This is the second blog entry in this theme of Future Work/Careers:
There are social, economic, environmental and technological forces around the world that are building and intersecting at this moment in time that will magnify complexity of the human experience and will drive enormous change in ways foreseeable and in ways still beyond our ability to foreseen but can only speculate will occur. And there are changes ahead that are and will be unexpected, unthought of and never before seen, that will proffer remarkable benefits and devastating harm to mankind and the Earth. The next several generations will have to “fly by the seat of their pants” to manage this profound blast of change. Those decisions will ramify through the societies of the World for generations.
The forces I see are compressed into 9, though a case can easily be made that there are more, or there are less. In all cases however, each force doesn’t stand alone but impacts the others, creating further dynamic change.
I will be writing about these forces:
- Rapid Global Population Growth/Particularly in Developing Nations/Regions
- Rapid Expansion of Globalization
- Dramatic Climate Change
- Rapidly Changing Employment Demands
- Increasing Demands on Energy Production
- Corrosive Environmental Degradation
- Exponential Technology Change and the Digital Interconnectedness of the World
- Rapid Urban Population Growth
- The Creation of New Forms of Wealth and Deepening Disparity Between Haves and Have-nots
and how they will force humans to modify their lives and potentially alter their place of singular dominance.
Rapid change across a vast field of global, regional, national and local communities is clearly impeding. It is certainly inevitable, that this change will impel each successive generation to learn to adapt in ways far different than ever before.
What is this change?
(Below is a very long sentence, and most likely grammatically incorrect. Sorry! Try to hang in there to its end)
It is the complex and singular compression at this time in history of: rapid global population growth; increasing competing demands and access to basic and advanced natural and mineral resources; the increasing instability of global and national economies that struggle to adopt new forms of economic development and wealth creation (compounded by a widening disparity of between the “haves and have-nots”; all magnified by the driving, compounded exponential adoption of powerful technologies that with increasing rapidity interlink the people and machines of the world with wonderful opportunities and unforeseen infringements; the corporatization of big data information flowing out of that Internet of Things we all are participating in, that is: via the monitoring of our cell phone use patterns, our nascent but effective AI “Alexa’s” learning machines, each website click, on-line posting, U-Tube and Facebook viewing and the incorporation of the billions of digital sensors being incorporated into every aspect of today’s human behavior and actions.
These and more “new” human action and circumstance, all happening at an ever increasing rate, overwhelms humans’ ability to comprehend their effects in the near and distant future. Twitter is an apt model of a technology with both benefit and unforeseen harm which has left humans in a quandary as to how to manage it. Twitter was simply conceived as a communications tool to express ideas and opinions. Who would have thought it would become interwoven in revolutionary movements and political behavior, or offer individuals from the opposite ends of the Earth access to ideas of creative novelty and means of connected networking.
Our successful ability to anticipate, manage, and adapt to the changes unfolding because of these forces will be the hallmark of humanities capacity to succeed as a specie. There is no guarantee that we will. What is essential however to this outcome with be the quality and appropriate form of education and skills that children will apply.
And so the crux of this blog is framed around the necessity to create new forms of learning those skills and knowledge; in ways far different that exists in traditional educational curriculum. Skills to manage this new world take years to acquire and practice. The creation of this new curriculum is long overdue.
Subsequent blog essays will dig into this new learning and its applications to successfully confronting change and adapting for future generations. And it will address the individual forces as they unfold and impact human behavior and civilization.