A Look ahead at the Mindshift in the Workforce

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Paul Millerd’s latest newsletter explores four questions surrounding the state of work, schools, and creativity and shares unexpected thoughts on the future of work.

The US has lost 38 million jobs. Some of those may come back. Many will not. Going into 2021, the US will likely have the highest unemployment rate in the last 100 years.

I’ve written quite a bit about the fragile labor economy and believe the gaps I’ve written about have become more visible than ever.

Here are the questions I’m thinking about for the next year.

#1. What happens when work doesn’t seem a necessary part of our lives?

In Max Weber’s famous treatise on Capitalism published in the 1800’s, he argued that a central element that enabled capitalism to emerge and succeed starting in the 1500s was the fact that so many people eventually developed a “spirit” for capitalism.

Many people incorrectly equate this spirit as greed, but as Weber points out, greed is timeless and universal not a product of capitalism.  It has been seen at all times in history and in all types of economic systems.  Instead Weber suggests that capitalism might have become so effective because of its ability to restrain greed: 

‘Capitalism may even be identical with the restraint, or at least a rational tempering, of this irrational impulse.’ 

By channeling this natural human urge into work, it can theoretically benefit not only the greedy person, but society at large.  

What then motivates work?

 

Included in this article:

  • How does unstable work relate to how people think about the future?
  • How will the cross-generation disconnect be resolved?
  • What is the role of making stuff and our relationship to optimism and the future?

 

Read the full article, Four Work Questions, Alternative Path Stories, Facebook’s Deeper Game & Creativity, on the Boundless website.