Summary of “The Future of Human Work Is Imagination, Creativity, and Strategy”

Their findings so far seem to conclude that the more technical the work, the more technology can accomplish it.
It’s only natural for them to ask, “Am I next? How many more days will I be employed here?” Venture capitalist Bruce Gibney explains it this way: “Jobs may not seem like ‘existential’ problems, but they are: When people cannot support themselves with work at all – let alone with work they find meaningful – they clamor for sharp changes. Not every revolution is a good revolution, as Europe has discovered several times. Jobs provide both material comfort and psychological gratification, and when these goods disappear, people understandably become very upset.”
The wise corporate leader will realize that post-technology trauma falls along two lines: how to integrate the new technology into the work flow, and how to cope with feelings that the new technology is somehow “The enemy.” Without dealing with both, even the most automated workplace could easily have undercurrents of anxiety, if not anger.
Rethink What Your Workforce Can Do. Technology will replace some work, but it doesn’t have to replace the people who have done that work.
Economist James Bessen notes, “The problem is people are losing jobs and we’re not doing a good job of getting them the skills and knowledge they need to work for the new jobs.”
A study in Australia found a silver lining in the automation of bank tellers’ work: “While ATMs took over a lot of the tasks these tellers were doing, it gave existing workers the opportunity to upskill and sell a wider ranges of financial services.”
Such new thinking will generate a whole new human resource development agenda, one quite probably emphasizing those innate human capacities that can provide a renewed strategy for success that is both technological and human.
We can choose to use AI and other emerging technologies to replace human work, or we can choose to use them to augment it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Do you work more than 39 hours a week? Your job could be killing you”

Long hours, stress and physical inactivity are bad for our wellbeing – yet we’re working harder than ever.
Memories were still fresh of Moritz Erhardt, the 21-year-old London intern who died after working 72 hours in a row at Bank of America.
Technology was supposed to liberate us from much of the daily slog, but has often made things worse: in 2002, fewer than 10% of employees checked their work email outside of office hours.
Last week, 15,000 workers called a strike, demanding a 28-hour work week with unchanged pay and conditions.
Science is on their side: research from the Australian National University recently found that working anything over 39 hours a week is a risk to wellbeing.
Is there a healthy and acceptable level of work? According to US researcher Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, most modern employees are productive for about four hours a day: the rest is padding and huge amounts of worry.
Because there is a danger that merely reducing working hours will not change much, when it comes to health, if jobs are intrinsically disenfranchising.
In order to make jobs more conducive to our mental and physiological welfare, much less work is definitely essential.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Future of Work, a History”

New technology usually meant labor-saving devices, from the mechanical reaper to the dishwashing machine.
The imposing new factories that initially sprang up seemed to prove that the machines only made jobs.
“If men have the talent to invent machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work,” President Kennedy proclaimed in 1962.
After a three-year study of 19 firms that adopted electronic data processing, she reported that executives and workers alike were left disoriented, and the new computer jobs created by these new machines were grim: New key-punch operators felt they were “Chained to the machine,” in “a dead-end occupation with no promotional opportunities,” Hoos wrote.
Johnson’s own secretary of labor, W. Willard Wirtz, concurred that the new, thinking machines now had “Skills equivalent to a high school diploma,” and that they would soon take over the service industry.
Johnson used these burgeoning concerns to do more or less what he had planned to do anyway: continue in the New Deal tradition of liberal optimism with an enhanced program of education, job training, human rights, more massive infrastructure programs, and provisions for the sick, the elderly and the infirm.
In the past decade, as our economy collapsed, then languished, and as computers and robots reached whole new levels of ability, fears about just what we will all do in the very near future have returned with a vengeance, producing a flurry of books, articles and speeches.
Whatever we decide to do, it is next to impossible to imagine government stepping up and responding to economic change with the sorts of massive public works projects, social work programs and education subsidies that marked the New Deal and the Great Society.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Figure Out What Your Side Hustle Should Be”

About 44 million people report having some kind of side hustle, and of those who do, 36% say they earn more than $500 a month from it.
Entrepreneurship, even in the form of part-time work to complement a traditional day job, can provide a useful hedge against economic uncertainty and a way to develop new skills.
How do you know what to focus on? How do you assess your expertise? And what are the first steps you should take once you think you’ve found the right idea? Here are five strategies to keep in mind.
Bozi Dar, a life sciences executive I profile in my new book Entrepreneurial You, had what he thought was a brilliant idea for a side project: an app that helped people change their mood by looking at their personal photos paired with music.
At his day job, things were going very well, and he was getting promoted frequently.
Some people get so excited about their new entrepreneurial venture that they want to go all in immediately and quit their day job.
“What’s the problem? Are people searching for the solution? Who is the customer? I’d try to get answers to those questions before I left the job, and the ultimate test would be that someone opens their wallet to pay for what I’m offering.”
That’s why Dar suggests making a concerted effort – while you’re still in your job – to build out your entrepreneurial skill set.

The orginal article.

Summary of “America’s forgotten towns: Can they be saved or should people just leave?”

One of the great debates in American politics and economics in 2018 is likely to be how to help the country’s forgotten towns, the former coal-mining and manufacturing hubs with quaint Main Streets that haven’t changed much since the 1950s and ’60s. Many of these places turned out heavily to vote for Donald Trump.
Traditional economics says people living in these struggling towns should just move.
Among economists, a major rethink is underway about how to help people in forgotten towns, and it’s starting to filter into policy debates in Washington.
The mentality is shifting from “Let’s get these people to move” to “Let’s get new jobs to these towns.” Trump is focusing on boosting coal and manufacturing, largely by scaling back environmental regulations on these industries.
“There’s a lot of progress that can be made reconnecting working-age people to the workforce,” Kevin Hassett, Trump’s top economist, said in an interview just before the holidays.
Stiglitz and Trump are about as far apart on the political spectrum as you can get, but they agree that these forgotten towns were clearly hurt by globalization and new technologies.
Stiglitz, a liberal who once predicted Trump would be a “Nightmare” president, is calling for a massive government spending program with money for roads and infrastructure in these towns, as well as a “Whole variety of public services” to restart businesses and cultural assets.
Trust still exists in many of these smaller towns where people talk to and watch out for each other.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Real Future of Work”

Over the past two decades, the U.S. labor market has undergone a quiet transformation, as companies increasingly forgo full-time employees and fill positions with independent contractors, on-call workers or temps-what economists have called “Alternative work arrangements” or the “Contingent workforce.” Most Americans still work in traditional jobs, but these new arrangements are growing-and the pace appears to be picking up.
From 2005 to 2015, according to the best available estimate, the number of people in alternative work arrangements grew by 9 million and now represents roughly 16 percent of all U.S. workers, while the number of traditional employees declined by 400,000.
There’s actually not much evidence that the future of work is going to be jobless.
The scale of the change, for many economists, clearly suggests that it’s time for Congress to rethink the social contract around work, updating it for the new relationship between employers and workers in the 21st century.
The share of food preparation workers in contingent work had quadrupled.
The second, and perhaps more important, trend that Weil focused on was the increasing number of Americans who aren’t classified as independent contractors but whose work has become less secure, such as on-call workers or workers whose jobs have been subcontracted out to third-party companies-often, like Borland, reporting to work at the exact same office.
According to the GAO study, these types of contingent workers are twice as likely as full-time employees to say they are “Not at all” satisfied with their jobs; they earn considerably less per hour than their traditionally employed counterparts, even after controlling for characteristics like age, sex and education; and they work fewer hours per year and have far less access to workplace benefits, like health insurance and 401(k)s.
If the workplace is changing so much, would it be possible to invent a new kind of worker? One solution that has begun to arise among labor experts is to create a third, hybrid worker classification-something between an employee and a contractor, offering protections to people, like Uber drivers, who might not be “Employees” but work chiefly for one company.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The scammers gaming India’s overcrowded job market”

While scanning jobs websites one day, I saw the ads: a mix of keywords that seemed designed for the ambitious young jobseeker: “International BPO. Zero years’ experience. 40% ENGLISH required. ONE-DAY training. Fast CAREER Growth – a LIFE is what you make.” In 2017, a call-centre job at a BPO doesn’t have the appeal it did a decade or so ago.
For thousands who end up at scam call centres in cities across India, impersonating tax officers, loan agents, Apple executives or cut-rate Viagra manufacturers, the job provides the thrill of cracking the code of American emotions.
Tanwar didn’t mind the job that much, but was enraged by the company’s denial of incentives.
“What’s the point? My father worked the same job his whole life. When I went home recently, I asked him: ‘Was it worth it?’ I told him that I don’t work for anyone, but I can claim the respect of at least 500 people.” Kumar said he didn’t even have to work anymore to earn his income; the money just kept on coming.
23, came to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh in 2016 and joined the first company that offered her a job.
For two months, Kapoor called nearly 50 people from a list every day – Indians and Indian migrants to the Gulf countries – always opening with the same line: “Do you want a job or a job change?”.
“No one ever got any job. Nothing was what it seemed to be. Everything was a lie,” said Kapoor, who learned the truth about her job within a week.
At least some of those responding to ads promising mass openings and unlimited incentives will end up landing a job – even if that job is just to scam other jobseekers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Suburbs That Haven’t Recovered From the Recession”

HEMET, California-Many cities across America are doing better today than they were before the recession.
Why hasn’t Hemet found surer footing? For one thing, the region where Hemet is located was decimated by the housing crisis, with among the highest foreclosure and unemployment rates in the nation; many families are still recovering.
Krupa, the mayor, has said that the recession caused Hemet to transition from a retirement community to a low-income community because of the influx of new, poor residents.
In the suburbs of the Riverside-San Bernardino metro area, including Hemet, the number of people living below the poverty line grew 63 percent, to 596,310, between 2007 and 2016, according to Elizabeth Kneebone, the research director at the University of California-Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation.
63 percent of homes in Hemet were owner-occupied, today just 54 percent are, according to Census data.
“I’ve seen the community really go downhill since the recession,” Jim Ollerton, a lifelong Hemet resident and member of the Hemet Planning Commission told me.
“The community is still suffering with a lot of quality-of-life criminal activity.” He recently voted against a new planned condominium in Hemet because he thinks the city has too many rentals.
As Hemet and many suburbs like it are finding, growing poverty can lead to even bigger problems-lower tax revenues, fewer businesses able to stay put, worse services like schools and police.

The orginal article.

Summary of “To Find Meaning in Your Work, Change How You Think About It”

Emily Lloyd, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, said of the work the competitors do, “It’s tough work. It’s frequently unpleasant work. And they’re terrific at it.” And as you read the article, you note the pride the competitors have in their work and the purpose they find in doing it well.
One man, George Mossos, noting how anonymous their work can be, is quoted saying, “It’s enough to serve the public.”
Having observed friends and colleagues working with and without purpose for years, I’d offer the following advice on how to consciously endow your work with purpose regardless of your profession.
Wrzesniewski uncovered a practice among the happiest and most effective custodians she termed “Job crafting.” These custodial workers, focused intensely on serving patients, would “[create] the work they wanted to do out of the work they’d been assigned-work they found meaningful and worthwhile.
Wrzesniewski and her colleagues have even begun to think more deeply about exercises that can help anyone focus on crafting their work into something that gives them purpose while still getting the core of their job done.
In another sense of the term, this crafting was also a demonstration of treating work as craft – focusing on the skill needed to complete one’s work and dedicating oneself to perfecting those skills.
Whatever your approach, efforts to enhance the positive relationships you have with others at work – often investing in serving them – can give work greater meaning.
It’s rare to find someone working with only their personal needs in mind.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Charity ‘No Lean Season’ Is Helping The Poor By Making It Easier For Them To Migrate”

The Charity ‘No Lean Season’ Is Helping The Poor By Making It Easier For Them To Migrate : Goats and Soda Most aid to people in poor places tries to improve conditions where they live.
Specifically, Mobarak wanted to see whether a little bit of aid could give people in rural areas enough of a cushion so they could try their luck in the city without risking catastrophic consequences if they didn’t find a job.
“About five times as cost-effective,” notes Mobarak.
Migrating as a group has a lot of benefits, notes Mobarak.
Perhaps the most gratifying result of his experiments, says Mobarak, is a finding that came “As a real surprise for me.”
Several funders have been so impressed with Mobarak’s work that they’ve partnered with him to scale up his idea into what is now a full-fledged charity called No Lean Season.
Mobarak’s results were exactly the kind of idea Evidence Action was looking for, says Karen Levy, a senior official.
Mobarak’s work has also contributed to what has been something of a mind shift among poverty researchers, says Michael Clemons with the Center for Global Development, a Washington D.C.-think tank.

The orginal article.