In the future there will be less "work". My idea addresses the transition between society as we know it today where jobs are the norm, and what may eventually stabilize on the other side of this disruption, in the future unknown. My idea is to prepare the next generations to cope with this transition by creating a conversation (subject, class, workstream) with each child called “My Life’s Work”, which is a collaboration between organizations, teachers, parents and the child. This conversation plays out in an age-appropriate way throughout the life of the child to identify his/her natural interests and talents, so that we are producing young adults who understand what valuable pursuits they can take satisfaction from, what makes them proud and what gives them a sense of purpose.
In the past we went to school to prepare for work. In the past we created young adults who often didn’t know what they wanted to do or be in life, but they got a job and maybe a career that they could invest themselves in, even if they didn’t like it very much. This worked in the past because jobs were the norm, jobs were abundant and people needed jobs for money; this may not be true in the future and we need to mitigate the risk that the next generation has an adulthood of empty, purposeless dystopia.
Taking inspiration from Adam Cochrane’s “Human Endeavour Network” where they find problems worth solving, in “My Life’s Work” the child could be coached to find a bigger challenge, a bigger problem to solve.
While I have framed this idea more from the point-of-view of the child and creating a way to manage the mental and spiritual health of the next generation, there is also a compelling point-of-view for organizations who wish to make working for them attractive to the next generation of talents. For example, organizations would create “MVEs” (minimum viable experiences) where children can participate to test-drive what they may choose as their life’s work.