What Does The Future Hold?

The recession is over and businesses are recruiting staff again. The economy is in recovery and the number of people in work is climbing. But the recovery is not working for everyone, as life gets harder for many. Why?

A different world

Even though the recession is over life remains difficult for people in many sectors of the economy as insecurity and the gap between rich and poor intensifies.

The internet, for better or worse, is changing everything as so many businesses and jobs are still rooted and resourced in a world ruled by old institutions and regimes.

Young people today are faced with a very different environment than previous generations and are often unaware of, and unprepared for, what is happening.

Schools educate students in traditional disciplines, whereas, businesses and whole industries are disappearing as new and novel skills attract attention and high rewards.

Forecasters predict millions of jobs will be lost in the economy and the losers are the young, as they struggle to succeed in a world with greater competition and fewer opportunities.

It is impossible to predict how today’s students will develop careers or how and where they will work, as technology reshapes all aspects of business, the economy and society.

The only certainty is that the world of work 20 years from now will bear little resemblance to today and that it is time to change what we learn and how we learn.

Time for change

A shift towards the super growth of a small number of large companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is already taking place, as they absorb new start-up businesses and create new industries.

Such change and the pervasiveness of such powerful companies coupled with technology means today’s young people need to think differently about the world and their place in it.

The relentless advance of technology is shifting power to a smaller number of economic giants, which, in turn, is creating an unequal and distorted distribution of wealth and influence.

The last 50 years have been dominated by generational improvements in living standards, whereas, the next 50 will experience generational falls and increased hardship.

To address such a reverse in fortunes people must take responsibility for their careers and not expect to be provided with jobs, as was the case in previous generations.

Young people will have to learn to live in a less predictable future, as the comfort and security of an education followed by a stable career and a comfortable retirement disappear.

The internet and its digital incarnations are creating turbulence and the only antidote is to instil greater levels of self-reliance amongst the next generation.

SO, the recession is over and the economy is in recovery but unlike previous recoveries there is no guarantee that everyone will benefit on this occasion.