, and 37 advertised app development roles. Young social media users and device developers are becoming essential to companies who want to manage their online message and experience, according to Stephens.

Is your job on the way out?

The sustainability movement has produced roles within companies that want to be genuinely committed to reducing the environmental impact of their industry. Seek has started to see listings for sustainability officers across a number of industries, to audit the environmental commitments of companies.

“If the management believes it is a priority then the correct resources need to be attached to it, or otherwise it is just a good idea. You need someone who takes responsibility for it and manages it and enforces it,” she said.

Australian futurologist Morris Miselowski believes increased automation will do way with boring tasks, hopefully freeing workers for more creative work. That would, however, require a more skilled workforce and more innovation around recruitment for those taking on staff.

Miselowski sees a number of major changes in the job market in the future, including the rise of freelance workers, greater specialisation and the need for workers to be more proactive in developing their work skills.

Brace, too, for the increased importance for workers to possess “soft skills” such as interpersonal skills. The ability to show attributes such as empathy will also be of value to the future worker.

Miselowski predicts the average person’s working life will consist of six career changes and up to 14 individual job changes.

When former police drug detective Kirk Hardy founded the Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) 10 years ago it was the first workplace drug testing company in New Zealand. In the past five years the business has rapidly expanded and now employs over 100 people and is testing people in a number of professions.

It started with the “safety sensitive industries” such as construction, aviation and manufacturing. Drug testing has now become a part of many professional services and retailers job interview process. Accountants, lawyers, financiers and retailers are increasingly being drug tested when they make the short list of candidates for a job. They usually take hair samples that provide a six- to 12-month history of drug use for employers who are tracking regular drug use, not the occasional toke, says Hardy.

“Professional services have had a big shift into hair testing. They are looking if candidates have a propensity to use drugs, if someone has a habitual use of methamphetamine. The drug test has become one of those modules, like a credit check,” he said.

It is difficult to find employees with the integrity and tact required to administer the drug tests.

“You are dealing with people’s emotions. Tensions are high. You have to have empathy, you have to treat people with dignity,” Hardy said.

So, what does a social media manager do?

“Don’t worry,” I assured my wife after social media work commitments had delayed our 2010 holiday to late summer. “Nothing happens at the end of February.”

New Zealanders who knew what did happen will never forget it, and neither will I forget turning the car around so I could be back in the newsroom the following morning to help a social media audience hungry for information in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Christchurch on February 22, 2011.

First came the social media marathons, then the days of walking through the silt, floodwaters, and rubble as I took my smartphone on the road to help distressed residents tell their own stories over social media. Imagine using technology to bring families into a virtual community when their physical one was in absolute disarray.

Four years later I’m no longer a social media editor, but a social media manager – one of two employed by Spark. The effortlessly clever Jess Moloney handles the proactive marketing stuff while my focus is, as ever, on advocacy plus strengthening relationships in our Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram communities. Basically, it’s my job to care about people, to be sure that we’re listening to what they need and to report it in so we can repair or improve, and we’ll also return all the love sent our way.

Frith and Morgan are a social media manager’s dream come true – they’re the ones who maintain these relationships while I’m either giving direction on our tone of voice, or while my head’s up in the clouds where all the strategic thinking happens. Their jobs are newer than mine, and are evolving even faster.

I can’t say this was a lifelong dream. The job didn’t exist, and there’s no way I could have imagined it while I was flailing hopelessly in the sea as a twentysomething with no direction whatsoever.

I had ambition, though. I wanted to be useful to my community on the largest possible scale. Now, I feel I’m on my way. Thank goodness for technology.

Man vs Machine / 3AW

man-vs-machine

People vs technology is the battle of tomorrow employment landscape with predictions of 500,000 jobs being transferred from humans to machines within the next decade in Australia.

We have already seen routine jobs like bank tellers, cashiers, assembly workers and others losing their jobs in favour of machines. Next to go are routine white-collar jobs like real estate agents, bookkeepers and financial advisers.

In this new workspace the majority of us will be working when and where is appropriate rather than a mandated 9-5; the weekend and 4 weeks holidays will be antiquated notions instead we will choose to work and live fluid lives with no clear boundaries between either, each encroaching on the other as and when “life” happens.

In this evolving new world we will have a physical world with all its old legacy ways of doing things; a brand new digital world barely out of its infancy and still to show its true adult potential; robots, drones and android marching over the hill; changing culture and habits; burgeoning connected and intelligent technology; increasing populations; decreasing jobs and endless human desires and digital possibilities all mixed together and simmering in a large pot called the future of work.

This brave new future of work world is where 3AW’s Alan Pearsall and I started one of our regular chats, reminiscing about jobs of old like stenographers, lift operators and switchboard operators, before looking at tomorrow’s likely to disappear jobs and ask and answer the question of which jobs and tasks are safe from machines and technologies rise?

We then travelled on to look at how great employers are encouraging their employees to stay with them including Richard Branson that allows his top execs to pick and choose their work hours and their holiday duration and Atlassian gifting their new hires a $500 travel voucher as a welcome on board bonus.

As always a wonderful chat so have  a listen now (18 minutes 15 seconds)