The Futures of Work

Resource / The Futures of Work

By Ivana Gazibara / 19 Jan 2016

The Futures of Work report illuminates global changes and disruptions emerging in the world of work. This report encapsulates a year-long study of forecasts for work and workers, supported by a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation.

Four broad themes emerged from dozens of expert interviews and a review of hundreds of forecasts on the future of work:

  • Software and robotics will reshape work in nearly every industry and region—eliminating some jobs, complementing human workers in other jobs, and creating entirely new jobs. Whether machines ultimately take work from people or work alongside them, considerable turmoil is highly likely.
  • Flexible and freelance work structures could speed the destruction of conventional jobs, producing an uncertain mix of insecurity and freedom for workers at every level.
  • Workers in lower-income countries will need new paths to secure livelihoods in the face of these disruptive changes, as prior development models centered around rural work and manufacturing are losing their relevance.
  • New structures, from income guarantees to new kinds of asset ownership, are being proposed to help ensure a positive future for workers. The Futures of Work evaluates many of the most prominent ideas.

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